- A rolling sofa, reasonably sized for families up to 4
- French old school characteristics cc. upholstery and suspension
- Simple and reliable mechanics with the above mentioned exception.
A short test drive with the Vel Satis (2004/V6 petrol/aut.) was it, when my Renault 20 involuntarily came into mind, in comparison really.
The first mentioned characteristics are something that get lost nowadays, although they are highly stress-solving. With regular distances of 400 km to drive per weekend, I never experienced such relaxed rides in any car until now.
With a bare weight of about 1200 kgs, and a plain, simple 96 HP 2 litre engine, this car still would be powered more than sufficiently today and, yes, also in germany. No manufacturer would dare to offer a upper mid-sized car today with 96 HP, not even as an initial version.
The petrol consumption was a stable 8-9 litres/100 km; there was no issue mechanically since the car was a technical no-thrills design.
I remember pleasantly the looks of it now, both outside and inside (old dashboard) compared with the marketing-driven, exaggerated style nowadays.
The Vel Satis drives less spectacular than it seems; I nevertheless would prefer his predecessor if there were any.
The gloomy end of the R 20 was the failure of the automatic transmission near Munich. This is in Bavaria as you certainly know, and rather hostile terrain for french cars. The costs were not affordable for me to change the transmission, so I sadly had to leave this comfortable and friendly car in the strangelands.