Poor Renault; it tries to offer something a little different in the executive sector and ends up getting a bloody nose. However, Renault's misfortune is your gain; the Vel Satis is all but unsaleable on the used car market, thanks to its unusual styling and downmarket image. However, it offers a fascinating alternative to more established German execs, so if you're after something plush on the cheap, this could be just what you've been looking for.
3/02: Vel Satis debuts, with a choice of turbocharged 2.0-litre or 3.5 V6 petrol engines, plus the option of 2.2 or 3.0 V6 turbodiesel units.
8/03: There's now a five-speed automatic option for the 2.2 dCi.
Renault Vel Satis (2002-2007) Checklist
- The 2.2dCi engine can suffer from turbochargers and intercoolers throwing in the towel prematurely - and repairs are very costly.
- Tyre wear can be frustratingly rapid - less than 10,000 miles per set is not unheard of, at £500 per time.
- The interior trim is generally okay, but rattles and creaks often crop up and can be hard to eradicate.
- Exhaust systems on the 2.2dCi can fracture towards the downpipe (at the engine end), so look for evidence of bodges.
- The factory-supplied sat-nav is very poorly detailed, so bank on buying a TomTom if you're keen to be led to your destination.
- Equipment levels
- Crash safety
- It's uncommon
We Don't Like
- Exterior styling