Review

Renault Grand Scenic MPV

Price  £20,585 - £24,115

Renault Grand Scenic MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Practical and well built interior
  • Value for money
  • Seven seats
Cons
  • Boxy styling
  • Not very desirable
  • Patchy Renault reliability

At a glance

"The Renault Grand Scenic offers good value for money and is designed to take whatever family life can throw at it."

With seven seats and an extremely flexible interior, the Renault Grand Scenic is an excellent family car. It's based on the normal Renault Scenic, but it's longer so there's space for two extra seats. One thing that might put buyers off is the conservative styling, which looks bland when compared to the futuristic Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.

Grand Scenic have a choice of two diesel and two petrol engines. The 1.5-litre dCi diesel can return nearly 70mpg and is the one to go for if you want the lowest running costs. The more expensive diesel, meanwhile, can see 64.2mpg and is significantly quicker. The petrol models are also efficient, and we think the 1.2-litre TCe is the pick of the bunch.

Two trim levels are available: Dynamique TomTom and Dynamique TomTom with the Bose+ pack. All models have automatic headlights and wipers, sat nav, cruise control and electric windows all round. Bose+ pack models add a better stereo, larger alloy wheels and a sliding centre console, which frees up space for the middle passenger in the second row of seats.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.1 / 5

Diesels offer good mix of economy and power

The Grand Scenic is longer and heavier than the regular Scenic, but that doesn't mean it's very expensive to run. The 1.5-litre dCi 110 diesel can return 68.9mpg and its CO2 emissions are low enought for £20-a-year road tax. The more powerful dCi 130 diesel can still manage 64.2mpg, while road tax will cost slightly more, at £30 a year.

Although they can't match the diesels, the Grand Scenic petrol engines are still reasonably efficient. The basic petrol can return 47.9mpg and emits 135g/km of CO2, so road tax is a reasonable £130 per year. The faster petrol enigne doesn’t make much sense, though, as it can manage only 45.6mpg and is slower than the most powerful diesel.

Engines, drive & performance

3.0 / 5

High seating position gives good visibility

A high driving position gives you excellent visibility in the Grand Scenic – although seeing out the back is a bit tricky. The car also has light steering and soft suspension, which make it extremely relaxing to drive. The basic 109bhp 1.5-litre diesel is cheap to run and quick enough, although it feels underpowered when the car is fully loaded with people and kit. The more powerful 1.6-litre diesel is an ideal solution thanks to its extra power, while the hi-tech 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol is much better than the old 1.6-litre petrol.

Interior & comfort

3.9 / 5

Has even more room than standard Scenic

Getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Grand Scenic should be simple thanks to a wide range of adjustment for both the driver’s seat and steering wheel. Unfortunately, despite the Renault’s raised driving position, rear visibility isn’t great, meaning it can be tricky to reverse.

Wind and road noise are well suppressed, so the Grand Scenic is a comfortable car for long journeys and the suspension also smoothes out bumps in the road. The dashboard is cleverly laid-out, with dials pushed up close to the windscreen to give front-seat occupants more space.

Practicality & boot space

4.8 / 5

Rear seats can be removed for extra space

The Renault Scenic isn't as flexibile as the Peugeot 5008, because the middle row of seats doesn’t fold flat into the floor. You can remove them completely, but we found this awkward because they're quite heavy.

The two seats in the boot are also only really suitable for children, and they're tricky to access, too. To be fair, the middle row folds forwards and backwards and can also recline. On top-spec models, the centre console can also slide forwards to leave extra space for the middle passenger’s feet, and the floor is flat, too.

Although there are plenty of cubbyholes dotted around the cabin, the Renault Scenic’s glovebox is very small and you don’t get the useful dashboard storage space of a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.

The Grand Scenic has a huge boot with the two spare seats folded down. Remove the middle row of seats and capacity expands to the maximum 2,063 litres.

Reliability & safety

3.2 / 5

Renault’s uncertain reliability is improving

The Renault Grand Scenic defied Renault’s poor reputation for reliability in our 2013 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey to finish in fourth position. That didn't stick for 2014, when the car tumbled to 53rd place, although that still isn’t too bad. It was marked down in particular for poor performance and build quality. The new model does feel much better built than the old Scenic, however, so there is some hope.

Safety is something Renault has excelled at since the mid-nineties, and the Grand Scenic received a five-star rating from Euro NCAP when it was tested in 2009. It also boasts clever two-stage airbags and electronic stability control as standard.

Price, value for money & options

4.4 / 5

Grand version has big premium over standard Scenic

The bigger Grand Scenic costs £1,200 more than the normal five-seater Scenic, but it makes sense if you need extra space and seats. All models have electric windows, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, a Bluetooth phone connection, dual-zone climate control, rear window blinds and cruise control. The Bose+ pack adds a premium Bose stereo, 17-inch alloys and roof bars.

All Renaults now come with a four-year/100,000-mile warranty, but the Renault Grand Scenic will likely lose more value than rivals such as the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4.0 / 5
It's hard to fault a car as cleverly designed as the Grand Scenic. Every last inch of interior space serves a purpose, whether it's to increase the legroom or for under-seat storage. But best of all it doesn’t feel like a big car to drive, especially with the energetic 1.4 TCe under the bonnet, and we can only assume the smaller Scenic will be even better when it arrives in July. If only Renault had been bolder with the design, it would surely have a best-seller on its hands.
4.0 / 5
Renault has a good reputation for making practical yet stylish people carriers and the latest Grand Scenic continues that tradition. It comes with seven seats as standard, while the practical interior is spacious and full of family-friendly features including almost endless amounts of storage. It's also good to drive and extremely refined on longer journeys with a smooth ride and a quiet cabin. Renault doesn't have the greatest reputation for reliability, but the Grand Scenic feels much better built than previous models. It's also very safe with a five-star Euro NCAP rating while generous equipment levels and a range of refined engines help make it one of the best people carriers around.
Last updated 
2 Jun 2014

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