| Driving a car in order to destroy it - thatīs really not a
pleasure, even by using scientific methodes and without a drop of blood. When beautiful
cars turn within a few miliseconds into a hill of scrap, it makes even a very cynical
technicians sad. But sometimes there are moments, when the destroyed wrecks make you
satisfied - like for instance during the crash test of a new Renault Espace.
The history of this test started in 4/94 issue of Motorwelt
magazine. The result was terrible. However, it motivated producers to a feverish activity.
The faults of the bodywork had been checked once more and important construction
improvements were made for the last year of the production of this model. The final
improvement was obvious and the next test (Motorwelt 8/95) proved it as well. The reason
was simple - changes, which had been made on Espace, were originally prepared for the next
Nothing strange that this time let the Renault technicians
the newest version of Espace pass the test with self-confidence. ADAC experts could even
choose a car by any salesman, to make conditions as objective as possible. The car was
immediately taken to the test way and passed the test as follows: Espace was riding
against a deformable ADAC barrier in a 60 kph speed to impact it by 40% of the front part.
There were 3 figures in the car - one behand the steering wheel, another one in the middle
row on the left and the last one in the third row on the right. There were also two pieces
of luggage of 18 kg weight.
The noise of the crash even had not stopped but it was
already clear the bodywork bravely managed the impact. It could be seen on the first sight
during the study of space rates around the driverīs seat. The steering wheel and
instrument board almost did not move inside, the space for feet got just 30% smaller. The
instrument board did not break anywhere. There were no cracks or sharp edges, which could
lately lead to a cut injury.
points are more likely rare. Airbag puffed up relatively late. The head of the test figure
hit the airbag during the process of inflation, however it was the last phasis. That is
why the value of load enlarged a bit. During the back impact the head of the figure slided
from the headrest and slightly hit a door pillar. The source of little glass crocks was
obvious: into a pieces broken triangle window, which goes to the front part. The front
screen became another source of shards because of slight deformation. The risk of injury
in the second row of seats is - according to ADAC experts - low. All values of the stress
to human body were in the "green" field. Anyway, too low headrests and square
seat belt anchorage near the head we do not like at all. The passenger in the last row
passed the dangerous situation relatively O.K. During the rebound to a too low headrest he
just slides and hits a rear roof pillar. Because of luggage, which hits the back part of
his seat, he has to hold out a bit higher load than the passenger in front of him.
However, the values are still reasonable. It would be of course much worse in the case the
non -fixed part of load would hit one of the seats in the front row because some of rear
or even middle seats were removed. We do appeal on the producers right here to On this
place we again appeal to the producers to seriously deal with the problem of fixing the
automobile was also evaluated according to a new comparative evaluation ADAC (see also
Motorwelt 11/97). On the scale from - to ++ (very bad to very good) representing the rate
of protection of the passengers and protection of other participants of the accident, the
car reached the value 0 (satisfactory), which still is Mercedes class E level, but it is
already not a mark, by which BMW 5 or Volvo S70 were evaluated.
the Renaultīs effort to built a car with high level of protection and safety of the
passengers, but not too agressive to another participants of the accident, was succesful.
However, it is necessary to improve some details.
(Source: ADAC, photo archive)