The Renault Avantime was a weird and wonderful two-door minivan - or a grand tourer, as the company’s marketing department described it - with a futuristic shape and optional V6 engines. It was truly unique with its mixture of design elements of an MPV, a wagon, a 2+2 coupe, and even a convertible. But was it good on the road?
The car journalists from 20 or so years ago weren’t huge fans of the way the Avantime drove. Autocar described it as “possibly the most magnificent automotive folly so far this century,” but today, the model is considered a future classic. The km77.com channel on YouTube decided to see how the vehicle performs on the moose test and the results were somewhat surprising.
The Avantime featured in the video above has approximately 155,000 miles (250,000 kilometers) on the odometer and is running on old tires on all four corners. Its suspension hasn’t been renewed in the last nearly 25,000 miles (40,000+ km) and it’s probably fair to say the car has seen better days. The moose test here was conducted mostly for entertaining purposes.
When we first watched the video, we were surprised by the performance of the old Avantime. Bear in mind this car is now nearly two decades old but it still managed to pass the test at a speed of 43 miles per hour (69 kilometers per hour). This is on par with far newer and more technologically advanced vehicles such as the Volkswagen Golf 8, and even better than the Mercedes-Benz CLA. This is surely impressive considering the condition of the car and the year it was produced.
This test got us thinking about the way the automotive industry is evolving. With tons of electronic assist systems and numerous weight-saving tricks, the latest generation of cars is not always better than the models that were sold 20 years ago. Then, what’s the point of all that evolution?