2023 Renault Espace debuts with more space and more electrified range


Renault has taken the wraps off the 6th-gen Espace SUV, which is set to go on sale in select European markets in Spring 2023. And, India being one of the SUV-obsessed markets with new brands achieving unprecedented success with SUVs, don’t be surprised if Renault aims for a bigger market share here with the new Espace. But nothing is confirmed yet. In the meantime, let’s take a brief look at the 6th-gen Espace.

The new Espace might look very familiar, especially for Europeans, because it is essentially a long-wheelbase version of the Austral SUV that debuted in early 2022 as a successor to the Kadjar. And unsurprisingly, both models look identical when it comes to design. The photos here showcase two different trims, and as you probably see, the front grille pattern and the wheel design are different depending on the variant. Buyers get to choose from three trims: Espace Techno, Espace Iconic and Espace Alpine.

But anyway, key exterior highlights include 18 cm (180 mm) ground clearance, 19- or 20-inch wheels, LED headlights (LED Adaptive Vision for low beam and LED Matrix Vision for high beam), LED taillights (with a 3D holographic effect, thanks to micro-optics technology), and a giant panoramic sunroof.

For those interested to know the dimensions, the 2023 Espace measures 4,722 mm long, 2,083 mm wide (including mirrors) and 1,645 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,738 mm. Compared with the Austral, the Espace is longer by 212 mm with an additional wheelbase of 71 mm. But the 4Control four-wheel-steering system should make it easy to maneuver the new Espace around urban areas. As for the luggage/boot space, the 5-seater version is claimed to offer 1,818 litres with the rear seat backrest folded down, while the 7-seater version boasts up to 1,714 litres with both 2nd and 3rd-row backrests folded down.

On the inside, as you can probably tell, there’s no shortage of space or creature comforts. The 7-seater configuration should offer sufficient legroom for all three rows due to the aforementioned extra length and wheelbase compared with the Austral. The dashboard boasts an inverted L-shaped panel that houses a 12.3-inch driver display and a 12-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen. A head-up display with a 9.3-inch real estate is not bad either. And of course, each row gets two USB-C ports, in addition to a wireless charging pad at the front. The boot has a 12-volt outlet. Google built-in, 48-color ambient lighting, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system are some of the other key highlights. The base Techno trim’s fabric upholstery is claimed to be made of recycled materials.

An SUV in 2023 means, of course, there has to be a full suite of ADAS. The new Espace boasts Active Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Driver Attention Alert, Trailer Stability Assist, Adaptative Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Occupant Safe Exit Alert, Active Driver Assist, and Traffic-sign recognition.


Moving on to the juicy bits of the story, the new Espace boasts a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine with two electric motors and a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The ICE puts out 96 kW (130 metric hp) and 205 Nm (151 lb-ft), while the e-motor that is capable of EV driving develops 50 kW (68 metric hp) and 205 Nm (151 lb-ft). The other e-motor is a starter-generator, rated at 18 kW (25 metric hp) and 50 Nm (37 lb-ft).

The lithium-ion battery pack is a rather small 2 kWh unit. While Renault didn’t share the pure-EV range, it claims that the vehicle consumes 4.6 litres per 100 km (WLTP combined cycle), which apparently translates to a total range of up to 1,100 km (683 mi).

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