Driving report: Renault Espace E-Tech Full Hybrid 200: space miracle

Driving report: Renault Espace E-Tech Full Hybrid 200: space miracle

The sixth generation of the Renault Espace is back on the large-capacity crossover card, offering comfort, space and many assistants for a fair price, but a few neglect of details.

When the French talk about downsizing, it’s obviously not just in one respect. At least the Renault engineers have implemented this concept in a variety of ways in the new Espace: the hybrid three-cylinder petrol engine is the only drive variant and the external dimensions have also shrunk. With a length of 4.72 meters, the sixth generation is 13.6 centimeters shorter than its predecessor and has an interior length of 2.48 meters. Anyone who sees themselves crouching in the second row of seats with their knees drawn up in an embryonic position can sit back and relax. With this Espace, too, the name says it all. Especially since the rear bench seat can be moved lengthways by 22 centimetres, resulting in maximum knee room of 32.1 centimetres. If you take full advantage of this, you can at least indulge in savoir-vivre in the first two rows.

Things look different at the back. The two retractable chairs are suitable as emergency seats or for children. Since the seven seats are available at no extra cost, this is a good option. Nevertheless: even if the Espace, like the Astral and the upcoming flagship Rafale, is based on the new CMF-CD platform of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, the ingenious economy of space cannot completely annul the dictates of the dimensions. This is also shown by the trunk volume, which varies between 159 (seven-seater) and 1,714 liters (1,818 liters in the five-seater) with the seats lowered or the backrests of the rear bench folded down. However, only people who are less than 1.80 meters tall can find space under the lifted tailgate and the stub wiper only cleans part of the rear window.

The second downsizing measure concerns the variety of drives. Instead of a whole potpourris of engines, there is only one version. A three-cylinder petrol engine with a displacement of 1,199 cubic centimetres, which in itself already defines downsizing. Left to its own devices, the unit generates 96 kW / 131 hp, which is not particularly lavish for a large-capacity SUV like the Espace with a weight of 1,694 kg (215 kg less than its predecessor). So the technicians supplement the combustion engine with the hybrid module, which is already used in other models such as the Arkana. However, with two more powerful electric motors: The main electric motor contributes 50 kW / 68 hp to the propulsion and the HSG generator 18 kW / 25 hp. Overall, this results in a system output of 105 kW / 199 hp and a maximum torque of 230 Newton meters. Purely electrically it is 205 Nm.

The drive trio uses a principle that is similar to that of the formula engine. The central interface of the drive train is the DogBox transmission ((in Renault jargon “Multi Mode”), which is similar in characteristics to a CVT automatic. The relatively strong starter-generator is responsible for the ideal speed to compensate for the lack of synchronization. According to Renault, the transmission enables 15 gear combinations including idle and should always have the right answer to the respective driving situation ready.Since the battery only has a capacity of two kilowatt hours (1.7 kWh net) it is not an energy storage monster, it is not about going as far as possible to drive purely electrically, but as often as possible. This is also the aim of the ongoing improvements to the drive train and when driving on the motorway at 120 km/h, the combustion engine always says goodbye to the event. But the Renault also does well on winding country roads and annoys the driver not with a CVT rubber band characteristic including a roaring engine.

The spread of the driving programs Eco, Comfort, Sport and Personal (individual) is not particularly pronounced. With Sport, the drive train reacts almost overzealously to the movements of the accelerator pedal. We were content with the comfort mode most of the time and drove well with it in the truest sense of the word. However, we notice a weakness in acceleration at low speeds, it is more likely to progress from 70 km/h. The Espace completes the sprint from standing to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and the electronics drop anchor at 174 km/h. Renault states an average consumption of 4.9 l/100 km. We reached 7.4 l/100 km during the test drive, which took us through cities, over motorways and on country roads with acceleration stages. The 4Control Advanced rear-axle steering turns the wheels by up to five degrees, which reduces the turning circle by 1.2 meters to 10.4 meters and improves agility when maneuvering and cornering. However, the chassis, trimmed for comfort, cannot quite keep up, since it acts inharmoniously, the body rocks or transverse joints are passed on to the passengers.

With the 32 assistance systems, the Espace is up to date. In addition to such standard functions as a blind spot assistant, a 360-degree camera and an adaptive cruise control, the Espace has an emergency brake assistant ready for rear cross-traffic. The Emergency Lane Keeping Assist intervenes with steering wheel impulses if the front camera reports an imminent collision when overtaking or if the car threatens to fly off. The strength of the large-capacity crossover are long stretches on the motorway. Renault even came up with a funny music quiz so that the gang of little rascals would be quiet at the back. The interior with the vertical 12-inch touchscreen and the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster including optional head-up display is clear and operating the Android or Google-based infotainment is not a big challenge. The workmanship is solid and that The large panoramic glass roof helps create a pleasant atmosphere, as does the leather interior. The bottom line is that the new Espace in the top Iconic equipment offers a lot of car for 48,300 euros, but even with the basic Techno version for 43,500 euros, Schmalhans is by no means master chef. The Espace will be available from dealers from September.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts