Renault Scenic MPV

Price  £20,555 - £22,995

Renault Scenic MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Well equipped
  • Versatile interior
  • Excellent value for money
  • Poor residuals
  • Feels dated next to rivals
  • Doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability

At a glance

The greenest
Dynamique Nav dCi 110 eco2 5dr £21,395
The cheapest
Dynamique Nav TCe 115 5dr £20,555
The fastest
Dynamique Nav dCi 130 eco2 5dr £22,495
Top of the range
Limited Nav dCi 130 eco2 5dr £22,995

“The Renault Scenic may be feeling its age, but it’s still a versatile and good-value family car.”

The Renault Scenic has been around for a while now and it's beginning to feel its age. While it's still a versatile and good-value family car, it's been overtaken by some newer rivals. Cars such as the Citroen C4 Picasso, Ford C-MAX and Volkswagen Golf SV all feel much more up to date and can be cheaper to run, too – especially when you factor in resale value.

It's not all bad news, though. The interior is still spacious and versatile – there are three ISOFIX child-seat mounts on the back row, for example – and all the seats fold and slide independently of one another. All these seats are set a little higher than in a standard hatchback, which means the driver, passengers and kids in the back all get a great view.

Under the bonnet, there's a choice of two turbocharged 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, producing 113 and 128bhp respectively. These each return 45.6mpg and emit 123g/km of CO2, meaning that they’ll cost £130 a year to tax.

If you do lots of miles, or are a company-car driver, then one of the two diesels might suit you better. There's a 108bhp 1.4-litre and a 128bhp 1.6-litre – the former being the cheapest to run. It manages 68.9mpg and has CO2 emissions of 105g/km, which means it’ll cost £20 a year to tax and it sits in the 19% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax bracket. The more powerful one is our favourite, however, as it won’t cost that much more to run – it returns 64.2mpg and emits 114g/km of CO2 – and feels much stronger and smoother than the 1.4-litre.

There are two trim levels available: Dynamique Nav, which comes with sat nav, LED daytime running lights and keyless entry, and Limited Nav. This more expensive version gets rear parking sensors, power-folding door mirrors and a panoramic sunroof. On top of these features, both models get dual-zone climate control, tables for the rear passengers, rear sunblinds and cruise control.

You can also get the rugged Renault Scenic XMOD, which has a slightly raised ride height and a clever traction-control system that improves grip in slippery conditions, making it capable of some light off-roading. There are also some exterior additions, including roof rails and black plastic cladding, to give the XMOD a tougher appearance. It doesn’t cost any more than the standard car to buy or to run, so we’d recommend this version with the more powerful diesel engine in entry-level Dynamique Nav trim.

Even though it's a reasonably old car, the Scenic should still be pretty safe, as you get safety equipment such as automatic lights and wipers, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, as well as a host of airbags.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.1 / 5

The Renault Scenic is at its best fitted with a frugal diesel engine

Engines, drive & performance

3.2 / 5

It drives better than you’d expect, but the Renault Scenic is no sports car

Interior & comfort

4 / 5

There’s lots of room for passengers and all Scenics are quiet on the move

Practicality & boot space

4.7 / 5

The Renault Scenic has a hugely practical interior that’s perfect for families

Reliability & safety

3 / 5

After an impressive showing last year, the Renault Scenic has tumbled down our Driver Power 2014 rankings

What the others say

3.7 / 5
based on 4 reviews
15 / 20
It's a really nice little engine to use: torque spread over a wide range, an ability to rev to a high-for-a-diesel 5,000rpm if you need to finish your overtake before changing up. There's barely any turbo lag, and not much either in the way of rattle and shake. Beyond that, not much to say. It just works.
3 / 5
It's very difficult to make a people carrier interesting visually because of the almost inescapable requirement to make it a tall, two-box shape. Therefore, the details are paramount, which thankfully on this occasion Renault has done a decent job with. The family DNA gets an outing via the loosely triangular shapes flanking the lower grille, coloured silver, and raked headlights that manage to make the car look lower and more athletic from the front. The way the taillights frame the rear screen is neat too.
4 / 5
The Scenic is a spacious five-seat MPV with a swanky cabin and a big, well-shaped boot. It's good to drive and refined, and running costs shouldn’t break the bank.
4 / 5
Renault claims to have invented the compact people carrier with the Scenic in 1996 and its third generation model remains among the best of its type. Launched in 2009 highlights include new engines including a frugal small turbocharged petrol engine and a powerful diesel, a roomier interior and sharper looks. While the used market might prefer the versatility offered by the Grand Scenic and it's seven-seat layout, the Scenic still offers plenty including comfortable access and extra practicality over a conventional hatchback.
What owners say 
4.1 /5 based on 343 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
6 Nov 2015
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