1997 Renault Espace RXE 2.2 dt from UK and Ireland


Expensive to buy and expensive to maintain


Front brake disc's fractured. Three sets replaced within 20000 miles. Repaired under warranty.

Clutch hydraulic actuator failed. Repaired under warranty.

Power steering hose leaked. Repaired under warranty.

Electric window motor failed. Repaired under warranty.

Coolant header tank split. Repaired under warranty.

Diesel engine heater plugs failed. £180.

Alternator failed. £320.

Heater matrix leaked. replaced £800.

All outer door seal rubbers split. £?

Engine breather pipe split.

Gearbox gear linkage stiff when cold. £? Traded in vehicle.

General Comments:

The 3rd generation espace is comfortable, spacious, quite and very easy to drive.

Good motorway cruiser. (Keeps up with the rest, even when fully laden.)

In 5 years/50000 miles this vehicle has always started and delivered us to our destination. Just lucky? Last years service and parts bill came to £2500.

The only disappointment is the Renault dealerships with their condescending attitude to what appears to be common component failures on this vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th December, 2002

24th Jan 2003, 20:49

I have an Espace RT Auto (2l petrol engine). It is just over 4 years old and the mileage is about 28,000. The auto gearbox has failed. I do not find this acceptable, and my local dealer service manager agrees. However, despite the quote of £1700, my dealer was unable to persuade Renault to contribute towards the repair cost.

This is the same garage I bought the car from. There have been many problems with it not changing to a higher gear when necessary, since I bought it. The dealer has always been very helpful, but they are let down by their parent company (Renault) and their labour charges.

It's a pity, because the Espace fulfils all my requirements, but it is just too expensive to maintain. In future, I will not consider Renault because an auto gearbox should not fail after <30,000 miles.

1997 Renault Espace RT 2.2 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Well worth paying the premiums that these vehicles fetch, especially the diesel


One of the rear door seals split at 110000 miles, as a previous reviewer commented, but was easily fixed with window sealer, which has lasted.

Both rear brake cylinders needed replacement at about 115000, which seemed reasonable, not too expensive.

Panel bulbs have started popping at about 120000, and very hard to replace.

General Comments:

This seems to be about the best of the MPVs. It seems very quick for such a large vehicle, and can easily accelerate to 110 mph going up a German autobahn-grade hill, full loaded.

Driven gently, it is also very economical, being capable of well over 40 mpg, which gives over 700 miles on it's generous tank, the furthest I've been between fill-ups.

It's is also comfortable for all passengers, although rear passengers find the leg position, rather than space, a little strange since there is no foot well. I've managed a 1000 mile journey without much of a break without getting backache, although it's not quite as comfortable as my 940 Wentworth was, which is why I didn't give 10 out 10.

All seats remove very easily, transforming the vehicle into a van, but the back seat have to be removed to make full use of the load space behind the middle row, a drawback compared to a Volvo estate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2002

10th Feb 2006, 11:12

Don't be afraid because anything you like, you will pay for it.

1997 Renault Espace Helios 2.1 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Constant vibration through Clutch Pedal.

Power steering line leak.

Head Gasket at 15K miles.

Water pump at 15K.

Leaking sump plug.


This is a follow up to my first contribution.

A further cylinder head was fitted

Still leaked so 8 weeks was spent in the garage trying to fix it.

Renault engineer send down to London to attempt repair. Eventually picked up car and went to Spain. Broke down and had to come home.

Renault offered to replace vehicle but then reneged.

Renault agreed to replace engine after 9 months of legal ramble.

Before I could pick up the car the 'new' water pump failed and had to be replaced.

An oil was found when I picked it up.

Garage said is was a loose sump plug.

Turned out to be a main engine rear oil seal failure.

'New' engine has started to miss when cold and belch black smoke.

It goes on.


General Comments:

It sounds like I don't like this car but I really do. It just seems that I've got a bad example. It's a true MPV in a way that others are not (ever tried to remove the passengers seats in a Previa?). A real delight to drive. Performance seems entirely independant of the load. A pity it's not just a little more reliable. Renault PLEASE note.


This is a follow up to my first contribution.

Every manufacturer produces the odd rogue car. Most sensible and honest ones replace it quickly with an apology.

Beware..... Renault does not!!!!!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th August, 1998