Renault celebrate 30 years of the Espace

Renault are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their hugely influential Espace MPV.

Launched in June 1984, the Renault Espace was nothing short of a revolution in the European car market and Renault even claim that the vehicle, which could seat up to seven passengers, was the world’s first multi-purpose-vehicle.

The Renault Espace made its debut in 1984 and was manufactured through a partnership with French company Matra.

More than 1.2 million units

Marketed as a versatile vehicle capable of transporting an entire family and its luggage, the Espace is largely credited with popularizing the minivan concept in France and beyond during the 1980s. It has sold more than 1.2 million units in the past three decades.

With three rows of individual seats, the MPV could comfortably fit up to seven people. In 1991, Renault launched the second-generation Espace, a more high-end version that aimed to offer a fun space for the entire family and also attempted to push the model upmarket.

Over the next few years, the popularity of the Espace would continue to rise, spawning an updated version, the Espace III. It featured automatic transmission, steering wheel controls and an air suspension system, as well as a high-performance F1 version of the minivan complete with V10 engine.

Unfortunately, the Espace was discontinued along with the Modus and Grand Modus in the UK as of February 2012.

However, the Espace is still on sale in continental Europe, with the latest models equipped with rear parking cameras, as well as a DVD player and two seven-inch screens built into the back of the headrests as standard, ensuring the family are entertained during long journeys.

The discontinuation of the Espace, Modus and Grand Modus in the UK cleared the path for Renault’s fresh roster of next-gen vehicles, including the all-electric Zoe and revamped Megane and Clio.

Grand Scenic

Renault’s MPV heritage is preserved by the new Grand Scenic, which can seat up to seven people like the original Espace. As standard, the new Grand Scenic comes complete with alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, SatNav, rear window blinds and cruise control.

A choice of two petrol and two diesel engines is available, with the 109bhp 1.5-litre Energy DCi 110 managing fuel economy of 70mpg, while the more expensive 1.6-litre diesel version manages 64.2mpg and is significantly quicker.

In addition, the Grand Scenic also has plenty of room for all the family and the accessories that come with them, with lots of cubbyholes and storage areas dotted around the interior of the car. The boot is also generous, and folding down the back seats will extend its capacity to a gargantuan 2,063 litres, enough for five or six decently-sized suitcases.

Pricing for the basic Grand Scenic begins at £20,585 while the Grand Scenic with Bose+ pack, which includes a premium stereo, 19-inch alloy wheels and a sliding centre console, starts at £23,615.