Review

Renault Scenic MPV

Price  £19,360 - £22,895

Renault Scenic MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Practical interior
  • Good value for money
  • Five and seven-seat options
Cons
  • Poor resale values
  • Starting to feel dated compared rivals
  • Basic petrol engine feels underpowered

At a glance

"The Renault Scenic and seven-seat Grand Scenic offer great value for money and are designed to take whatever family life can throw at them."

With the new Ford C-MAX going on sale in 2015 and the eye-catching Citroen C4 Picasso ¬¬already in showrooms, the competition has never been tougher for the somewhat dull but extremely practical Renault Scenic.

The five-seat Scenic gives you the versatility of an MPV in a car that's about the same size as a Ford Focus. It's perfectly suited to family life, with lots of useful storage cubbyholes dotted around the interior. The Scenic's rear seats can be arranged in various ways and all three have ISOFIX mounts for safely fitting a child seat. The Renault also lets you remove the rear seats completely to free up as much load space as a small van. Less impressive is the Scenic's dull interior design, which has none of the flair that you find in the Citroen C4 Picasso.

Buyers can choose from a range of petrol and diesel engines. Both diesels can return more than 60mpg and are cheap to tax, which makes them the obvious choice for a family car such as the Scenic. The hi-tech 1.2-litre petrol model returns mid-40s mpg and is available with either 113 or 128bhp. The older 1.6-litre petrol is best avoided due to its relatively high running costs.

Renault also offers the Scenic in rugged XMOD specification, which adds 30mm to the ride height, black plastic cladding to the wheelarches, doors and bumpers, plus silver skid plates to the front and rear. Along with some sophisticated electronics, this gives the XMOD some light off-road ability, although it does without the four-wheel drive of a true off-roader. Nevertheless, it's our pick of the line-up when combined with the top-of-the-range diesel engine.

The rest of the range in made up of Dynamique TomTom and Limited models. All Renault Scenics come with decent standard equipment, including air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers and alloy wheels.

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.

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What owners say

4.0900293255132
4.1 /5 based on 341 reviews
62%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
27 Nov 2014
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