The Original MPV Turns 25

The Renault Espace was the original MPV – or people carrier – and that makes Renault one of very few companies that has created a whole new class of vehicle in my lifetime. This year it turns 25, so I thought I would take a look down memory lane at how the Espace has changed.

Renault Espace - 1984 - 2009
Renault Espace - 1984 - 2009

Today, the Espace has a whole raft of competitors but it has maintained its market-leading position ever since its introduction.

Its 5/7 seat layout has won over two generations of buyers and hasn’t substantially changed in 25 years. The latest (4th generation) Espace was the first car in its class to achieve a maximum 5-star rating in the Euro-NCAP safety tests – still a fairly rare achievement for new cars.

The Espace mk1 had two engine choices – a 2.0 litre petrol or an 88bhp turbo-diesel. How things change. The current Espace offers six different engine options – all of them more powerful than the original models!

The interior specifications haven’t lagged behind either – full electrics, climate control, cruise control, satellite navigation and much more are all available and often standard on the current Espace.

Renault produced their one millionth Espace in 2004 and the Espace continues to be a popular choice with families. Well done Renault for daring to be different – and succeeding.

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