Espace makes way for a lower, more luxurious six-seater
Steve Cropley Autocar
23 October 2008

Renault is planning to replace today’s soon-to-be-axed Espace MPV with a lower and more luxurious six-seater, company design boss Patrick Le Quemen has said.

The new car will ditch many of the compromises of modern people-carriers, and follows recent research conducted by Renault that suggested modern buyers no longer appreciate the ‘exposed’ high seating positions and low window sills of traditional MPVs.

The new car is likely to have three rows of two seats and should be launched before the end of 2010.

Renault insiders insist that the Renault Espace name, first used 25-years ago on the original Matra-developed car, is “too valuable to lose”, and will probably be applied to the forthcoming six-seater. The new car is also likely to depart from the current Renault Espace’s simple, steeply-raked nose and windscreen for a more complex design.

Renault’s design team has decided that an odd number of seats, employed in most MPVs, are relatively uncomfortable for most passengers. Hence the decision to go for a ‘2+2+2’ configuration similar to that employed by the Mercedes R-class.

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23 October 2008

[quote Autocar]The new car will ditch many of the compromises of modern people-carriers, and follows recent research conducted by Renault that suggested modern buyers no longer appreciate the ‘exposed’ high seating positions and low window sills of traditional MPVs.
[/quote]

In that case why are so many MPVs sold to people he do not regularly fill them with people and luggage?

Why not go back to the R21 Savanah estate but I suppose that would not justify a premium price?

23 October 2008

I'm really glad to hear that Renault isn't giving up on the full size MPV after all. I've had two Espace IV's and, whilst I have no intention of buying another, the idea that Renault is likely to move the MPV game on again with a sportier, more luxurious concept is intriguing.

Jerry99 is right to suggest that most MPV drivers don't use their 7 seats all the time. However, people who drive regular saloons or hatchbacks are rarely seen driving with a full compliment of passengers either? So what? I'm sure there are Transit vans driving around all over the country with little or no cargo too. I still drive a 7 seater (not an MPV!) but I only use the extra seats occasionally (but regularly). If we didn't have the extra seats we would need to take two cars on these occasions. Besides that, I can't afford to buy a Smart car for the occasions when I'm on my own so one car will have to suit all occasions. Sorry.

24 October 2008

Shame they're ditching 2+3+2 seating. One of the real benefits of an MPV is to be able to seat 5 people in reasonable comfort and have a vast boot space. An MPV with 2+2+2 means that a family of 5 needs to have one seat in the boot permanently. I guess Renault may be moving the car to somewhere else in the market, which is fine, but there really is still a market for stylish yet highly practical MPVs. If you take away the practicality, you lose the point. By the way, I do recall reading that Mercedes introduced 2+3+2 seating as an option for the R class du to practicality complaints.

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