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I have re-written my review as my opinion on the vehicle has altered slightly after owning the car for a couple of months.
I would have to make one point very clear – If you are buying one second hand, you are going to need access to Sadam Hussein’s Swiss bank account in order to get it through a service and MOT. This car is an expensive beast if faults are found. Mine failed its first MOT as it needed new steering parts. The total cost of a 20,000 mile service and repair was close to £1,000.
Also be prepared for some very irritating cabin noises, mine had squeaking door seals, creaking “A pillar” trims and noisy roof lining. I also found out that a replacement windscreen had been poorly fitted, after noticing excessive wind noise and vibration coming from the screen edges and external rubber mouldings when driving at motorway speeds.
Imagine how peeved I was at laying out £10,000 on an 04 Reg model, only to find the cabin sounded like it was going to fall apart – and guess what, none of the problems could be repaired under warrantee...I was gutted and thought “I’m stuck with this crap heap for the next 3 years".
Oh, I forgot to mention, the clutch started slipping as soon as I drove it out of the showroom. Luckily it was due to an oil seal failure and was repaired by the dealer straight away.
So, with the thought of having to drive around in a car that sounded like I was at sea on an Elizabethan sailing ship, I set about dealing with the cabin noises myself as my local Renault Dealers were about as useful as a Chocolate Teapot. Their most experienced engineer suggested removing the dashboard to enable further investigation of the windscreen noise. How much do you think that would have cost?
A trip to Autoglass to get the windscreen re-fitted cured the windscreen and wind noise issue.
Then there was the trim noise coming from the driver’s side “A pillar” trim – Luckily Renault have made it easy to remove the trim and dash parts, a quick investigation found a worn edge on a part of the corner dash trim. I fitted a small piece of self adhesive acoustic foam to the contact area and the noise stopped.
I then shoved a large piece of noise reducing foam into the roof lining, which stopped the clicking noise coming from above my head.
Lastly, and after nearly giving up, the door seal squeaking was fixed by fitting a strip of Nylon Loop tape to the inner edge of the rubber seal on the driver’s door. Now the cabin is completely silent.
So, apart from the slipping clutch, Mot failure, £1,000 service bill, incorrectly fitted windscreen, squeaking door seal, creaking dash and interior trim & clicking noise from the roof lining, I can honestly say I now love this car.
Why? Cos it’s the coolest looking large people carrier in the world, and it’s sooo comfy, roomy, quiet & smooth to drive. Now that it’s running right, it’s gone from “Golden Hind” creaky to Discovery spaceship from 2001 floaty Georgiousness.
Luckily the wife never found out about the massive repair bill as I charged it through my business, and my own initiative and effort fixing the interior only cost around £40 in materials (although my wife was starting to think that I was having an affair as I was sneeking out to test my repairs).
I laid out £10,000 for my Espace which only 3 years ago would have set someone back over £20,000, so it’s a lot of car for the pound, even with the expensive first service and repair.
So would I recommend this car? Definately. Not only have I got huge satisfaction by being able to repair my car myself, but just look at the alternatives? An old shape Ford Galaxy/Sharan/Alhambra, a non-descript Far Eastern lump of metal or a "lets die in an accident " Cheverolet– no thanks, I’ll keep my Espace, it has acres more style, is safer and has Vaa Vaa Voom - nes pa?
I tend to agree but
1. My wife bought an 02 Renault Scenic 1.4 Fiji 18 months ago - she liked it because it was the most comfortable car she has driven - the car hasn't given us any problems at all (so far).
2. A friend of mine used to load cars onto roll-on-roll-off transport ships, he drove literally hundreds of every make of car imported and exported to and from the U.K -& he could tell if a car was going to be faulty by the way it drove. When I asked him which car was consistently the best in terms of numbers driven - he answered "Renaults", especially the Clio, it seemed as though every car drove the same without fault. Oh and the worst was a Ford Transit -
Miskah 04.08.2007 16:25
Very interesting review ♥ßeth.
cwestern 31.07.2007 19:21
You're a braver man than me in buying a renault. Good luck!