The moose test can be a struggle for modern cars, even performance-focused ones. You might think, then, that a nearly 20-year-old Renault Avantime is going to be all over the place.
To make matters worse for this example of the stylish but ageing coupe/MPV mash-up tested by Spanish publication Km77.com as part of its ‘77retros’ series, it’s done over 150,000 miles and sits on budget/lower-midrange tyres. We have Kumho Ecsta LE Sports on the front, and Wanli S-1063s on the back. They’re not exactly fresh, either.
However, the Avantime performed surprisingly well, putting a lot of modern cars to shame. It breezes through at 69kmh (43mph), and only just fails over 70kmh. At 75kmh the Renault started to get unruly, oversteering and clipping multiple cones on the outside of the exit gate. Not wishing to push their luck with a car that presumably needs to go back to its owner after, the moose test was ended there, just shy of the usual 77kmh target.
It will have helped massively that the Avantime was treated to fresh shock absorbers about 25,000 miles ago, but we shouldn’t let that detract from the result. The fact is, Renault (and Matra) managed to make a comfort-focused car that’s still happy to get out of its own way when it needs to while outperforming stuff built two decades later.
The 1,700kg Avantime is described as (translated from Spanish) “a bit of a boat” in the slalom test, but it still changes direction fairly tidily.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to the classifieds to look at Avantimes.