Renault Grand Scenic MPV
Price £20,585 - £24,115
- Practical and well built interior
- Value for money
- Seven seats
- Patchy Renault reliability
- Boxy styling
- Limited badge appeal
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 cabin, the Renault Grand Scenic makes for an excellent family car. It's based on the normal Scenic, but it's longer so that there's space for the extra seats. One thing that might put buyers off is the conservative styling, which looks bland when compared to the space-age looks of the excellent Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.
You can choose to spec your Grand Scenic with a choice of two diesels and two petrol engines. The Energy DCi 110 can get nearly 70mpg and is the model to go for if you want cheap running costs. The more expensive diesel, meanwhile, can get 64.2mpg and is significantly quicker. The petrol models also offer strong economy and the 115 TCe is the best version to go for.
Two trim levels are available - Dynamique TomTom and Dynamique TomTom with the Bose+ pack. All models get auto headlights and wipers, sat-nav, cruise control and electric windows all round. Bose+ pack models add a premium stereo, larger alloy wheels and a sliding centre console, which frees up space for the middle passenger on the second row of seats.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Diesels offer good mix of economy and power
It may be longer and heavier than the regular model, but the Grand Scenic doesn’t suffer huge running costs as a result. The 1.5-litre dCi diesel can return 68.9mpg and emissions that mean road tax will be just £20 every month. The more powerful dCi 130 diesel can still manage 64.2mpg, while road tax will cost just £10 extra every year.
Going for one of the petrol models doesn’t mean you have to suffer huge running costs as the basic petrol can do 47.9mpg and return emissions of 135g/km that mean road tax will cost a reasonable £130 per year. The faster petrol doesn’t make much sense, though, because it can manage just 45.6mpg and is slower than the top spec diesel.
Interior & comfort
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 the car can be tricky to reverse.
Wind and road noise is well suppressed though, so the Grand Scenic is a comfortable car in which to do long journeys and the suspension also smoothes out bumps in the road. The car also gets a clever dashboard layout, which has dials pushed up close to the windscreen to give more space to the front seat passengers.
Practicality & boot space
Rear seats can be removed for extra space
The Renault Scenic doesn’t have the same clever seats that you get in a Peugeot 5008, which means the middle row of seats doesn’t fold flat into the floor. You can remove them completely but we found that was tricky because the seats’ weight made them awkward to move.
The two seats in the boot are also only really suitable for children and they are 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 also flat.
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 storage spaces on the dashboard that you get on the 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 hits a maximum of 2,063 litres.
Reliability & safety
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 hasn’t stuck going into 2014 and the car has tumbled to 53rd place, although that still isn’t too bad. It was marked down in particular for poor performance and bad build quality. The new model does feel much better built than the old Scenic, so there is hope in that respect.
Safety is something Renault has built an excellent reputation for in the past few years and the model got a five-star rating from Euro NCAP when it was tested in 2009. It gets clever dual-stage airbags, and electronic stability control.
Engines, drive & performance
High seating position gives good visibility
A high driving position means you get excellent visibility out all but the back window of the Grand Scenic. 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 is quick enough, although it can feel underpowered if the car is loaded with people and kit. The more powerful 1.6-litre diesel offers up an ideal solution thanks to its extra power, while the high tech 1.2-litre petrol is much better than the old 1.6-litre petrol.
Price, value for money & options
Grand version has big premium over standard Scenic
Going for the bigger Grand Scenic means you’ll pay a £1,200 premium over the normal five-seater Scenic, but it makes sense if you need extra space and seats. All models get electric windows, 16-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights and wipers, a Bluetooth phone connection, dual-zone climate control, rear window blinds and cruise control. You can also choose to spec the Bose+ pack, which not only brings a premium Bose stereo, but also adds 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
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.
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.