• 2006 Renault Espace IV

    Renault Escape VI

For more than 20 years, Espace has stood out as the top-of-the-range MPV benchmark and segment leader. Faced with an increasingly competitive marketplace, New Espace today consolidates that status with a softer design which remains as expressive and modern as ever.

  • 2006 Renault Espace IV
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    3.0 liter V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3498 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    122 mph
  • body style:

A pleasure in every way, New Espace is available with the 2.0 dCi engine, best in class in terms of performance and driving pleasure, and available in two versions - 150hp (110kW) and 175hp (127kW), both of which are equipped with a particulate filter. With a new six-speed automatic transmission for the 3.0 V6 diesel engine and a choice of four diesel and three petrol powerplants, New Espace features the most comprehensive range of engines in its segment. Versatile and functional, New Espace comes with optimized flexibility thanks to its automatically-attaching sliding rear seats. Meanwhile, the car’s enhanced technological features serve both safety and efficiency, with the availability of bi-Xenon cornering lights and the latest-generation Carminat Navigation and Communication System. New Espace goes on sale from March 17.

Style and travelling comfort: added elegance and pleasure

New Espace has been lightly restyled with a shift to more elegant, modern lines. The new design of the grille and bumper softens the front, which also features new high-tech design halogen or bi-Xenon headlamps. The car is also available with an innovation never previously seen in this segment: bi-Xenon cornering lights which are optional with the Privilège and Initiale levels. A further distinctive sign of New Espace Initiale is the chrome trim that runs between the fog lamps to underline the classic elegance of the new design.

New Espace’s rear lights have also evolved. When lit, they are reminiscent of LEDs and recall the lines of the front grille and headlamps. New Espace’s dynamic looks are reinforced by its new 16- and 17-inch Primastella wheels, while further refinement is provided by the design of the new 17-inch Novastella (Privilège level), 17-inch Aida (Initiale) and optional 18-inch Aria alloy wheels. Two new body colours have been added - Lumière Blue and Sahara Beige (exclusive to the Initiale level) - which takes the total number of body colours available for New Espace to 13.

New Espace has undergone changes on the inside too. The full range of interior colour schemes has been revised, with the emphasis on charcoal hues. Dark charcoal has been selected for the upper part of the dashboard and door trims, while the lower parts are trimmed in beige or light charcoal according to level. Discreet trims have also appeared on the dashboard and centre console according to trim level, making New Espace’s interior even brighter and more welcoming than before while focusing on travelling comfort and quality.

Each trim level features a distinctive ambience. There are subdued dark charcoal tones for Authentique, a warming combination of charcoal and beige for Expression, a brighter, more distinguished elegance for Privilège and, finally, the top-of-the-range Initiale which includes perforated Haircell leather upholstery and beechwood inlay. Apart from the very recently introduced Dynamique version and Alyum Plus limited edition, all New Espace upholsteries are new.

New Espace’s top-of-the-range appointments continue with its all-new centre console and revised dashboard cowling which incorporates the new Carminat Navigation and Communication System (standard or optional according to level). Meanwhile, the cleanly sculpted dashboard harmonizes perfectly with the rest of the interior to form an environment where technology is discreetly integrated into the overall design. The dashboard is visible for all passengers and affords a clear display of the driver aid indications and other information. Finally, ergonomics of the centre console has been revised to include closed stowage space and the new navigation system’s multimedia controls, which fall easily to hand.

New Espace, where technology serves driving pleasure

From the Privilège trim level up, New Espace also benefits from bi-Xenon cornering lights. This option is available for the very first time on a top-of-therange MPV and enhances comfort and safety by allowing the headlights to follow the line of the road ahead. This system provides twice as much light for practically half as much energy as conventional halogen lamps. In corners, it offers up to 90% additional lighting. The lamp modules are illuminated when the car starts up and begin to pivot from 7kph. At speeds in excess of 30kph, the beam lifts for improved visibility. This innovative lighting system ensures a reassuringly clear view of the road ahead, while the bi-Xenon lights offer a quality of light similar to that of daylight and ensure both the main- and dipped-beam functions.

New Espace is available with the new Carminat

Navigation and Communication System, which combines voice synthesis with a three-dimensional view of the road. Information is displayed on a panoramic 7-inch screen built into the new upper dashboard design and comes with Bluetooth hands-free telephone controls and a dash-mounted CD/MP3compatible player. The navigation system, which can display up to three different itineraries simultaneously, automatically zooms in on junctions on the approach to all changes of direction and takes real-time information relating to road and traffic conditions into account (according to country). Its high-capacity memory (information for up to 22 countries on a single DVD) and swift response make this one of the most powerful systems on the market. Drivers can make full use of the navigation system and telephone thanks to the voice recognition function and a single multimedia control without distracting their attention. Steering wheel-mounted remote controls also facilitate use of the audio system.

From the Authentique level up, New Espace is equipped with “Follow Me Home” lights which allow the driver to locate his or her vehicle or light up the way when leaving the car. Meanwhile, the boot is equipped with a new boot light which illuminates the load space and the area at the rear of the vehicle.

Another optional aid on New Espace from the Expression level up is park assist, the ideal complement to the rear park assist function which is standard on all versions with the exception of Authentique. Electrically adjustable seats can be ordered together with electrochromic folding door mirrors that automatically memorize settings (Privilège level up).

The range of features that have long ensured the popularity and appeal of Espace has been extended to all trim levels: the Renault hands-free card, rear parking assist, parking brake assist, rain and light sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system, fuel flap with built-in cap, the Renault Anti-Intruder Device (RAID) and individual controls for the climate control system.

For enhanced comfort and driveability, New Espace features the very latest technology. New Espace also comes with an optional built-in DVD player with two screens in the rear of the front headrests.

Convivial and versatile, plus personalized comfort for all occupants

The only bounds to New Espace’s versatility are the owner’s imagination thanks to automatically-attaching sliding rear seats with folding seatbacks and seat-mounted seatbelts. These are now easier than ever to position in order to draw maximum benefit from the advantages of a totally flat floor and to facilitate access to the third row of seats. When folded entirely forward, the seatbacks become a highly practical table. Special attention has been paid to the comfort of each and every one of New Espace’s occupants. As well as plenty of easily accessible stowage space - even for passengers sitting in the third row of seats - the car features personalized thermal comfort.

Preferred settings are memorized by each Renault card. With a total of 14 air vents located all around New Espace, optional independent front/rear controls are available in addition to the independent left/right climate control which takes onboard information collected by a number of sensors which monitor outside temperature, humidity, sunlight and exterior pollution levels measured in the air that enters the heater unit. Thermal comfort is further enhanced by the innovative floor-mounted system which permits a more even distribution of air throughout the cabin as well as freeing up additional stowage space in the dashboard.

Thanks to the car’s vast, forward-sloping windscreen, slim windscreen pillars and broad rear window which extends to the vertically-positioned lights, occupants profit fully from New Espace’s 5.26 sq. metres of glazed surface. Renault has always attached special importance to bright interiors and the new car features the biggest glass sunroof, which adds a further 2.16 sq. metres of glazing.

When drawn, the rigid electric sunblind ensures exceptional protection from heat and noise. This feature is also available on cars fitted with a fixed glass roof. At the front, sliding blinds have been added between the two sun visors.

Renault continues to offer two versions of New Espace. Grand Espace, which is 20cm longer than the standard model, features more than 190 litres of boot space. And with all the rear seats removed, New Espace offers a maximum load capacity of 3,050 litres.

High-performance chassis and engines

New Espace boasts a wide range of powerplants, with three petrol engines and four common-rail diesel engines. Powertrain choices include four- and six-cylinder engines mated to six-speed manual or five- or six-speed sequential automatic transmissions. Renault’s new flagship 2.0 dCi engine makes its entry in the New Espace catalogue. Derived from a Renault-led joint Renault-Nissan programme, this 1995cc (M9R) unit features the very latest diesel technologies available on the market, including piezo-electric injectors, 1,600-bar common-rail injection, variable geometry turbocharger and latest-generation combustion chambers. Silent-running, economical and clean, the 2.0 dCi engine is one of the most efficient of its class. Coupled with the six-speed manual gearbox, it is equipped with a particulate filter in both its 150hp (110kW) and 175hp (127kW) versions. The former boasts 340Nm of torque at 2,000rpm and gives New Espace best-in-class combined cycle fuel consumption of just 7.4l/100km. The 175hp version features 360Nm of torque at 1,750rpm and takes New Espace from standstill to 100kph in less than 10 seconds. In addition to being particularly quiet and fuel-efficient, this engine boasts superb flexibility, revving to 5,000rpm. With CO2 emissions of less than or equal to 200g/km (combined cycle), New Espace is at the very top of its class when it comes to environmental-friendliness.

The six-cylinder 3.0 dCi diesel engine offers a generous 180hp (133kW) at 4,400rpm (a 165hp/120kW version is also available in some markets), while torque has been increased by 50Nm to 400Nm at 1,800rpm thanks to a new injection system. The multi-vane variable geometry turbocharger ensures more precision at mid-range engine speeds and optimized filling of the combustion chamber across the full rev band.

This unit comes with a new Proactive sequential automatic transmission complete with a sixth gear (SU4). Already available in Europe, this transmission reinforces the sensation of driving pleasure behind the V6 3.0 dCi, combining responsive performance with low fuel consumption (9.4l/100km, combined cycle). Other features include a shift-down function under heavy braking and maintenance of the selected gear when lifting abruptly off the throttle. Finally, the flick-shift control enables the driver to change gear manually if required.

The four-cylinder 2.2 dCi 16V engine continues to offer a high level of driving comfort with a power output of 150hp (110kW) at 4,000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 1,750rpm. A further advantage of this ultra-smooth, quiet-running engine is its outstanding fuel efficiency. It can be ordered either with a six-speed manual gearbox or with five-speed Proactive automatic transmission. The 140hp version of the same engine is equipped with a particulate filter.

The entry-level engine is the 1.9 dCi which delivers 115hp (85kW) at 4,000rpm and maximum torque of 270Nm at 2,000rpm. With European combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.7l/100km and an 83-litre fuel tank, the 1.9 dCi New Espace has a range of nearly 1,240km. It is coupled to a six-speed gearbox.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance 24-valve 3.5 V6 (V4Y) combines top-end power (245hp/177kW at 6,000rpm) with low-end response. Some 85% of power is available from 1,200rpm, with maximum torque of 330Nm at 3,600rpm. Acceleration from standstill to 100kph in 8.1 seconds plus its ability to cover the standing kilometre in 28.7 seconds underline New Espace’s credentials as a truly modern grand tourer. Equipped with five-speed sequential automatic transmission, this version hits a top speed of 225kph.

The four-cylinder 2.0 16V Turbo (F4Rt) benefits from a consistent 270Nm of torque over a broad rev range from 2,000rpm combined with a comfortable 170hp (125kW) at 5,000rpm. This performance is due to its Twin Scroll turbo. Its high compression ratio for a turbocharged engine (9.5:1) ensures enhanced efficiency and lower emissions, while the increase in low-down torque permits higher gearing, which in turn leads to even lower fuel consumption.

The 2.0 16V engine (F4R) boasts 140hp (100kW) at 5,500rpm and torque of 191Nm available from 3,750rpm. This engine benefits from variable valve timing and camshaft variator which permits two types of use: one calibration for idling or when running partially loaded at mid and high revs for maximum power, and a second calibration which permits a bigger overlap between the intake and exhaust strokes for a torque gain of between 5 and 10Nm.

Handling worthy of this openinvitation to travel

The McPherson front suspension has been developed to match the demands of an MPV. From the middle of the range, the combination of variable-assist power steering and New Espace’s front suspension with high transverse stiffness gives excellent stability. Its properties permit the use of highly flexible joints without detracting from the effective filtering out of low frequency vibrations for comfortable, noise-free running, while losing nothing of the car’s outstanding steering precision. New Espace continues to benefit from the patented Multi Layer Energy Absorber concept which absorbs all vibrations produced by the engine before they get a chance to spread to the structure of the vehicle. The rear suspension features a torsion beam with high-strength steel trailing arms and a Panhard rod.

In addition to ensuring first-class comfort and handling, this remarkably compact set-up permits a flat, functional floor. Its disassociation from the body shell allows it to filter out road-generated vibrations efficiently while carrying heavy loads. The use of spring/damper units combined with a load and ride-height sensing device completes the picture.

On the active safety front, New Espace is equipped as standard with ventilated 308mm- or 324mm-diameter front discs, and 300mm plain discs at the rear. ABS, Emergency Brake Assist, EBD, ESP and CSV understeer control are all fitted as standard. In emergency situations, the ESP acts directly on the engine management system and on one or more wheels in order to regain control of the car and bring it back into line.

New Espace also comes with ASR traction control for enhanced pull-away on low-grip surfaces. The cruise control/speed limiter and tyre pressure monitoring system are standard from the Privilège level up and are optionally available on all other versions to round out New Espace’s long list of safety features.

New Espace provides optimum passive safety for all passengers. The structural zones of the body employ very high-strength steel which is capable of absorbing more energy in the event of an impact. Occupant protection is enhanced by padding in crucial areas such as the lower part of the dashboard and doors (which are also reinforced with aluminium bars). New Espace is equipped with up to eight airbags that minimize the risk of injury, plus even more efficient anti-submarining systems for all seats.

Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection for front passengers comprises dual seat-belt pretensioners and latest-generation headrests. The rear seats come with Isofix child seat anchorage points and three-point seat-mounted seatbelts with load limiters. These features combine to make New Espace one of eight Renault models to have been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

Accessories available for New Espace include “Sleep Safeconvertible child head restraints. For complete ease of mind when travelling as a family, New Espace’s active and passive safety features once again make it the benchmark in its segment.

20 years at the top

Espace alone accounts for more than 4.63% of E-segment sales in Western Europe (E-segment TIV: 265,570 units in 2005). With 48,877 cars registered in 2005, it took an 18.5% share of the top-range MPV market to consolidate its lead. The millionth Espace was sold 20 years after the model’s launch in 1984. Assembled at Renault’s Sandouville factory in France, which produces three different top-of-the-range Renault models - Laguna, Vel Satis and Espace - New Espace represents a programme outlay of €121 million.

Respecting the environment

In addition to the low fuel consumption and emissions of the 2.0 dCi engine, New Espace builds on the strengths of Espace IV, employing recyclable materials which reduce the vehicle’s overall mass. Use of alumiium for the doors and bonnet has produced a 20kg weight saving compared with steel.

The wings are made of Noryl<.strong>, a flexible plastic which has the capacity to revert to its initial form and therefore shrug off minor knocks. The rear hatch is made from SMC thermoplastic which allows weight savings to be achieved by permitting the integration of functions such as fixations. It also offers a broader choice of forms. Meanwhile, the seat brackets, rear seat angle brackets and steering wheel frame are made from magnesium. Like the rest of the Renault range, more than 90% of New Espace is recyclable by weight, while the model also incorporates recycled materials.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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  (814) posted on 02.8.2010

The Escape IV privilege I own is a much better car than that described. It is well finished, comfortable, has no apparent leaks or problems. The only thing I don’t like is the so called automatic handbrake which, in certain conditions can be dangerous. (Try reversing up a narrow hill).

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