1998 Renault Safrane Reviews

1998 Renault Safrane Exec Auto 2.5 from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.5 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired130000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carRenault Grand Espace

Summary:

Don't miss out on this car!!

Faults:

None... yet!

General Comments:

Just picked this car up from E Bay...

1998 2.5 Exec Auto with full main dealer history, 12 months MOT, 6 months tax, leather, all electrics, drives a dream, body and interior near immaculate for... wait for it...

£510...!

I am over the moon with it. Comfiest, smoothest car I have ever owned. Bought on the strength of reviews here and could not be happier.

It's early days of course, but I would HIGHLY recommend this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2009

23rd Jul 2009, 08:19

I've got one. They are fabulous cars and I usually drive it ahead of a number of newer and more 'prestigious' cars. The Volvo engine is good for 250-300k miles and the comfort is unbelievable. The best used buy? Oh Yes!!

1998 Renault Safrane QuestorX 2.5 unleaded from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.5 unleaded Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired68300 miles
Most recent distance72500 miles
Previous carFiat Bravo

Summary:

Fantastic value for money at 2008 prices. Rock solid, reliable and drives like a tank

Faults:

I hit a lump of ground and split the oil sump.

Speedo sticks when all the plastic covers are on. I currently drive with them off to stop the heat build up and it works fine.

CD changer/stereo head unit is faulty and I cannot use the CD changer due to this. All other stereo features are fine.

Door storage cover broken on drivers door (but fixed with wire). Passenger storage cover also broken - not yet fixed.

Previous owner says heater blower motor died, which cost him £250 to replace.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th May, 2008

30th Nov 2008, 11:33

Further to my original review of the QuestorX, I would like to say that this car is still going strong. I have however as of last night had a problem where the remote locking has stopped working. The rest of the car still rumbles away as normal, and despite the locking being at fault, the immobilizer still allows the car to start. The only snag is that the car must now be locked manually from inside using the central locking switch, and I must then get out and manually lock the drivers door with the key.

Apart from the locking, I've had nothing else go wrong with the car since my previous review. I'm now on 87K miles and that Volvo engine just keeps on ticking. I'm unsure of whether I get the locking fixed as I suspect it will be Renaults standard £250-£300 for a small box of electronics (that seems to be their price for every electronic component).

On a positive note I did get the sticking speedo needle fixed. It turned out to be the front clear cover warped and when warm/hot was affecting warping more and thus jamming the needle. Since replacing this part with one from a scrap yard the needles have worked perfectly.

6th May 2009, 03:19

I'm the author of the original review and 1st comment.

Over one year later we still have the QuestorX (though rarely used now) plus one more Safrane 2.5, which is now the daily car.

We bought a 2nd Safrane due to the QuestorX needing work - mainly its cambelt (which is still a massive problem and expensive) and some suspension work etc.

One thing I will say is that our 2nd Safrane has also impressed. When we picked it up it was mechanically in superb condition - a few months on the local roads (decorated with potholes) has taken its toll on the front McPherson struts which seems to be a weak point on this model. The bearings are starting to seize meaning you get that springy sound when turning.

Safrane 2 is on over 120K miles. The engine if I'm honest is still good, but you can tell it's a higher mileage engine in comparison to the QuestorX. Also the gearbox isn't as sensitive though the fluids haven't been changed.

I will say that I am still very impressed with the Safrane. Insurance is still a bit steep, but in my 3rd year of driving I'm now down to £500 per year with a clean licence.

In all, great cars, ultra reliable and good for many miles before you might even think of getting rid of it.

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 8 reviews