Scenic/Grand Scenic/Scenic XMOD
Available with five or seven seats, the Scenic range lives up to its name. Comfort levels are exceptionally high and the list of class-leading specifications is guaranteed to enhance all driving expectations.
The goodPractical, versatile, economical and well equipped
The badA bit noisy when pushed hard
Renault Grand Scenic Dynamique S Nav dCi 130
We want the world and that’s all there is to it! Cars are no longer simply a means of getting from A to B – they need to look good, be economical and, above all for the active family, be ultra-versatile.
Thankfully, 20 years ago Renault seemed to have a crystal ball when it introduced the motoring world to its larger-than-life Megane Scenic model which was greeted with great approval thanks to its voluminous cabin and awesome practicality.
In fact, the car went on to scoop the prestigious European Car of the Year title in 1997 and at that point in time Renault knew it was onto a winner. With a success story on their hands, a seven-seat option was soon added to the line-up and thus the Grand Scenic was born.
Last year, the fourth-generation version model was launched and its bigger, better and more versatile than ever. And in all honesty, it needs to be because in recent years the MPV/SUV segment has been flooded with vehicles making it a fiercely competitive place to vie for attention and customer sales.
The new Grand Scenic certainly has a distinctive presence on the road thanks to its striking 20-inch alloys, roof rails, signature LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, contrasting roof and door mirrors, along with a high waistline, sloping roof and smart chrome trim to complete the look.
Move inside the cabin and the interior is bright, modern, clutter-free and very spacious with lots of soft touch surfaces and a mix of leather and cloth upholstery.
Techno treats are plentiful and the kit on the Dynamique S Nav model supplied for the test included Renault’s R-Link 2 multimedia system with an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen, TomTom sat Nav with European mapping, a head-up display, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity. Other creature comforts were automatic lights and wipers, puddle lighting, dual zone climate control plus some optional extras such as hands-free parking, a seven speaker BOSE sound system and some additional safety features. These add-ons bumped up the asking price from £28,445 to £31,080.
The Grand Scenic offers seven seat practicality with a pair of back seats folded flat to the boot floor when not in use. When required, they can automatically be raised and are ideal for transporting children. I say children because adults would feel cramped unless it was a short journey as the space is a tad limited.
Elsewhere there is ample room and the car can easily accommodate five adults in style. And throughout the vehicle a number of cubby holes can be found for storing bits and bobs, including a sliding centre console, glovebox, deep door pockets and a multi-position boot floor.
The Grand Scenic was powered by a 1.6-litre 130bhp diesel-driven engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and could reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.4 seconds and topped out at 118mph. According to official figures, the car can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions of 119g/km.
Comfort levels within the car are exceptionally high and the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated seating position. All the controls and dials are ideally positioned for ease of use and the technology is simple to operate. On the downside, I did find the touchscreen a little awkward to use when the road surface was not the smoothest, but that aside; features such as the sat nav and other infotainment functions were easy to programme.
In busy town centres, the Grand Scenic was deceptively agile and the hands-free parking is a big plus factor when searching for a space to park. Then out on the faster lanes and motorways, the car was nicely composed and assured. Admittedly, it’s not the most dynamic to drive and there is a little body roll when driven a little too enthusiastically into bends, but it was a good all-rounder. The acceleration through the gears was smooth and responsive with ample power on tap to overtake slow moving farm traffic. And it’s nicely refined and well insulated against engine or road surface noise.
Renault has packed a comprehensive list of safety features into the car too, including an active emergency braking system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high/low beam, fatigue alert, numerous airbags and a Thatcham alarm and immobiliser system.
All in all, the Renault Grand Scenic has certainly proved it has longevity and has moved confidently forward with the times. It led the way back in the nineties and is still a strong contender for sales 20 year’s later where it’s competing in a sector that is showing little sign of slowing down in the popularity stakes.
Renault Scenic – first drive (2017)
When Renault introduced the world to its Scenic model back in 1996, little did the French manufacturer know that it was starting such a monumental change in the way motorists viewed their cars.
For the company lays claim to inventing the world’s first compact MPV and the car, which is now in its fourth generation, is still holding its head high in a crossover-SUV obsessed marketplace?
The latest all-new Scenic is guaranteed to grab the attention of onlookers with its great looks and dynamic styling. With neatly balanced proportions which help to accentuate its sporty stance, the Scenic sits on massive 20-inch wheels, which in turn makes the roofline look lower.
Other stand-out design cues of note include a steeply raked panoramic windscreen, C-shaped front lights, front fog lights, permanently-lit 3D-effect LED rear lights, contrasting roof and door mirrors plus lots of sleek streamlining.
New Scenic is wider than its predecessor with a longer wheelbase and that means more room inside for passengers. The boot offers record-breaking storage room with a 572-litre capacity which can be increased to a whopping 1,554 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped down. This is accomplished effortlessly thanks to the one-touch folding rear seats set-up which has been carried over from the Espace. In addition, the large sliding central console offers 13-litres of storage space which is double the capacity of any competitors.
The level of on-board technology is exceptionally high and includes an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen, TomTom sat nav with European mapping, a six-speaker sound system (an 11-speaker BOSE upgrade is available), DAB radio, Bluetooth, puddle lighting, automatic dual zone climate control and lots more besides.
All-new Scenic is also available with Multi-Sense technology which allows the owner to personalise the driving experience. It can be used to modify the accelerator pedal and engine response, engine sound, steering weight, plus the interior lighting ambience through a choice of five colours.
The five-door car is on offer in four generously-equipped trim levels called Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav with prices starting from £21,445 and rising to £30,645.
There is also a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines with a hybrid assist model being introduced later this spring. Customers can also select between manual or automatic transmissions.
We tested out the new Scenic in Dynamique S Nav trim. It was powered by a 1.6-litre 110bhp diesel engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and was priced at £25,445 (£28,080 with options fitted). The car could reach from 0-62mph in 12.4 seconds, maxed out at 114mph and according to official figures, could deliver combined fuel economy of 72.4mpg with carbon emissions of 100g/km.
The first thing to mention is how delightfully spacious the interior of the new Scenic is. Even with the front seats pushed back there is ample leg room in the rear for six footers to sit comfortably.
The interior of the vehicle is beautifully set-out with all controls and instrumentation perfectly positioned for driver usability and when it comes to performance the car lives up to all the hype up too.
Despite being on 20-inch wheels the ride was anything but bouncy. It was assured and very grounded and that meant bends could be attacked with confidence. The all-round visibility is excellent and comfort levels very good for all occupants.
In busy town centres, the elevated driving position resulted in good all-round visibility and then out on the faster open roads, the acceleration through the gears was swift and smooth with ample power on tap at all times which helped to make light work of overtaking slower moving vehicles.
There was a little wind noise from the large door mirrors when pushed particularly hard, but generally the cabin was well insulated against outside sounds making the whole driving experience a very pleasant one.
The latest Scenic has been awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings and features a number of advanced driver assistance systems, including active emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist and fatigue alert. Then there is the likes of traffic sign recognition with over-speed prevention, hands free parking, blind spot warning and automatic high low beam to complete the safety package.
All in all, the new Scenic is a super car – it may not deliver the most dynamic driving experience out there, but it’s a top achiever when it comes to styling, economy, practicality, on-board technology, safety and all-round appeal.
Renault Scenic XMOD Dynamique TomTom 1.2 TCe 115 Stop & Start
Renault’s ever-popular Scenic people carrier made its debut back in the mid-90s and it has always ranked very highly with European buyers.
But now there is an extra special XMOD version that is guaranteed to attract even more attention.
Boasting raised ground clearance, special alloys and additional body mouldings, the XMOD has a true ready-for-action presence about it.
And that’s not all because the test vehicle also featured a number of eye-catching additions that really help it stand out from the standard Scenic, such as satin chrome-finished roof rails, specially designed front and rear bumpers, signature LED daytime running lights and eye-catching bright metallic paintwork.
The stylish interior is very modern in appearance with an array of techno treats available.
Creature comforts include a TomTom sat nav system, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone air conditioning, a brilliant sound system compatible with all modern media devices, along with automatic wipers and headlights.
The test car also featured a Bose+ Pack which introduced keyless entry with push button start, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, dark carbon suede and synthetic leather upholstery and plenty of chrome finishes both inside and out.
Occupants are treated to a spacious and bright cabin and storage options are respectable for a vehicle of the Scenic’s size. The boot can hold a capacity of 470 litres and this can be increased further thanks to three individual rear seats that can be folded flat.
In addition to the more robust and athletic appearance, the Scenic XMOD delivers improved traction capabilities via three settings along with special grip mud and snow tyres. To be fair, it isn’t a rough and ready off-roader by any means, but the Scenic XMOD can deliver a lot more grip in wet or slippery conditions – even on grass or mud.
The driver is treated to a high seated position which results in excellent all-round visibility. This is another plus factor for a vehicle that is targeting the active family segment where safety, versatility and practicality are areas that cannot be compromised.
So the Scenic XMOD looks the part and is packed with plenty of mod cons, but how does it perform? The answer is remarkably well.
I clocked up more than 450 miles during my week-long trial and the vehicle was up to any challenge. Admittedly, the 0-62mph sprint time of 11.7 seconds and top speed of 112mph are not that scintillating, but the 1.2-litre petrol-powered engine coped really well as it moved through the six-speed manual gearbox.
In built-up city centre traffic, the car was agile and easy to manoeuvre. Then on the motorways it easily kept pace with faster moving traffic.
Another plus factor is the fuel economy stats. According to Renault, the XMOD can achieve combined fuel efficiency of 46.3mpg. I came fairly close to that official figure recording an average of 44.8mpg.
As one expects these days, Renault has packed a comprehensive list of safety features into the car. These include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control, hill start assist, traction control, numerous airbags and plenty more besides.
With a price-tag of £20,250 (plus £4.6k of optional extras), the Scenic XMOD is outstanding value for money. It looks great, is economical to run and certainly stands out from the crowd, especially if it features the dazzling Saffron shade of paintwork like the test car.
Renault Scenic Conquest dCi 130
If versatility is high on your wish list, then look no further than the Renault Scenic.
With seats that can be easily positioned and then repositioned, along with bags of space throughout, this vehicle has to be the perfect family motor.
Thanks to its high sides and bright cabin, passengers are treated to a light and airy ride and you can even keep a watchful eye on the little angels behind you thanks to a separate child-minder mirror.
The test drive model handles exceptionally well and the 1.9-litre engine delivered plenty of power out on the open road.
City centre driving was also made easy thanks to the excellent all-round visibility, plus all dials and controls are ideally positioned to avoid any unnecessary distractions.
My only real criticism has to be the windscreen, which although offering unobstructed visibility, seemed to take an absolute age to demist.
But that small gripe aside, the Scenic cannot fail to impress. The quality of features throughout is superb and includes a great sound system, front and rear parking sensors and that now famous hands-free Renault card that means you can unlock, start, stop and lock the vehicle without even removing the key from your pocket.
The Scenic is also crammed with safety specifications for which Renault was awarded a five-star European NCAP safety rating.
It boasts anti-lock brakes, electronic stability programme with traction control and under steer control, plus a tyre pressure monitor, numerous airbags and plenty more to keep the driver, passengers and even pedestrians as safe as possible.
All in all, the Scenic has everything the modern day family could wish for in a vehicle and at a price that won’t disappoint either.