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Re: Renault Espace - Some Questions!
Don't go there if you are thinking of spares / repair models. Parts are a *****, few are available in breakers yards, supply from renault is vastly expensive and availability via independants is limited and can take time to order.
If you do fancy maintaining your own certainly go for manual, the Renault auto boxes are not like other autos. Even my local garage, who claim to specialise in auto boxes will not touch renaults.
Look at the more common 4 cylinder petrol or diesel manuals. You can also do more to the engines in situ, if you go down the V6 route you'll get used to dropping the engine out.
Re standard or LWB version, what do you need. If you need 7 seats and luggage space go for the grande, if not go for the standard. The extra foot on the length of the grande makes finding on street parking difficult, and gets a bit tight in some car parks.
Currently in d'espace between my ears's garage: