All-New Sixth Gen Renault Espace Completes Its E-Tech Transformation Into a Crossover SUV

Back in 1983, Renault first introduced its take on multi-purpose vehicles - aka MPV or minivan. In present times, though, it has completely abandoned that call because soccer moms and hockey dads have since reoriented to crossovers and SUVs. And maybe that's not a bad thing, after all.
Renault Espace E-Tech 200 ch presentation 10 photos
Photo: Renault
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Produced since 1984 as a large five-door MPV, the Renault Espace thrived for as long as there was demand for minivans – a long-time source of jokes about their people carrier status. Now that the segment has become virtually obsolete, many nameplates are retiring or jumping ship – just like Renault's Espace did. But do not accuse it of quickly severing ties with the MPV sector.

In reality, the morphing kicked off with the introduction of the previous fifth iteration back in 2015 when the French automaker allowed it to become a large luxury crossover MPV instead of a regular large minivan. However, Renault has transitioned to a whole new era – and some models just didn't make the cut. As such, just like the fresh Renault Austral compact CUV sent its Renault Kadjar predecessor into retirement, so does the all-new Renault Espace mid-size crossover SUV feels ready to steal the place of the Renault Koleos nameplate.

Sure, Renault decided to put its eggs into the older, wiser basket. But how will people relate to the nameplate when parents know it as a legacy MPV, and their kids don't even care about its heritage if they're not attracted to the design in the first place? And I must say, there's a big styling dodo running around the Renault premises these days. Just look at the zero-emissions Megane E-Tech Electric crossover hatchback, the Austral, and the new Espace directly from the front so that you don't have the perspective of dimensions and try to guess who's who in 30 seconds or less.

That's an exercise I don't want to take because I might be wrong during my first identification attempt, frankly. Anyway, the all-new sixth generation Renault Espace is here as a mid-size CUV, and there's little that we can do about it. As far as the French automaker is concerned, there's nothing wrong with it, and it carries its people carrier legacy (see what we did there?) with aplomb in five- or seven-seat setups. It is now slightly smaller than the fifth-gen crossover MPV and some 215 kg (474 lbs.) lighter, and also "ultra-efficient" thanks to its 200-horsepower E-Tech full hybrid powertrain. Fuel consumption is stated at 4.6 liters per 100 km (over 51 mpg), and here's another automaker who thinks that a battery that can't get charged from an outlet is worthy of any praise.

Last but not least, the Renault Espace is built on the Alliance's CMF-CD platform and can act as a host for no less than 32 driver assistance systems, Renault Multisense, and 4Control Advanced four-wheel-steering, among others. As for the order books, those will open this spring – that means in the next few days before the month of May 2023 runs out. On the other hand, there's no word on pricing, so no one knows what they're ordering, basically! And here was I hoping they would spill all the beans after the initial late-March reveal. Silly me to think they would offer more information than during the initial presentation. LOL.
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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