The time when the French still played a role in the upper middle class in Europe is already behind us for a while. It brought us special models such as the Peugeot 605, Citroën XM and later this Renault Safrane, the Peugeot 607, the Citroën C6 and the Renault Vel Satis. The Safrane was not as extravagant as the latter, but the Safrane is certainly worth cherishing. This is for sale.
The French never quite succeeded in putting the heat on ‘the German three’ in the higher segments, but the attempts did produce high-profile cars. The Renault Safrane was not the most striking of them, it was quite businesslike with a modest touch of French flair here and there. Especially next to contemporary Citroën XM, it was clear that the Renault design department had proceeded quite carefully. The Safrane also maintained an important aspect of predecessor 25; it was not a sedan but a hatchback. In addition to its origin, this gave the Safrane an important distinction with the intended German competitors.
The overall picture did not quite bring Renault the success it had hoped for and the Safrane did not come close to the sales figures of the 25. The Safrane also remained somewhat rarer here in the Netherlands. In the nine years that you could get a new Safrane here, more than 12,000 were put on Dutch license plates. 1993 was the most successful year, which was also the first full year of sales. Then 2,630 came on Dutch license plates. A year later, the copy you see in these photos was added. So a pretty ‘early’ Safrane. One with V6 moreover, only a relatively modest version.
We have a Safrane RT V6 in front of us here, at the time the lowest Safrane with V6 on the ladder. The RXE was still above it and one step higher you found the RXE Quadra. In the year that this Safrane was registered, the RXE Biturbo, the Baccara and the Baccara Biturbo were also added. With the latter you were completely the gentleman, only if you left more than double at the dealer compared to this RT.
In short: the Safrane you see here was bought on a fairly tight budget. It is also one with a manual gearbox, with an automatic transmission you paid a little more. Leather upholstery? No, just nice light gray fabric accompanied by a cheerful block pattern. Wood in the dashboard? We don’t either. You can also search in vain for a skylight. This copy does have a CD-cassette player that we lick our hands off: look what a lot of buttons and there is even a real equalizer display!
You can bet that, especially with the V6, you still have a wonderfully comfortable car with such a Safrane, even 29 years later. Moreover, this one might be extra fun as a time capsule because of its fabric upholstery and relative simplicity. An apparently neat time capsule, with a nice and fresh mileage of 170,000 km. All that fun also only has to cost €1,500. Surely there must be an enthusiast for that money?
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