Test Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris, reinventing itself

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

When in 1984 the first generation of the Renault Espace saw the light, a whole revolution began. The minivans had arrived, a segment that was very successful in various segments until a few years ago. SUVs have done a lot of damage to minivans, especially the larger ones. For this reason in our ptry of the Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV EDC Initiale Paris We have found a very different car from the initial concept of the Renault Espace.

The fifth generation of the Renault Espace has come to put order. The fourth generation of 7 seater minivan it remained on the market for more than 10 years, with the last few years dragging on with low sales. Renault thought that it could not do without one of its most iconic models, but at the same time, it was aware that it could not offer the same. That is why the designers and engineers set to work on this new generation of the Renault Espace, a model that achieves reinvent yourself.

More crossover, less minivan

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

With this fifth generation of the Renault Espace it is clear that the French have wanted move away from the minivan concept and bet more on merging it with a crossover in a recipe that seems to have been a success. This means that in current times the Renault Espace can be more attractive than ever on the aesthetic plane, although in the practical aspect, it is not the best Espace that Renault has built.

The body of this minivan is very striking, since its dimensions of Meters long 4,86, 1,89 wide and 1,68 give it a robust, very wide, long and low car look. This coupled with a new fluid design and more personal than ever makes it even look certainly futuristic. The truth is that the French have been able to work very well on the design of this new generation of the Renault Espace.

Improvement in interior quality

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris interior

The Renault Espace is one of the first models of the new generation of Renault cars. In addition to a new exterior design, the brand is also betting on new cabin designs and higher quality for the same. Keep in mind that the trial version is a initiale paris, the highest of the range.

The dashboard design is completely different from all previous Renaults and the rest of the cars that we can find on the market. The center console is one of the most important parts of the design, incorporating a 8,2″ touch screen for R-Link 2 multimedia system that allows to dispense with practically all the buttons. There are only a few basic climate controls and buttons for heated seats, ECO mode and Stop & Start.

In the floating center tunnel (only with automatic gearbox), which is very high and divides the front passenger compartment, we find the gear change selector, a small object holder with a sliding cover and the joystick that allows us to control the multimedia equipment, as well as the Multi-Sense driving modes, the electric parking brake and the cruise and limiter control button, which, as in any Renault, is totally out of place.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

The curious Renault Espace gear selector may require a little adaptation time, since it is not the classic corridor selector. This always returns to the initial position and to go forward you have to make a movement similar to putting second gear in a manual car, while going backwards would be equivalent to putting first. With movements up and down, the sequential gearbox is used, since the Renault Espace with EDC dual-clutch automatic gearbox does not have paddles behind the steering wheel. The P is activated by a button located on the side of the selector. One point for improvement is that the gear indicator graphic is not illuminated and it does not indicate which gear is chosen, for which it will be necessary to resort to the clock chart.

Under this central tunnel there is a generous storage compartment, with a 12V socket and two cup holders, although it is an impractical space because it is very low. To carry cans or glasses its usefulness is reduced, since you have to play a little to fit them. In front of the passenger there is a very generous and cooled glove box, which opens with a touch button in the form of a drawer.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris clock panel

El clock box is a digital display accompanied by the fuel level on one side and the water temperature on the other. The central screen is configurable and appears in different colors depending on the chosen driving mode and the custom settings. We can combine any color with any of the five designs that exist for the frame, with different ways of capturing speed, revolutions and other information. Trip computer information is displayed at the bottom center of the dashboard's center display, and can also be viewed on the touch screen.

The R-LINK 2 multimedia system touch screen also deserves to dwell on it. This has very good quality and an immediate tactile response, very good. The driver can customize it to taste in many aspects and allows a tablet-style handling, so it will be easy to get hold of it. The point that I liked least is that there is no direct button to darken it when we drive at night and that when we manipulate something (the volume, for example) it turns on again and we have to turn it off manually.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

The brown color combined with the leather, the contrast stitching and the different trims result in a very elegant interior.

The quality of materials and finishes of the new Renault Espace is good. Generally the settings transmit solidity and both the soft plastics on the top of the dash and doors and the hard plastics on the bottom have a good feel. A generous part of the doors is upholstered in leather and it is surprising that the armrests of the third row of seats are also upholstered.

We'll only find a few creaking noise when pressing on screen frames, is the only thing that slightly overshadows the quality of finish, along with the front headrests that had a slight slack.

Let's talk about a 5+2, not a 7-seater

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris rear seats sliding seats

The second row of seats has three individual and sliding seats

If something has always characterized the Renault Espace, it has been its great habitability, especially in the Grand Espace versions (practically the same size as this generation). The French minivan has always offered plenty of room for passengers, with seven usable seats and some room for luggage. In this new generation of the Espace, the model falls off the list for those looking for authentic 7 seater, since we are talking about a 5+2. The third row of seats is optional throughout the range.

Hen/Stag front seats are huge, and with the various seat adjustments you can travel in absolute comfort. The same thing happens in the second row of seats, with three identically sized individual seats with plenty of room for the legs. Three adults will be able to travel without problems due to the generous width, the main problem being the free height to the ceiling for very tall people. The more stylized image of the exterior also has a somewhat negative impact on the interior of the Espace. The three rear seats have Isofix anchors, which is very interesting for large families.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris third row seats

If you want to travel with seven passengers, the Espace is no longer so attractive. The third row of seats is extracted from the boot floor. They are two small seats more suitable for children than for adults. The seats are much narrower and if we don't move the second-row seats forward, there's no leg room. In any case, the ground is high and you have to keep your legs bent. They are seats indicated for people of small stature and for short trips. Surprisingly, the height to the ceiling and the visibility from these seats is very correct.

Access to the third row is made through the side seats of the second row, which by actuating a lever slide forward and fold down. Access is not complicated if you are agile. It is more difficult to get out than to get in. An interesting detail is that both in the second and in the third row of seats there are ventilation outlets and in the second row the air conditioning can be regulated (it is tri-zone).

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris trunk seven seats

Renault Espace trunk with 7 seats

When we enable the seven seats, the resulting trunk is very small, 247 liters. If we only travel with five seats, the trunk volume is very generous and ranges between 614 and 719 liters (depending on the position of the second row of seats). By folding down the two rear rows, the loading surface is completely flat and there are more than 2000 liters that allow you to load bulky objects. The trunk has a roll-up tray that must be removed to enable the third row. This is stored in the trunk, with Velcro strips. The trunk may have Electric door.

Lots of technology on board

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris buttons folding seats

The new Renault Espace has evolved a lot in exterior and interior design and in quality of finishes, but also in the available technologies. The Renault Espace offers a series of elements, especially in the Very complete Initiale Paris finish, which many of its rivals cannot have. These elements play in different fields, such as safety, comfort or mere aesthetics.

Highlights include adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, heated front and second-row outboard seats, electric front seats with massage (fabulous), the Head-Up Display or the ambient lighting. All five rear seats can be folded down electrically. from the touch screen or from some buttons located in the trunk, but to lift them it is necessary to do the maneuver manually.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 hp Initiale Paris head-up display

From the screen we can choose various custom driving profiles that save settings for seats, radio, mirrors, climate control and driving modes. One element that needs to be slightly improved is the Head-Up Display, which uses a system that projects information on a methacrylate plate that emerges from the dashboard. On bumpy roads this plate vibrates slightly and the information displayed by the system is not clearly seen.

The system front lighting is LED for low and high beams and offers very good night visibility. In addition, the system is accompanied by the high beam assistant, which automatically connects and disconnects the high beams so as not to dazzle other connectors.

Putting the Renault Espace to the test

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

At this point, it is time to start the engine and hit the road to see what the Renault Espace has to offer. 1.6 hp 160 dCi biturbo with six-speed EDC dual-clutch automatic transmission. The start is made by button and the engine comes to life without hiding its diesel cycle. The truth is that here we notice one of the first drawbacks, being the audible engine and transmitting some slight vibrations to the seat. Running is a very quiet engine.

We set off to check that the EDC gearbox offers smooth operation. fast enough and smooth even at low speed, something that other automatic boxes of double clutch do not do. Gear changes are quick and imperceptible. It's not the fastest dual-clutch box, but given the nature of the Espace, it's more than fair. Like other boxes of this type, sometimes reductions are slow when we drive at low speed and approach, for example, a roundabout where we need to react quickly.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

The Renault Multi-Sense system driving modes offer various settings, such as Normal, Eco, Sport, Comfort or Individual (customizable). Among them varies the response of both the change and the engine and the direction especially notable between the Eco and Sport modes. In the Initiale Paris trim, the system also acts on the controlled suspension and the 4Control rear-axle steering system.

Mode Eco is appropriate to circulate with peace of mind and optimizing consumption, but if we want some liveliness it is more advisable to use Normal mode or even Sport. The change will be faster and the gears will speed up more, making the Renault Espace a more reactive and agile vehicle. The truth is that the 160 hp biturbo diesel engine can move the Espace with solvency, but it is so progressive that its thrust sensation is scarce. However, and I want to position the Espace as a premium model, Renault should have a diesel engine around 200 hp.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

The Renault Espace has proven to be a slot machine, with a comfortable suspension that filters irregularities well (Comfort mode) and good sound insulation. To this we must add some really comfortable seats, especially in the front seats. If we are looking for dynamic driving, it is interesting to rely on the mode Sport, where we will obtain the best response from the engine and the suspension, firmer and better controlling the rolling of the bodywork, despite the fact that the filtering of the irregularities is worse.

Despite the large exterior dimensions, maneuvering in the city with the Renault Espace is not complicated. Visibility is good and we enjoy a high driving position. In addition, both the rear camera and the front and rear parking sensors will be useful for maneuvers, where we can help ourselves from the parking assistant, with a good operation. Our unit equipped with 4Control steering rear axle maneuvers in a small space, but to park many times we will not enjoy its advantages since the system only works above 5 km/h.

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

Rear wheel spin is a few degrees, hard to see without paying attention

A very positive point of the Renault Espace 1.6 dCi biturbo engine is its consumption. It is an efficient engine that on highway trips is around 6,3 liters of average consumption, while in the more than 1.100 kilometers of testing, with very varied driving conditions, we obtained a average of 6,9 liters per 100. In the city we will move below the 8-litre barrier, where the system is very useful Stop & Start, Fast and effective.


Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

In short, and after spending 7 days with the Renault Espace, we can say that it is an interesting vehicle. It does not serve as a common seven-seater minivan, for this there are better options such as the SEAT Alhambra, but it is recommended for those who want a spacious and comfortable car, with a second row of seats in which they can accommodate three adults or three wheelchair users. child with isofix We will have the advantage of a minivan in terms of habitability and trunk, at the same time as the driving position is high like that of an SUV.

The quality of finishes is superior to that of other Renault models and its equipment is very complete from the basic level. The ZEN finish is the most balanced. The 160 hp diesel engine is sufficient, but those looking for more will have to resort to the 200 hp petrol turbo. The 130-horsepower diesel versions may be short of power if we are going to circulate loaded.

Equipment Renault Espace

Renault Space Life

Renault Space Life

  • Electric parking brake
  • six airbags
  • rain sensor and lights
  • Three rear seats with Isofix
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Cruise control and speed limiter
  • ECO driving mode
  • Full-LED headlights
  • 17″ wheels with hubcaps
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Dual zone air conditioning
  • Photosensitive interior mirror
  • Electrically folding and heated exterior mirrors
  • R-Link 2 multimedia system with 8,2″ touch screen
  • Navigator
  • Sound system with 8 speakers
  • Electrically folding seats
  • refrigerated glove box

Renault Espace ZEN

Renault Espace ZEN

  • Life Equipment
  • automatic emergency braking
  • blind spot warning
  • Head-Up Display
  • 18″ alloy wheels
  • Mixed fabric/leather upholstery
  • Exterior mirrors with memory
  • Driving modes Multi-Sense (automatic transmission)
  • colored ambient lighting

Renault Espace Initiale Paris

Renault Esapce Initiale Paris

  • ZEN Equipment
  • temporary spare wheel
  • Automatic short-long beams
  • Lane departure warning
  • Recognition of traffic signs
  • Tinted rear windows
  • Sun blinds on rear doors
  • rear parking camera
  • Leather upholstery
  • Independent air conditioning in second row
  • Relax headrest
  • Heated front and rear side seats
  • Front seats with massage
  • Electric driver's seat
  • Sound system with 12 speakers
  • electric tailgate
  • 4Control steering rear axle
  • piloted damping

Renault Espace price

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

Motor Fuel Change Finished Price
1.6 dCi 130 HP Diesel manual 6v Life 30.950 €
1.6 dCi 130 HP Diesel manual 6v ZEN 33.750 €
1.6 dCi 160 HP Diesel EDC 6v ZEN 36.050 €
1.6 TCe 200 hp Petrol EDC 7v ZEN 37.750 €
1.6 dCi 160 HP Diesel EDC 6v Initiale Paris 45.250 €

Editor's opinion

Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 hp EDC
  • Editor's rating
  • 4.5 star rating
30.950 a 45.250
  • 80%

  • Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 hp EDC
  • Review of:
  • Posted on:
  • Last modification:
  • Exterior design
    Publisher: 85%
  • interior design
    Publisher: 85%
  • front seats
    Publisher: 90%
  • rear seats
    Publisher: 80%
  • Trunk
    Publisher: 80%
  • Spring Suspension
    Publisher: 70%
  • Consumption
    Publisher: 75%
  • Comfort
    Publisher: 80%
  • Price
    Publisher: 75%


  • Initiale Paris finish
  • Consumption
  • Equipment


  • No more powerful engine
  • Versatility 3rd row of seats
  • Second row ceiling height

Image gallery Renault Espace 1.6 dCi 160 CV Initiale Paris

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