Review

Renault Scenic MPV

Price  £21,085 - £23,525

Renault Scenic MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Well equipped
  • Versatile interior
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • 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 £21,925
The cheapest
Dynamique Nav TCe 115 5dr £21,085
The fastest
Dynamique Nav dCi 130 eco2 5dr £23,025
Top of the range
Limited Nav dCi 130 eco2 5dr £23,525

“The Renault Scenic is beginning to feel its age, but it still offers good value and practicality for families.”

The current version of the Renault Scenic has been around for seven years now and despite a mid-life facelift in 2013, it's starting to feel dated next to people-carrier rivals. While it's well priced and reasonably practical, the Citroen C4 Picasso, Ford C-MAX and Volkswagen Golf SV are more modern and efficient MPVs that are likely to retain more of their value when it's time to sell or trade in.

To give the Renault Scenic its due, though, its interior is still spacious and versatile, with three ISOFIX child-seat mounts in the rear, together with individually folding and sliding seats. The seats are all mounted higher than a conventional hatchback's, which means you and your passengers all get a good view out.

Renault offers the Scenic with two petrol and two diesel engines. The petrols are both 1.2-litres, producing 113 and 128bhp. Both manage 45.6mpg fuel economy and emit 140g/km of CO2, meaning they cost £130 a year in road tax.

If you cover more than about 12,000 miles a year or are a company-car driver, one of the diesels might suit you better. The 1.5-litre has 108bhp and returns 68.9mpg, while it's liable for just 19% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax and £20 a year road tax thanks to its low 105g/km CO2 emissions. We recommend the 1.6-litre diesel, though: its 64.2mpg and 114g/km CO2 (for a £30 road tax bill) means it's still economical, but the extra power available makes it easier to live with, particularly on motorways.

The Scenic is available in just two trim levels: Dynamique Nav and Limited Nav. All Scenics come as standard with sat nav, LED daytime running lights and keyless entry, as well as dual-zone climate control, tables for the rear passengers, rear sunblinds and cruise control. The high-specification Limited Nav also has rear parking sensors, power-folding door mirrors and a panoramic sunroof.

In terms of reliability, the Scenic fared reasonably (if not exceptionally) well in our 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, coming 78th out of 200 cars, while Renault's seventh-place ranking out of 32 carmakers indicates a strong improvement in reliability.

Despite it being quite an old car, the Scenic should be pretty safe. While Euro NCAP only tested the larger Renault Grand Scenic in 2009, this received the full five stars at the time. The standard Scenic has a good list of safety equipment, including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and 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 the Renault Scenic is 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

The Renault Scenic promises to be both reliable and safe

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 
4.0834302325581
4.1 /5 based on 344 reviews
62%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
24 Feb 2016
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