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Renault Scenic Reviews


The Renault Scenic is back, aiming to reinforce its position as the compact MPV to choose. Andy Enright reports.

Renault's Scenic range has now split into three distinct lines; Scenic five seater, rugged Scenic XMOD five seater and the Grand Scenic seven-seat model. The facelifted third generation Scenic offers better efficiency, more equipment and better value. It's likely to remain most people's first port of call when choosing this type of car.

The Scenic has been one of Renault's biggest contemporary success stories, selling over 4.3 million units since its launch in 1996. It's been especially popular here in the UK, filling the number one spot in the MPV sales charts for most of those years, but in the past couple of years the third generation Scenic has been overtaken by the likes of the Vauxhall Zafira and the Ford C-MAX in the affections of British buyers. So Renault has naturally looked to do something about that and its response is a facelifted car that also spins off a third strand on the Scenic theme, the more rugged XMOD version. Of course, we've seen beefier Scenics before, most notably the four-wheel drive RX4 and less notably the front-wheel drive Conquest model. None of them have done particularly well, so it seems odd that Renault is having a third stab at selling us a more 'lifetstyle' Scenic Still, you've got to love a trier.

The focus with this latest car has been in offering customers more choice. Choice in body shapes, in trim levels and in engine options. How these compact MPV class cars drive is actually some way down the priority list for most buyers behind value for money, safety, reliability and practicality. The Scenic has never really garnered a reputation as a particularly sharp steer, but that suits the sort of customers who just want something comfortable and unthreatening to do the family duties. The bulk of sales will go on the 1.5 and 1.6-litre dCi diesel engines which develop between 110 and 130PS. So far so practical. There's also a very attractive 1.2-litre turbo petrol unit in 115 and 130PS guises which is well worth a look if you don't cover such big mileages. Plus there's also a makeweight 1.6 petrol. The Scenic XMOD features an innovative 'Grip Xtend' system. Using a rotary switch, users can use this advanced traction control system to enable the car to grip surfaces in difficult driving conditions. There are three modes available, 'Road', 'Loose Ground' and 'Expert'. In 'Expert' mode, Grip Xtend manages the braking system, while leaving the driver in full control of the engine torque. The 'Road' mode offers conventional traction control settings, with ASR optimising grip by controlling braking on the front wheels and engine torque, plus any wheel that skids is slowed down and torque transferred to the wheel with the best grip. This mode automatically reconnects at speeds of over 25 mph. The 'Loose Ground' mode optimises braking control and engine torque control based on available grip at speeds of up to 25mph.

The mainstream Scenic range comes in two sizes, standard and Grand, with the XMOD based on the standard length car. In terms of styling, most of the changes to the latest Scenic range have centred around freshening up its face. The logo at the front is now bigger and set against a gloss black background that emphasises the revised grille. The Grand Scenic has a larger glass area and a mesh grille covering its single frontal air-intake. The seven-seat model also features distinctive boomerang-shaped rear light clusters that arc around the bottom of its rear pillars and along its flanks. The interior is where the magic happens in any MPV and both Scenic models lay on lots of space and versatility. The second row of seats can be folded flat or removed, while the Grand Scenic's third row can be dropped into the floor. The XMOD's boot capacity is up to 555-litres with the rear seats slid forward, rising to 1,870 with the rear seats removed completely. There's a massive array of storage options in the Scenic with more than 90-litres available. Underfloor compartments, under-seat drawers, a chilled glovebox, centre console cubbies, door pockets and trays on the seat backs should help to keep the family's paraphernalia in check. There are also three 12-volt power sockets to keep the all important games consoles and MP3 players powered up.

Safety is of paramount importance to family buyers and few manufacturers can match Renault's reputation in this area. Its models routinely achieve maximum five-star ratings from Euro NCAP and the Scenic is brim full of features designed to avoid collisions and protect occupants should one occur. The car can be specified with automatic headlamps and wipers, cruise control with a speed-limiting function, bi-xenon headlamps that swivel to illuminate round bends and a seat-belt reminder that sounds if a rear-seatbelt is unbuckled. There's also ABS with brake assist and brake force distribution and ESC stability control with CSV understeer control. The second row of seats all have ISOFIX child seat anchor points too. Typically for the Scenic, there are a huge number of comfort and luxury-oriented options. In addition to an electric panoramic sunroof and sliding centre console, there are seven specific equipment packs available. The top BOSE+ Pack, is available on XMOD and Grand Scenic, costing £1,500. Among the features within the other six are a rear parking camera with front parking sensors, Renault's Visio System lane departure warning with automatic high and low beam, five fully adaptable headrests, dark carbon leather and sliding centre console.

Renault has made real improvements in terms of energy efficiency with this latest car. The 'Energy' models were always the ones to look to if you wanted to keep a cap on running costs, but now it's very hard to go wrong wherever you look in the range. There is one exception and that's the entry-level 1.6-litre engine which is a real duffer in virtually every regard. Avoid that and you're golden. The 1.2-litre TCe engine is now available in two flavours, 115 and 130PS, and makes a whole lot of sense if you don't cover huge mileages or just plain don't enjoy diesels. You'll get 45.6mpg from the 130PS unit rather than the 61.4mpg you'd get from a 130PS 1.6-litre diesel, but then you do lop around £1,500 off the price. The 1.5-litre diesel 110PS diesel with the Stop & Start system is the one to go for if you're after the best fuel economy, registering 68.9mpg. One version of Scenic XMOD Expression+ also has the 1.5 dCi 110 available without Stop & Start if a customer prefers to not specify it on cost grounds. Renault's six-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission is available on the 1.5 dCi 110, but unlike the hot Clios, it comes without paddle shifters.

Renault's improved Scenic is here to remind us that there's still a place for the traditional five-seat compact mini-MPV in a modern market stuffed with other, more high profile alternatives. It's practical, spacious, well built and decently equipped, as every car of this kind must be, but in this case, each of these criteria has been ticked off with a thoroughness that reminds you just who invented this market sector in the first place. The improvements made to this revised version will go unnoticed by many - and that's a pity as the clever petrol 1.2 and diesel 1.6-litre units are class leadingly-efficient. This car is also now exceptionally well equipped plus the XMOD bodystyle will doubtless pique the interest of a few buyers. But is it all enough to keep the market's original five-seat mini-MPV as the best choice for frugal families? Perhaps. Many might be surprised at just how thoroughly this French contender can still meet their needs. One thing's for certain. As a more versatile spin on spacious five-seat family motoring, this Scenic has a lot of life in it yet.

Renault Scenic Videos

Renault Scenic Images


Launched in 2009, the Renault Scenic answered the working class families a car dream come true! With this MPV you get a stylish and practical, affordable family friendly vehicle!

Key Renault Scenic Points

Key things you need to know about the Renault Scenic are that it only comes in one trim type instead of four trims now to avoid any confusion at all. Just one! So just one type of Renault Scenic which is a 1.5 dCi Dynamique Tom Tom with five doors. Included in the Renault Scenic is a fabulous package which has a Tom Tom satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity for your hands-free driving needs, an AUX and USB connection, a leather steering wheel, dual climate control, faux leather upholstery, and automatic headlights and screen wipers. Don’t you think that’s absolutely fantastic?

Why Lease a Renault Scenic

Why wouldn’t you lease a Renault Scenic for the incredible price that we have? Just look at everything you get with it above. The Renault Scenic is a fantastic family car as it is large enough to fit everybody in it, as well as being truly comfortable and spacious. You can also fold the seats if you need more space for a boot incase you’re going on a family adventure and need to pack your luggage in! The Renault Scenic lease will also guarantee you low running costs so there’s always extra money to spend on the family!

Five reasons to lease a Renault Scenic

  • Cheap
  • One trim type
  • Large MPV
  • 5 or 7 seats
  • Great value for money


In short, the Renault Scenic is big enough, practical enough and cheap enough to lease, and it sure will guarantee just about everything you can think of from an MPV. Head over to our images hub and check out the new, stylish, high-quality trim! You won’t be disappointed!


As good as we are At All Car Leasing we can’t possibly know everything about the Renault Scenic, so for further information on the Renault Scenic why not check out the following resources –

The official Renault Scenic page

The Renault Scenic reviews on Auto Express

Renault Scenic owner’s club.