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post #2 of (permalink) Old 22nd October 2006
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I'm not sure about the Espace, but know a little bit on one or two points.

The 2.2dCi has been replaced by the newly developed Renault/Nissan 2.0dCi. In standard tune, it matches the 2.2's 150bhp output, but also achieves Euro IV emissions standards. If you go for the 175 FAP option, you should find you have more welly too. The engine is supposed to run much more smoothly than the earlier dCi's (largely thanks to piezo injectors) and they reckon it shouldn't suffer from the reliability issues that have plagued the earlier engines, especially the 1.9. But then only time will tell. If I recall correctly, the service interval is down to 12K on the non- FAP engines and 9K on the FAP ones. They still do a dCi 180 V6 non- FAP , but economy looks to be pretty poor compared with the 175 FAP and certainly not worth the measly extra 5 horses. I imagine the fuel savings would more than offset the increased service interval for the FAP engine.

I have the Bluetooth navigation system in the Lag, and assume it's basically the same one. It's the mutts nuts! It has excellent 3D mapping, is quick to calculate and recalculate routes, and is generally very well thought out and slickly presented. That's not to say I can't find areas to criticise it, but that's true of just about any sat-nav. What I will say is that it's superior to TomTom in almost every respect bar the ability to add custom POI's (e.g. speed cameras.)

The phone side of it could have been a bit better thought out, and I've had problems getting the voice dialling to recognise the number '4' (though as of last night, my voice activation system is completely broken - but that's another story.) The '4' thing is not a problem if you have someone's name stored in memory, but if you just know their number, you can't dial it if it has a '4' in it (well not on my car at least.) Mine has been back into the dealer with this problem a few times, and they reckon it needs a new microphone. This has been on back-order from Renault for ages (first time around, they ordered an L2 phase 1 mic by mistake) and I don't think it's going to resolve the problem anyway.

It'd be nice if you could download your phone book in one go, but instead you have to individually send each of your contacts over by Bluetooth. Invariably you need to phone someone you've recently added to your phone, and you haven't yet transferred them to the car's memory. The solution I eventually opted for was a windscreen suction mount holder for the phone. That way I can legally dial using the phone's keypad and memory if I need to.

The real pig of this or any other Bluetooth system is that if you're used to a wired hands-free, you're probably also used to never having to charge your phone. 12 months after getting the car, I still keep forgetting to put my mobile on charge and keep ending up with a flat battery.
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