MPVs don’t come much bigger than the Renault Grand Espace. There’s enough room for seven adults inside, although the low-slung seating forces occupants into an awkward, high-kneed position. Finding space for seven and their luggage is something of a struggle and, should you want to increase the luggage space, the seats have to be removed rather than simply folded into the floor.
Configured as a five-seater, there wasn’t room for our full load of holiday luggage; the Ford Galaxy fared better in this respect.
There was little to choose between the Grand Espace and Galaxy against the stopwatch, but the extra power and torque of the Renault’s 3.0-litre engine allowed it to hold on to 60mph more easily into a brisk headwind.
Such a big, tall car could have been forgiven for a lacklustre performance in the lane-change test but, in spite of some body roll, the Espace remained firmly in charge of the caravan – not the other way around. It’s just unfortunate that the Ford Galaxy is just as good for a lot less cash.