"The Renault Grand Scenic offers good value for money and is designed to take whatever family life can throw at it."
The Grand Scenic is 21cm longer than the standard Scenic and has an extra row of seats in the boot. It's practical, comfortable and well suited to family life. The Grand Scenic offers good value for money when compared to its main seven- seat MPV rivals. Earlier this year, Renault updated the Grand Scenic, adding LED daytime running lights and improving fuel economy. The range of trims has also now been limited to the sat-nav-equipped Dynamique TomTom version only.
The Grand Scenic offers reassuring handling, with smooth suspension and light steering. What's more, the high driving position and large glass area means all-round visibility is excellent. The entry-level 109bhp 1.5 dCi diesel engine offers adequate performance and is inexpensive to run, although it might struggle if you regularly carry five or more passengers. The more powerful 128bhp 1.6 dCi diesel offer a more relaxed driving experience, and is better suited to the motorway. The 1.6-litre petrol engine is underpowered, while a new 1.2 TCe 115bhp turbo petrol engine is set to arrive in April.
There is more space inside the Grand Scenic than the standard car. It has a longer wheelbase, so all passengers benefit from extra leg and knee room. Comfort is excellent, while wind and road noise is limited. The clever dashboard layout places the instruments as far back towards the windscreen as possible, which frees up extra room in the front for the driver and passenger.
In the past, Renault's reliability has been sketchy to say the least, but things are improving. The cabin quality inside the Scenic is better than it has everbeen – the car feels very classy and robust. The latest Scenic should fare better than the woeful reliability scores its predecessor notched up in the Driver Power customer satsifaction survey.
The rear seats slide back and forth, allowing drivers to adjust the amount of boot space on offer, with a maximum of 2,063 litres available. However, to do this, you need to remove the rear seats completely, and you’ll need somewhere to store them. There are plenty of cubbyholes dotted around the cabin. The only blot on the Grand Scenic's record is that the rear seats are heavy and cumbersome to refit when you need them back.
Value for money
The Grand Scenic carries a premium of at least £1,400 over the five-seat Scenic. There's only one trim on offer at the moment, the Dynamique TomTom, so your only choice is which engine to go for. List prices are very competitive throughout the Scenic range, though, so there's no doubt it offers good-value family motoring. It's always worth trying to haggle at the dealership, as Renault showroom staff will frequently offer good deals. Poor resale values can be a problem for Renaults, but practical people carriers are quite desirable second-hand.
The Grand Scenic has nearly identical economy and emissions figures to the five-seat Scenic, so the extra outlay for the extra seats doesn’t affect running costs too badly. The 1.5 dCi diesel is very efficient and will return 68.9mpg. The more powerful 1.6 dCi 130 will make life easier on the move thanks to its extra power, and it's smoother, too.