Renault Scenic MPV (2009-2016)
‘The Renault Scenic isn’t as new as some rivals, but it’s a practical, comfortable and well-equipped MPV, made all the more appealing if you can negotiate a discount.”
- Well equipped
- Versatile interior
- Very comfortable
- Poor residuals
- Feels dated next to rivals
- Only available in expensive trim levels
The Renault Scenic is due for replacement soon, but don’t let that put you off entirely. True, the (equally aged) Ford C-MAX undercuts the Renault on price, while the Citroen C4 Picasso and Volkswagen Golf SV feel more modern and are also slightly cheaper. The Scenic still makes a good case for itself as a practical five-seater MPV, though and Renault dealers are not unknown for offering deals. If you can bag a good one of these, the Scenic should still be on your people carrier shortlist.
In the Scenic’s favour is its interior, which is comfortable, flexible and well-equipped. The three rear seats can take an ISOFIX child seat apiece, while all five seats fold and slide individually. The seats are also comfortable and mounted relatively high, so passengers are unlikely to feel cramped and are afforded a decent view out. If you’re after seven-seat versatility, the Renault Grand Scenic adds an extra pair of seats for about £1,200.
Renault offers the five-seater Scenic with a pair of petrol engines and a pair of diesels. Both the petrols are 1.2-litres, producing 113 and 128bhp – although economy remains 45.6mpg and road tax will cost you £130 a year whichever you choose. The diesels cost a little more to buy, but are more economical, so they get the nod from us.
The 108bhp 1.5-litre diesel adds a reasonable £800 or so to the Scenic’s list price, while the 128bhp 1.6-litre diesel is a further £1,100 or so. Both return mpg figures in the mid-to-high 60s, but we advise you go for the more powerful engine if you can stretch to it, as it makes the driving experience all the more relaxed.
Speaking of driving, MPVs are seldom devised to be exciting along winding B-roads and the Renault Scenic is no exception. If you try pressing on through corners, you’ll find a touch too much body lean develops to make things enjoyable. The upside to this is the Scenic’s soft suspension ensures a comfortable experience, with driver and passengers well insulated from potholes, drain covers and the like.
Standard equipment is generous across both the two available trim levels, as Renault fits all Scenics with sat nav, air-conditioning, cruise control, LED running lights and keyless entry, while rear-seat passengers benefit from fold-out tables and rear sunblinds. Upgrading from Dynamique Nav trim to Limited Nav costs a very reasonable £500 or so and gets you a few extras, most notably a panoramic sunroof and rear parking sensors. The Scenic’s 555-litre boot, meanwhile, is large and well shaped.
Even as the car approaches the end of its time on sale, owner contentment is a Scenic high point. In our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, the Scenic came 19th out of 150 cars, with a decent 51st-place finish for reliability and high scores for seat comfort, build quality and running costs. Safety is another strong suit, thanks to the mechanically similar Grand Scenic’s five-star crash-test rating from Euro NCAP.