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Renault Espace Full Hybrid - Copyright Renault

Renault Espace E-Tech Full Hybrid seven-seater – the team SUV

Renault has breathed the SUV trend into the new Espace and left the old VAN culture behind. Anyone who is still familiar with the previous models will have to completely reorient themselves in the new model. Traditional travel values ​​were thrown overboard and a new space glider was designed with lower-emission drives and generous space, even with seven seats for an entire team if desired.

The engine is based on a full hybrid drive with a somewhat rough three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine with 131 hp and a 68 hp electric motor. There is a compact 1,7 kWh battery for the purely electric drive, which is primarily used autonomously for short journeys and when parking. From this motorization you can already guess that the Espace is designed more for relaxed gliding in traffic. Accordingly, in keeping with the spirit of the times, the top speed is set at 175 km/h.

All-wheel steering as a technical treat

There are currently three equipment packages, the basic Techno package starts at 43.500 euros, the Esprit Alpine we tested for 46.300 euros and the fully equipped Iconic for 48.300 euros (prices January 2024). The third generation of Renault all-wheel steering is particularly interesting in everyday life. In everyday driving, the electronic control of the rear wheel steering provides more driving stability on country roads and the motorway when cornering and overtaking maneuvers. The smaller turning circle makes parking easier to manage.

Renault Espace Full Hybrid - Copyright Renault
Renault Espace Full Hybrid – Copyright Renault

Goodbye Van

The switch to the SUV format also requires completely different usage concepts than with conventional vans. With a total length of 4,70 m, it offers plenty of space for the occupants when viewed from the outside, but it is deeper than its predecessors and offers less headroom. The second row is spacious, but the two seats behind it are tight and are intended more for children than emergency seats. The narrow sections between the backrest and the door frame are very narrow entrances.

Renault Espace E-Tech Full Hybrid 200 // Technical data
Five-door mid-range SUV with seven seats (test version)
Length: 4,72 meters
Width: 1,84 meters (with exterior mirror: 2,08 meters)
Height: 1,64 meters
Wheelbase: 2,74 meters
Trunk volume (5/7 seats): 581/159 – 1.818/1.714 liters
Full hybrid engine with 1,2 liter three-cylinder turbo petrol engine
96 kW/131 hp plus two electric motors with 50 kW/68 hp and 18 kW/25 hp respectively
System performance: 146 kW/199 HP
maximum torque: 230 Nm at 1.750 rpm
0-100 km / h: s 8,8
Front-wheel drive with all-wheel steering
Multimode automatic transmission (electric drive/combustion engine)
Standard consumption: 4,6 – 4,9 liters/100 km
CO2 emissions: 106 – 110 g/km
Our test consumption: 6,5 to 7,0 liters/100 km in the 2024 winter test

Test vehicle from the 2024 winter test

The former van has now become more of a travel and leisure SUV, and this means it faces completely different competition. What counts here are facts such as long-distance suitability and travel comfort. The most important arguments are included in the standard equipment. A clear central display, separate control buttons for the climate control settings and an attractive, balanced chassis invite you to take long-distance tests.

New qualities

Renault Espace Full Hybrid - Vehicle selection menu
Renault Espace Full Hybrid – vehicle selection menu

Improvements can still be expected in some details. The deep menu navigation with the numerous settings requires some time to master and the icons should respond better to touch operation. When driving, the three-cylinder is noticeable in the interior at higher speeds. The Renault scores points with a balanced safety package and an actively working electronic stability program. Sudden load changes and fast cornering on wet roads are corrected very quickly and at a decreasing speed.

With the SUV vehicle concept, the new Espace is moving into new territory and facing great competition. As a full hybrid, it can certainly score points with good average consumption. During our winter test drives we averaged less than 7 liters of petrol during moderate driving in the north. In comparison, this is in the bottom third of the test vehicles we drove.

Renault Espace Full Hybrid - Copyright Renault
Renault Espace Full Hybrid Cockpit – Copyright Renault

Conclusion

With the new SUV format, the Espace appeals to new groups of buyers, as a seven-seater primarily families who may also carry more than three passengers. As a team SUV with moderate fuel consumption and extensive safety features, the new Espace can serve a niche. Anyone who drives more defensively and prefers relaxed touring can make friends with the new generation.

Addendum

Test from winter in January 2024

Images copyright green car magazine and Renault

N. Hawthorn
Last article by N. Hagedorn (Show All)

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