I too went through a little phase of wanting a V6 Espace - and I'm 19, so didn't even have the loads of children excuse. I satisfied it with a 2000 V6 RXE, find attached pictures of the beauty.
The engine is a dream. I'm a big fan of Renault V6s as you can tell, and this one was no exception. It pulls beautifully, but you can tell it's been designed for motorway cruising and towing trailers with ease, rather than mad outright acceleration. 18 MPG is normal, but it's well worth it for the noise.
The great thing is that these are worth NOTHING. Old french bus with a thirsty V6? Nobody wants them, too good of a bargain to let pass, I've been looking on
for another and they're so cheap!! I bought mine for £450 with 99000 miles and 5 months MOT.
Now it's not only the gearbox that you have to watch. The Espace is a dodgy car in every aspect of the word. Mine had erratic climate control, a storage pocket under the drivers seat that filled with water and killed off the stereo - it lives under the drivers seat as well, nice move Renault. The central locking only locked two doors and one of the sunroofs had been sealed up by a previous owner!
But the thing is, they're so cheap that if the gearbox does go, you really don't have much to lose. My advice is to buy a cheap-ish one that isn't too rough. It's when people blow £2000 on one that things can go very wrong. At £600 you really can't go wrong.
Minus the cutting out issue, this should be what you're looking for: