Renault Grand Scenic MPV (2016-2020)
“If you’re after a practical, spacious and cheap-to-run family car, then the very stylish new Renault Grand Scenic is a top contender”
- Impressively well-equipped
- Reasonable running costs
- Striking design
- Petrols pricey to run
- Big wheels hurt ride quality
- Not as refined as some rivals
With the Renault Espace now only sold on the continent, Renault’s biggest MPV in the UK is the Grand Scenic. It’s nicely designed, spacious and drives well considering its size, making it a great alternative to accomplished rivals like the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, Volkswagen Touran or Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.
The Grand Scenic is available with a petrol or diesel engine. There's a 1.3-litre petrol, producing 138bhp and able to return over 45mpg, while the diesel is a 1.5-litre producing 118bhp and returning 57.7mpg.
We recommend the TCe 140 petrol, which officially returns 45.6mpg and goes from 0-62mph in around 10 seconds. It’s by no means a hugely exciting engine, but it strikes a good balance between performance, economy and purchase price. All petrol and diesel Grand Scenic models cost £140 a year to tax.
The biggest draw for most Grand Scenic buyers will be its impressive interior. It’s nicely laid-out and very well made, with loads of cubbies and storage areas. Interior space is great and the boot is huge if you fold down the third row (and not too bad with it in use, either).
There are three trim levels available: Play, Iconic and Signature. Even the entry-level Play trim brings an impressive amount of kit, with standard features including a seven-inch touchscreen, keyless entry, climate control, rear parking sensors and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We’d recommend stepping up to Iconic, which brings sat nav and – always welcome on a large car – all-round parking sensors. You also get a novel sliding centre console that's fitted with two USB ports, a 12-volt socket and aux input for backseat passengers.
Sitting at the top of the tree, the Signature boasts technology like a head-up display and portrait 8.7-inch touchscreen. There's also a panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery to add a premium touch to the interior, while the rear two rows of seating gain 'one-touch' folding.
After a strong performance in 2016, Renault slipped to 24th place out of 26 manufacturers in our 2018 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, which could be a cause for concern. In terms of safety, the Renault Grand Scenic hasn’t been through Euro NCAP’s rigorous safety assessments, but its five-seater Scenic sibling has, gaining the full five stars in the process; Euro NCAP has stated this excellent score also applies to the Grand Scenic.
There are a couple of things to be aware of, though. All Grand Scenics come with huge 20-inch alloy wheels. These look fantastic and Renault assures us the tyres for them won’t be any more expensive than they would be for 17-inch wheels, but they do make things a little uncomfortable over bumps.
It’s also worth knowing the third-row seats, while undoubtedly a useful addition, are tricky to access and reasonably tight – though, that criticism can be levelled at a great deal of seven-seater cars. If you’re planning on driving ‘seven up’ frequently, you may want to consider a larger people carrier like the Ford Galaxy or SEAT Alhambra.