2004 Renault Vel Satis 2.2 Dci turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Luxury and comfort at a cheap price tag!


Heater / climate control display illumination didn't work; I repaired this myself.

Rear N/S window motor not working, replaced myself (£45.00) from eBay, fairly easy to fix, took about two hours.

Front discs & pads replaced, not a fault but due to the high miles covered. Easy to fit.

One of the diesel injectors was blowing smoke past the copper seal and fumes were entering the passenger cabin. Repaired at Dieseltech Blackpool, £145.

TPMS was always showing a tyre needing inflating, a total pain!!! Got this feature switched off at Renault dealers,(£75); these are notorious for faults on many makes of car.

Clunky and rattle noise on the rear suspension. Annoying but not a real problem as the car has passed its MOTs with this noise. I have taken time to research this fault and it seems the Vel Satis is notorious for this noisy rear suspension!!

General Comments:

These luxury Renaults are a rare sight and to drive one is nice as they are so uncommon. The 2.2 Dci in my car runs beautifully, and whilst it doesn't tear up the tarmac, it is lively enough when you need to put your foot down. Attached to the auto gearbox, it delivers a lovely smooth drive and is fantastic on fuel economy (40 MPG on a motorway journey)

This car is a real gem on long journeys and eats up the miles with ease. The passenger cabin is a pleasure to ride in and has tons of room and superb comfy seats; the Cabasse music system is excellent and sounds great.

The car is now 11 years old and the bodywork is a credit to Renault for its endurance; polished up in the summer it looks fantastic. I have found this car to be reliable and well made; if you look after it and accept that it is a flawed French diamond, then you've got a real gem to travel around in.

My criticism of this car would be that for a top notch luxury car from Renault, the suspension is noisy and fidgety off motorways. They could have done a lot better with the ride. To end on a positive note, it's a pleasure to travel in this rare and quirky looking motor car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2015

2003 Renault Vel Satis Initiale 3.0 V6 dCi Isuzu sourced 195bhp diesel from UK and Ireland


For current used price, an incredible slice of luxury, powerful motoring, in a very rare car


All four brakes needed replacing.

Steering and front suspension needed replacing.

Gearbox is generally smooth, but jolts/jerks when Drive is selected, or when setting off and the electronic parking brake disengages.

Sat nav stopped working - needed new aerial (common fault).

Air con has a mind of its own and works randomly.

General Comments:

What people often say about luxury French cars is true! As soon as I saw a pristine condition Vel Satis for sale on Autotrader and went to inspect it, I was smitten! For a start, it’s absolutely huge, very luxurious and cossetting with large captain’s chairs in the front and cricket-pitch size legroom in the back, and they are as rare on Britain’s roads as hens’ proverbial teeth.

Brushing aside the controversial-yet-lovable quirky looks for the moment, the 3 litre V6 Isuzu-sourced diesel engine pulls this heavy, tall car quite zestfully if desired. But if you’d rather pootle along gently, the Toyota-based 5 speed automatic gearbox (complete with a tiptronic-style lever, I might add!) proves to be pretty smooth for the majority of the time, aside from an occasional lurch when setting off.

A Vel Satis in this guise can be driven quite fast, whilst retaining a feeling of safety and solidity, and the car is especially suited to motorway driving. Alas, B-roads are quite a different story, as the car’s firm suspension results in a rather wallowy cornering experience and the car crashes over potholes and speed bumps.

The electrically-adjustable, heated seats, the very good Carminat sat nav system with its colour display, the voice synthesiser which tells you if something’s wrong, the 6-speed CD changer, cruise control, the huge boot and the Vel Satis’ other features at this Initiale trim spec level are features you easily get used to. As is the whole Vel Satis experience in general. Sure, the tyres for the 18” wheels are expensive, parts are hard to source and running costs are quite high, but if you want a car that you can fall in love with, and own in the knowledge that you’re one of a rare few, then this is the car for you.

And does all this come at a high purchase price? Erm, no – used Vel Satis prices average at £3,500 for examples with reasonable miles on the clock. If you love cars and you’re committed to one in the long-haul, then go on, grab yourself a used Vel Satis and then tell http://www.vel-satis.org about it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2011

13th Jan 2011, 07:52

Great report, great car.

I love these and very nearly convinced myself to buy one, but chickened out at the last minute and bought a cheaper Omega, which ended up costing more (when the purchase price was then added to a lot of ongoing repairs) than the Vel Satis. Damn.

I like rare cars and these have a real character and atmosphere about them and are surely going to be a classic soon.

I would love a 3.5 V6 Initiale - I would LPG it.