The Renault Scenic is a versatile MPV that is beginning to feel a bit aged by now. It is still a strong family car however, that is good to drive and even comes in a funky XMOD off-road guise.
The Renault Scenic comes with a choice of the one petrol and one diesel engine to choose from. The petrol option is a four cylinder 1.2 litre TCe115 with 115bhp mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The diesel option is a four cylinder 1.6 litre engine with a choice of two varying power outputs. The first is the dCi110 with 110bhp that comes with a choice of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission or the dCi130 with 130bhp mated to a 6-speed manual. All three options are economical ones with the dCi110 manual offering the best balance between performance and economy.
The Scenic is based on the same platform as its Renault Megane sibling. Its MPV body means you benefit from a slightly higher driving position with better visibility. The Megane is a good car to drive with a nice balance between comfort and driving dynamics. This feeling has largely been carried over to the bigger MPV with the Scenic providing decent grip in the corners although a little body roll is evident. The Scenic XMOD benfits from an additional 30mm of ride height and Renault's ‘Grip Xtend’ tracton control system that allows you to adapt the MPV depending on the conditions.
The Scenic and Scenic XMOD are available in two different specifications. These are Dynamique and Dynamique+. The Dynamique trim level benefits from features like a dashboard with a full TFT digital screen, Bluetooth, on-board computer, air-conditioning, electric windows, heated mirrors, cruise control and 16 inch alloy wheels. Dynamique+ adds further creature comforts like additional air vents for rear passengers, rear parking sensors, Sat Nav, a BOSE sound system, half leather and cloth upholstery, lumbar support and 17 inch alloy wheels.
This is where the Renault Scenic falls down and begins to show its age against rivals like the Volkswagen Golf SV and the Citroen C4 Picasso where it just cannot compete on interior quality. The dashboard is finished from good quality materials but its design is beginning look and feel dated. The seats are comfortable but lack support.
The Renault Scenic has never undergone the Euro NCAP crash test but its large sibling, the Grand Scenic has. This scored full marks with a five star rating for safety. The Scenic does however come with a plethora of safety equipment that includes items like anti-lock brakes, emergency brake assist, ASR traction control, understeer control, hill start assist, seatbelt warning, ISO-FIX child seats attachments and a full host of standard and curtain airbags.
Space and Practicality is an area where the Scenic still shines providing an abundance of both for families. There is plenty of head and legroom for rear passengers too and a rear bench that slides forward and backwards to create either more legroom or boot space. The rear bench also reclines for additional passenger comfort. There is loads of storage spaces found underneath the front and rear seats for packing away smaller items while the boot itself is a huge 577 litres as standard. The rear bench can be removed entirely however to create a cavernous 1837 litres of space for storage of pretty much anything at all.