I did the original review and 10,000 miles along the line, I continue to have the same view. Great comfortable car, beautiful engine, mega second hand buy. In the UK £5k is a LOT of money for this car, but I still believe it's a bargain at that. Many can be had for less than £2K now which is serious value for a car that is capable of doing 200K miles+. As long as the car has been well looked after and maintained correctly (which most are because owners love them!) it shouldn't give any undue problems. Even the auto box which Renault are useless at building is a Nissan unit (I think) and doesn't give probs.
Excellent review. Found a 3.0 V6 from 2000 here in Belgium for 5.500 euro so looks like a bargain.
Calling the dealer tomorrow...
Another year of trouble free motoring down the line... I still love this car. Had it converted to run on LPG Gas at 39p per litre which even makes the car cheaper to run than most diesel's! Apart from routine servicing, nothing has needed to be done. Great cars.
Another couple of years down the line, I still have this car. Supremely comfortable and reliable. Everything anyone could want. :-)
What month of 1998 was your car built? Starting around September of that year, Renault changed the lower spring seats of the front springs. They added a rubber.
Here's a picture what happens when water gets stuck behind the rubber.
In Holland the guys at renaultsafrane.nl compiled a list of owners who found rusted seats in their car. Roughly a third of them had actually stranded in the car. Fortunately it only breaks at low speeds.
The list was sent to Renault NL and thumbs up to them, because every Safrane owner was sent a letter about the problem (they offered a free checkup).
The other most common problems with Safranes are a burnt out blower motor (junk from Italy), which will give you a sudden cloud of smoke in the car, broken door lids, a rusted strap around the fuel tank (cheap to replace) and a rusted power steering line under the radiator (treat it in time to save it).
Other than that, these cars are brilliant.