This is a fantastic car for its current 2008 value. It has a whopping 2.5 litre Volvo engine, which has 5 cylinders and 20 valves.
You'll get no trouble with the local boy racers with this car; few know what one is, and those that do can't keep up with it long enough to see what they're missing. This car has some serious power, and with the added sports mode, the car can accelerate much faster than many cars in the same range. It leaves most cars standing on the road, and those that do pose a match are nearly always left crawling behind in its dust trail.
The car is not just executive, but more like a luxury Mercedes or Jaguar. Not only does it fit right in when parked next to them, you can feel proud when pulling up near upper class cars.
The spacious interior is unlike anything many modern cars can offer. You can move the drivers seat right back, and still have room for passengers legs in the back with ease. Anyone who you transport in this car is instantly impressed. The rear seat is the most comfortable living room sofa I've ever found to date. Add to that the foot warmers and blowers for the back compartment, and your passengers will definitely be impressed.
The car has a talking computer too. He will tell you of any lights which are not working, oil low level, your lights are on when you get out, to turn on the air conditioning if needed etc. He is very impressive and has the voice of the traditional english butler. 'Jeeves' really is a great party trick and you'll be the envy of all the other blokes there! Needless to say there isn't a shortage of ladies who'd like a lift home in one of these.
The boot: At least 3.5 feet long and the same wide. It is huge. What more can I say? You want to chuck in a fridge it will take it. Bikes, no problem (with seats down). I can pack it full of tool boxes and still have room for the grocery shopping (though be warned, the tools do tend to start collecting quickly when you have this much space to store them!).
The electric seats (not included on all models) are wonderful however the memories do have a habit of forgetting the mirror positions. In case you didn't twig, the electric seats have 3 memories, which not only remember the seat position, but also the wing mirrors. While we're on the subject of mirrors, you'll be pleasantly surprised next time you want to reverse around a left hand corner - Your passenger side wing mirror will drop down for you to see the kerb to prevent any damage to your lovely alloy wheels ;)
One thing I do have a real problem with though is the driver memories. 3 of them, yet you only get 2 keys with the car, and the car security will only allow the use of 2 and no more. Rather silly really..
RF fob and alarm is standard, however the range seems a little low compared to the other cars with this feature. However this does have a good point - You can't accidentally unlock it from a distance and allow the local crooks to help themselves to it. The minimum distance I had to be once was 3 ft. I found that a bit annoying, but for a car of this build it's a niggle I can live with. Trust me, if you're a fiddler you'll be glad you can't accidentally unlock this as it will be your pride and joy.
Next up is the dual climate control. What can I say, I've never see anything this good. It not only has air conditioning, but also sun mode, air recycler, windscreen demister and also an electric windscreen demister, which melts ice in around 20 seconds, but sometimes a little longer.
Mileage: I've seen these cars going around with 180K on the clock. Mine is currently at 72k and I've driving around 13k per year. Even when I hit 180k this car will still be class. Definitely worth a place in any auto museum. Being a Volvo engine, you can't really do much to it to upset it. I cracked my oil sump recently and the local mechanic welded it up and it was fine. Unfortunately he forgot to put the oil filter back in properly, which promptly dropped off again and left me with absolutely no oil and a talking computer telling me to switch off immediately, along with all sorts of lights and things lighting up the dashboard. It somehow survived this and doesn't appear to of lost any power.
One rather annoying issue is Renault's ability to put a cambelt on a car of this quality. Cambelts break and destroy engines. Safranes are becoming so rare the cambelt poses a serious risk to the few left that might have good engines. Also getting the cambelt changed is a huge pain - I've had 2 mechanics refuse to try replacing it, and another 2 fail totally.
Parking: Be prepared to wave goodbye to a few spaces as you'll need a large one to get this beast into. When you do find a space, you find yourself being far more careful about parking than ever before. Cars like this don't come around often, and preserving it is suddenly your top priority in life. Also take great care on hills when parallel parking this - the accelerator can be a bit on the sensitive side.
Headlights: Very nice, bright, clear and they have that mean 'authoritive' look to them when on the road. You'll be amazed how many other drivers start letting you through those gaps when you drive one of these.
MPG isn't the greatest, but for a car of this size I'd say it is decent. I average 26.6 in a working week. On longer runs it can go up to 33MPG. Be warned though, this isn't a car for you if you begrudge petrol prices in today's world. I fill up with £75 per week, and that is PURELY for work and grocery shopping. Anything else requires a bit more in the tank.
The car seems to be built very solidly. You feel very safe inside, and there are airbags everywhere. Talking of safety, no car in this class would be complete without ABS and the Safrane has that too. Plus with the huge boot and bonnet, if there is an impact, you've got plenty of space between you and the offending object.
This car impresses all who experience it - Young or old. Some say it's a old mans car.. until they experience it along with the thrill of the engine in sports mode, transforming into a racing car sound. This car isn't for those of a nervous disposition. It's a beast with fury, and the open road is where it is most suited. Town driving just doesn't do it the justice it deserves.
Handling is superb. It has variable power steering, which saves you from oversteering on bends. When parking its almost a feather weight to maneuver.
The only serious fault I can find with this car is the cambelt dependancy. Why they never used gears or a chain on this engine I'll never know. That is the only single cause of this car not living as long as the VW Beetle.
If you ever have the opportunity to test drive one of these, I promise you will not be disappointed. Go try it and you'll be taking it home faster than you can say jumping jack flash.