Which Renault Vel Satis (2001-2009) Engine To Avoid?

Renault Vel Satis is one of the most interesting and controversial cars of the beginning of the 21st century. After the premiere of the Avantime model, it seemed that the French would not surprise anything anymore and they would not be able to create a stranger model, and then it was just it.

Vel Satis, which was a combination of a crossover and a luxury limousine, packed in a practical hatchback, with powerful engines under the hood, assembled as befits the French.

What kind of car is Renault Vel Satis?

Structurally, it is a minivan, because it is based on the Espace IV platform, but also shares parts with Laguna II. It was supposed to be and is a luxury car. What?

Everyone can have their own theory. Call it an E-segment limousine, crossover, minivan, whatever you like. I think that the creators of the classification did not spend any sleepless nights because the car is so original that it does not fit perfectly into any class. And so it was advertised – as a way of living differently.

It is definitely a luxury in French. So good quality materials mixed with cheap ones, great equipment combined with cheap workmanship and powerful engines that are supposed to drive the car mainly straight ahead. The car is not driving, it is driving. It is supposed to be comfortable and it is.

The interior was designed to be as comfortable as possible and it worked. Apart from the squeaking and knocking of elements, it is impossible not to appreciate the very comfortable seats with adjustment like in much more expensive cars, a lot of space and equipment. For four passengers, it is a real limousine.

The trunk, despite the capacity of 460 liters, is in practice huge. Almost all the compartments, even in the armrests, have a very large capacity, and the curiosity are, for example, the drawers under all seats or in front of the passenger between the cupholders. The car is thoughtful in French and painfully practical.

People who like compact cars and those who drive easily should look for something else over and over again. A long bonnet, high weight and soft tuning are something for those who appreciate, for example, the American automotive industry. The more that the V6 can work under the hood.

When it comes to the Vel Satis suspension structure, we have classic MacPherson struts at the front. At the rear, there is a system with three powerful wishbones per wheel, where one also acts as a support for the spring mounted separately from the shock absorber. The steering system is hydraulically assisted.

In 2005, a facelift took place that slightly changed the appearance of the car and more happened inside. There is a new instrument cluster or a joystick-operated multimedia system, known from later Renault models. Interestingly enough, the car from this period had, among others, electric parking brake or voice control.

Read Also: Which Nissan Qashqai 2 (J11) Engine To Avoid?

What engines were installed in the Renault Vel Satis?

There are no weak engine under the hood, although some of them can be considered too weak.

Gasoline engines:

  • 2.0 Turbo (163 and 170 hp)
  • 3.5 V6 (241 hp)

Diesel engines:

  • 2.0 dCi (150 and 173 hp)
  • 2.2 dCi (139 and 150 hp)
  • 3.0 dCi V6 (177 and 181 hp)

Which Renault Vel Satis engine to choose?

By far the best and safest choice is gasoline. Both are durable and not very problematic. They are fuel-hungry of course, but they work great on LPG.

People who value nice sound and good performance have only one choice – Nissan 3.5 V6. The engine, of course, consumes a lot of fuel – on average about 13 l / 100 km – but it pays for itself with the best dynamics.

However, the French 2.0 T is also good and certainly these versions cannot be called sluggish. In addition, they respond well to chiptuning. Users believe that they are better suited to LPG than the V6, although the fuel consumption of 10 l / 100 km can be considered tolerable.

The 2.0 dCi diesel engine is also susceptible to power increase, which is the only diesel engine worth attention. It consumes significantly less than 2.0 tonnes (approx. 8 l / 100 km), and the 173 HP variant is on par with the petrol performance.

On the other side, we have the 3.0 dCi engine, which is currently considered the most risky and basically meaningless. It’s diesel, but it burns a lot (about 9 l / 100 km), and also a V6, so working with it is time-consuming and expensive.

The rather durable 2.2 dCi engine variant is not recommended. It is difficult to find arguments for this engine, because the performance is inferior to the newer 2.0 engine, the access to parts is worse, and the performance is rather below expectations.

So what to choose? I believe that only gasoline. The golden mean between performance and cost is 2.0T. On gas, you will still drive it cheaper than diesel, and the risk of serious breakdowns is lower. The V6 is good, it gives excellent performance for this class of car, but there are potentially higher repair costs.

Renault Vel Satis Most Common Faults

  1. Although the car is related to Laguna II, it is not overly burdensome to use. Faults are like any 20-year-old or just a little younger model – a lot of things just age. The higher the mileage, the higher the risk of failure of mechanisms that do not normally break. For example, a typical Vel Satis problem is sagging windshields.
  2. Typically for French cars, the electrician breaks down. Usually, however, these are little things that you can live with and ride with. Finding a car that has no errors on the computer is difficult. Malfunctions of sensors at the engines are sometimes more troublesome.
  3. The rear suspension is durable, the front suspension is cheap to repair, because it is the same as in the Lagoon. Higher costs have to be incurred in connection with the brake system. The front brakes are large, i.e. quite expensive – a set of good discs is about $155. The steering gears do not sin with durability.
  4. The biggest expenses are waiting for users under the hood. Even the good and lauded 2.0 dCi diesels may already require a large service. The 2.2 dCi engine have different opinions – if well cared for, they are very durable, if not, they are only disappointing. However, the choice of the 3.0 dCi diesel with low mileage is a disaster. It is better to choose a car with an engine after repairs, although it is also a high risk.
  5. Safe gasoline cars will not disappoint you if you are aware that Vel Satis is not for racing, that it is a higher-class car, and the V6 has to cost money. Nissan 3.5-liter engine has two sensitive areas. The first is the cooling system – it can heat up, and the renovation of two heads is a big cost. The second is the timing chain – very durable, but when it needs to be replaced, it is necessary to remove the engine.
  6. The second thing that could cost you in the thousands are automatic gearboxes. More than half of the cars are equipped with them. On the one hand, it is good, because it is more convenient and you do not need to replace the clutch and the dual mass flywheel, on the other hand, their durability depends very much on the method of use.
  7. Drivers with a heavy leg can quickly pay for the repair, people with a mild driving style will travel 300,000. km and more without any problem. Automatic machines in combination with V6 engines are the most vulnerable.
  8. The most important recommendations for the operation of Vel Satis are not to save on spare parts, which, contrary to appearances, are not excessively expensive, to watch over oil changes and temperature while driving. If you have the V6 version, it is worth having a thorough inspection of the cooling system once in a while and checking its efficiency – it is crucial for durability. When buying a car, it is worth considering not the mileage, but the year. Cars after 2005 are better made and have less damage.

What does the Vel Satis market look like?

The prices of this model are so different that it is difficult to systematize them somehow. You can buy a car for less than $1150, but you can also buy it for five times as much.

Much depends on the appearance, which for buyers should reflect the technical condition. Most of the cars are years before 2005, but it is worth bearing in mind that in the year 2005 alone you can have both a facelift and a pre-facelift. The highest prices are achieved in the last years of 2008-2009.

How much do you have to pay? Here a lot depends on the negotiations. It must be remembered that the high prices of these cars are pure speculation, rather a trader’s dream than real value.

Taking into account the originality of the car and its relatively high maintenance costs, and thus great difficulties with resale, the real prices are approx $1120 to $1795, and the prettiest and youngest pieces should be in the amount of $2230 to $3350.

Is it worth buying a Renault Vel Satis?

The arguments for such are absurdly low prices for such a large car, with such equipment and such engines. They are supported by high costs of servicing and repairs in relation to the purchase price, huge problems with resale and the originality of the car. Even if it is beautifully maintained, fully functional and you love it, it will have no resale value or even liquidation of the claim by the insurer.

5/5 - (30 votes)

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