- Fashionable looks
- Range of economical powertrains
- Generous equipment
- Luggage space in 5-seat models is limited
- Strong rivals
- Not the most fun to drive
What's the Renault Scenic like?
The latest Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic are beautifully sleek and svelte on the outside, and immensely practical on the inside.
Of course, all people carriers major on practicality and space, but this was the first on the market.
Like most of the others, they're very easy and car-like to drive, and the almost vertical rear helps tremendously with parking.
Both models are easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces, with most having parking sensors and all having a tight turning circle.
The standard Scenic has five seats and a large boot, while the Grand Scenic has a longer body to give seven seats – but with all of them in use, luggage space is limited.
This latest model was introduced in 2016 has a very wide range of smooth and quiet petrol and diesel engines.
Petrol offerings are a 1.2-litre turbo with 115bhp and a 1.3-litre with 140bhp. The smaller unit covers the 0 to 60mph sprint in 11.9 seconds and is capable of 48mpg, while the 130bhp sprints to 60mph in 9.3 seconds and gives 41mpg.
The 1.2-litre is refined and quiet, and despite its diminutive size, is more than man enough for the weight and size.
Diesels start with the well-known 1.5-litre that comes with 110bhp or a later version with 115bhp. The 110bhp gets to 60mph in 12.0 seconds while returning an excellent 70mpg, and the 115bhp brings the sprint down to 11.6 seconds and is still capable of 70mpg.
Then comes a 1.6-litre T-D with either 130bhp or 160bhp. The 130bhp will reach 60mph in 11.0 seconds and cover 62mpg, while the 160bhp brings the sprint down to 10.4 seconds and still does 62mpg.
The latest diesel offering in top models is a 1.75-litre with 120bhp that gets to 60mph in 10.7 seconds, and can do 57mpg.
Finally, there's also a diesel/electric hybrid that uses the 1.5-litre diesel with a battery pack and electric motor. The battery isn't a plug-in, but charges when decelerating or from the diesel when cruising, and the electric motor assists the diesel for more power when needed.
Normal transmission is a 6-speed manual, but a very good twin clutch automatic is also available on some models and standard on others.
Driving Experience and Practicality
The used market seems to prefer the bigger space of the Grand Scenic, but the 5-seat still has much to recommend it, including easy access, loads of space and extra practicality over a conventional hatchback.
Scenic models hold the road well and handle with great safety despite quite soft suspension. There's huge space both for legs and luggage in the 5-seat model, but things are cramped in the rear two seats of the Grand model.
The high seating position gives a great view for adults and children, keeping little ones much happier over longer trips than in some other cars, and comfort is excellent over most surfaces.
Equipment in mid-range Dynamique Nav models includes an alarm, sat nav, steering wheel remote controls, traction control, climate control, parking sensors, cruise control, and excellent seat and column adjustment.
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If you're in the market for a spacious MPV that's sleek and practical for the whole family, the Renault Scenic is a great choice. Despite its strong rivals, the Scenic has a lot going for it, including generous levels of equipment and sharp looks that are sure to catch eyes.