As the brand’s own longer wheelbase version of its best selling carrier, the Renault Grand Espace shares many of the same elements as the standard. These include the engine lineup, driving traits, folding and removable seats, storage bins, and specification levels. But being the bigger version of the Espace, the Grand variation has a few more inches for passengers and luggage. Read on to see what other differences the Grand Espace has over the standard model.
The Renault Grand Espace’s base petrol engine is a 2.0T unit at 165bhp. The diesel engine comes smallest with the 2.2 dCi at 150bhp. All the available four-cylinder models include six-speed manual gearboxes, but the 2.2 dCi includes an automatic transmission. The diesel and petrol V6 models, however, come with auto transmission only. The more powerful engine is the turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 unit at 245bhp. Other upgrades are the 150bhp and 175bhp 2.0-litre dCi that was released in 2006. The 175bhp is just as fast as the V6 diesel, but the 2.2dCi is what’s more recommended with the auto.
The Grand Espace comes with complete equipment: from automatic headlamps, traction control, a CD player, and automatic parking brake. If you want more of an upgrade, the top models offer body colour door handles, a six-CD autochanger, parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, and tyre pressure monitors. You could even have a satellite navigation system that produces a 3D map.
Comfort is another great asset of the Grand Espace. The high seating position gives convenient access to the first two rows. A full-length glass roof can be added to brighten the interior, but it’s not like the original needs any more light. All seats are sculpted accordingly and the floor offers enough legroom. The extra room of this bigger variation model will be beneficial to large families and anyone constantly transporting packages. The total interior space is 3,050 litres—more than enough, and that’s when the chairs are still folded out.
Safety features are complete and include an effective security system. The system includes a card-entry system, a de-clutching steering lock that’s electrically assisted, and specifically marked parts.
The Grand Espace is the car for motorway journeys but it isn’t very reliable on twisted roads. Bumps are absorbed by the vehicle, but the handling isn’t up to par in more challenging road conditions. Thankfully the steering lets the driver keep the journey on course. But the flaws do little to give the driver much confidence during a tricky situation.
The Grand Espace is a significant change from the standard model. The body has no reported problems, and the engine has only had a recall in 2004 for smoke emissions. Be wary, however, of a handbrake fault as one model was recalled in 2003 for such. In terms of space, the Grand Espace doesn’t hold back. It is a prospect worth considering given the added space larger groups or people constantly travelling need for their luggage. But factor in as well the handling, ride, and performance of this vehicle to be certain about your choice. There are bigger vehicles that perform better on the road.
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