My Volvo was a FWD V40. I could drive around tight bends with one hand sat at 12 o'clock and go from say 8 to 4 with no problem. For the same bends in the Espace I now have to use 2 hands or risk dislocating my wrist or crashing lol!
The dashboard did used to cost about £800 new from Renault but they finally agreed it was a fault and brought the price right down. Save yourself a fortune though and get a guaranteed repair as mentioned.
I managed for nearly 6 months with either a blank or missing dash with no speeding tickets, but then again I'm pretty good with judging my speed according to the lorries doing 56mph etc. I found the hardest ones to judge were the 40mph cameras. You also cant hear the indicators going and see if the waters getting hot or see how much petrol you've got, but I managed without breaking down or blowing anything up for all that time! Most of that time was due to me reading up on faults and trying without success to fix it myself. I was NOT going to hand over £300 without a fight!
With regards to the suspension, got myself the Bilstein struts and rear shocks directly from Bilstein at a price about 20% more than the cheap aftermarket ones. Remember you'll need new shock covers for the front ones. Can't remember the price but were around £180 for the 4.
I got new front strut bearings and mounts as it made sense to swap those whilst the front shocks were out. Mine were the less popular ones so cost about £140 the pair.
The springs are H&R ones. I did a lot of reading up on springs and a few like Spax and other cheaper brands didn't get many good reviews in general. There are only about 5 manufacturers that do lowered springs for the mkIV anyway (one I tried had just ceased production although they were still being advertised...a purple swedish set). My springs cost £160 and are -35mm although due to the old springs being 11 years old and sagging a bit, they ended up being about -20 mm. H&R do top - end stuff for the likes of Porsche and Audi and are fitted as standard on some of these.
The car now rolls a lot less around corners, doesn't bounce over undulating roads as it used to and gives a lot more confidence on fast winding roads. I can now feel the road more and can tell when the road is rough or smooth as more "feel" is transmitted through the steering wheel. If you have no intention of "driving like you stole it" lol, and just use it for pottering around in or just going on holiday then perhaps save £100 and go for standard stuff which has now got the design flaw with the spring pigtail issue sorted by fitting a much bigger spring seating piece.