Renault Avantime (2002 – 2003) Review

Renault Avantime (2002 – 2003) At A Glance


+Extraordinary looks. Quickly becoming a cult classic.

-Totally pointless except as a 'design statement'. Uncomfortable back seat. No wonder it lasted barely a year.

The Renault Avantime isn’t the easiest car to describe. At the time, the people that made it called it an MPV coupe. And for a few months at the turn of the century that’s what it was – but this strange figure quickly became the car that killed long-time Renault collaborator and French engineering company Matra.

Styled by Patrick Le Quement, the plan was to combine the load-carrying capacity of an estate, with the stylish looks of a coupe in a bid to attract the children of Espace owners who had grown up, left the nest, but still had fond memories of family holidays in the original people carrier.

And so we got a one-box pillarless coupe that looked like a greenhouse on wheels. Inside there were four ‘theatre’ style seats while power came from a 207hp 24v 3.0-litre V6 engine. Sales were terrible and Matra soon pulled out of production but the damage was done. A car with such a unique take on things and one that killed the company that made it with fewer than 10,000 built – no wonder the Avantime is rapidly acquiring classic status.

Ask Honest John

Can you suggest a family car with classic car potential?

"I'm looking for a family car to replace my 2006 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI. I only drive 6000 miles per year, so depreciation and road tax are my biggest expenses. Can you recommend a used car, that doesn't exceed £20,000, that could hold its value or even appreciate. I'd also like it to be reasonable in terms of road tax and mpg."
Your budget isn't enough to stretch to the high-end cars like Ferrari, and a modern classic within your price range needs to be a sports car if it's going to hold it's value - which excludes your criteria of it being a family car, and being inexpensive to tax and returning decent mpg. Perhaps something like a Renault Avantime would fit the bill? It's definitely a future classic and more than capable of moving the family. Failing that, there's a strong following for Land Rover, so a Defender might work - but it will feel very agricultural compared to your current vehicle. If you need something more middle of the road, try the new Ford Fiesta ST (although you'll have to ride the depreciation curve) or try and jump on the hot hatch wagon, with the Golf GTI or 205 GTI looking like good bets for an all-rounder.
Answered by Keith Moody

How many Renault Avantime are left?

"How many Renault Avantime survived?"
According to the UK's latest data, there are 206 Renault Avantime left - 108 of which are SORN'd. In total, 8557 were built.
Answered by Keith Moody
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