The fourth generation Renault SCENIC and Grand SCENIC MPVs, or ‘people carriers’ are now on sale. SCENIC prices rise from £21,445 to £30,645 while the Grand SCENIC enters at £23,375 and tops at £32,445.
The SCENIC five seater and Grand SCENIC seven seater models are each offered in four trim levels that owners of other Renault vehicles will be accustomed to – Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav and Signature Nav. There are over 40 versions in the two body styles and the UK sales split between the two is expected to be 50-50.
It sets new safety standards as the only model in its class fitted with standard active emergency braking and pedestrian detection. They get a full five-stars from Euro NCAP tests.
First introduced in 1996, with successive versions coming in 2003 and 2009, the newest MPV comes as Renault UK is seeing a boom in orders and more dealers joining their network.
Renault UK Communications Director Jeremy Townsend said, “Despite the growth in crossovers, the traditional MPV market still accounts for about 100,000 sales annually in Britain and the SCENIC has always been a firm favourite.
“The fourth generation SCENIC and Grand SCENIC bring new levels of safety and more comprehensive features to customers as well as the latest powertrain technology and cleanest engines.”
Renault UK has seen over 117,700 new cars registered this year and it is holding about 4.4% of market share, compared with 2.4% a year ago. So the new models are coming as sales are surging for the brand in Britain.
Renault pushes the family card forward with a SCENIC rear luggage capacity of 572 litres (20.20 cu.ft) and 596 litres (21.05 cu.ft) in the Grand SCENIC if the rearmost seats are stowed while four underfloor compartments and other oddments room amount to 57 litres (2.01 cu.ft) inside the car.
Some models get personalisation settings as we have seen on the Mégane, to alter dynamics and comfort as well as interior ambience, also more sophisticated sound systems and added luxury features, but all come with standard 20-inch wheels.
SCENIC and Grand SCENIC are based on the company’s Common Module Family platform, which is scaleable for each car and system, and used in the Kadjar. The Grand SCENIC wheelbase is 68 mm (2.68 in) longer and the overall length adds 228 mm (8.98 in) to the SCENIC.
The launch range will see five engines, 115 and 130 1.2 litre petrol units, a 110 1.46 diesel, a 130 1.6 diesel or a 160 1.5 diesel with the six-speed automatic transmission. Next spring will see the addition of a 110 1.46 diesel with 10kw electric motor for the first hybrid in the popular range.
The anticipated best seller will be models with the 110 dCi turbodiesel engine, particularly in the SCENIC, and we achieved a creditable 56.3 mpg on an 80 miles test route of mostly country roads around The Cotswolds.
There is excellent visibility for looking over hedgerows – which gives you a chance to anticipate correct gears, as the engine is not particularly gutsy and felt a bit sluggish from standstill.
The ride was generally good, slightly firm, but the body was quite well controlled, negotiating a series of bends with little roll.
The longer Grand SCENIC had a noticeably better ride and pickup but the price of using the 130 hp to its fuller potential meant we saw the fuel economy plunge to 23.3 mpg at times and selecting the Eco mode pushed it up to 30.3 mpg overall.
The loadbed was low and wide, particularly good in the Grand SCENIC, and getting into the rearmost pair of seats would be fairly easy for a child.
The camera, sensors and parking aids will be welcomed by owners as the overall design does not give you a good view of corners. My driver colleague did complain about the distractions of using the central touch-screen for so many functions and likened it to using a mobile phone while driving, so our advice would be to set up as many defaults or standard settings as possible before setting off.
Nevertheless, the sophistication and refinement of the SCENIC and Grand SCENIC will be appreciated by Renault owners and I think it will bring new buyers to the brand – but you will need to carefully pick your powertrain to make sure you get what you want.
For: Equipment, economy, practicality, room, ease of driving.
Against: Lumpy ride at times, slow acceleration from standstill, economical but didn’t get close to the official mpg figure.
Milestones and Wheels-Alive Tech. Spec. in Brief:
Renault SCENIC Dynamique S Nav dCi 110.
Price: £25,445 (as tested with options inc. parking, safety, Bose packs and LED headlights £28,080).
Engine/transmission: 1.46 turbodiesel, four cylinder, 110 hp, 260 Nm (192 lb.ft) of torque from 1,750 rpm, six speed manual.
0-62mph: 12.4 seconds.
Top speed: 114 mph.
Fuel consumption: Combined Cycle 72.4 mpg (actual consumption achieved on test 56.3 mpg).
Emissions and taxation: CO2 100 g/km, VED road tax £0, BIK company car tax rate 20%.
Insurance Group: 11.
Warranty: Four years/ 100,000 miles.
Dimensions/capacities: L 4.41 m (14.47 ft), W 2.13 m (6.99 ft), H 1.66 m (5.47 ft), boot/load space 572 to 1,554 litres (20.20 to 54.88 cu.ft), kerb weight: 1,430 kg (3,153 lb), five doors/five seats.