1998 Renault Safrane Business 2.5 20V
Excellent, reliable and safe long-distance cruiser
Nothing so far.
The fact that this is my new Safrane says enough. Decided to upgrade to the current one because it has automatic transmission, smaller engine size meaning fuel economy, lower tax and insurance. It has the same power as my previous car (3.0 V6), though. Apart from this, the SRP system offers excellent protection. The xenon headlights and the electric seats add even more to the value of the car. Many people might think that the electric-driven seats with memory are overkill, but once I tasted them, I started to love them.
The overall built of the car is fantastic - this is a car that's built to last. The quality of the materials used is high despite the relatively low price of the car. The engine (VOLVO) has a lot of power and torque and is very fuel-efficient. The car weights 1670 kg and I have made 6.9 l/100 km with moderate driving (80-90 km/h)! The gearbox (Aisin Warner) is much better than the ZF (fitted to the <1996 models). The booth space is just enormous and the total space of the car offers very comfortable ride for 5 persons with a lot of luggage. The level of comfort matches everything else - low noise levels, smooth yet stable ride, ease of handling and good response.
In general, a Safrane is the highest value/money (purchase price + maintenance included) car that I have ever seen on the market.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th September, 2006
17th May 2008, 15:38
The < 1996 models didn't have a ZF automatic, but an unreliable Renault/VW box. The > 1996 V6 24V does have a ZF.
The > 1996 2.0 and 2.5 have a very reliable Aisin-Warner.
21st May 2008, 15:12
I thought that <1996 models had a ZF automatic gearbox but apparently I must have been wrong. Thanks for the correction!
28th Nov 2010, 03:49
Additional comment to mine on 17th May 2008: the ZF automatic often breaks down after 110k miles. The V6 24V is bit too powerful and the gearbox oil cooler a bit too small, so the gearbox will overheat quickly especially when pushed (e.g. driving in the mountains). The friction material of the lockup will start to fall apart, which will clog up the oil pump, which in turn obviously leads to disaster.
The engine is prone to leaking cylinder heads.
All in all, I'd advise against this top Safrane configuration, instead buy the 2.5 automatic. Both engine and gearbox are rock solid on that one.