Vehicle Reviews

Renault Grand Scenic - Review of the week

The new generation Renault Grand Scenic offers space for seven in a 7-seat MPV package that serves to remind us of Renault's years of expertise in this game.

Renault was the first brand to properly meet the demands of the best 7 seat MPV that drivers wanted. This latest Renault Scenic model continues to effectively do just that, offering a more up-market feel and a smarter spin on a well established theme. Practical, safe, quiet, comfortable, efficient to run and relatively affordable, it ticks a lot of boxes.

The Renault Grand Scenic has never really garnered a reputation as a particularly sharp steer, but that suits the sort of customers who just want something comfortable and unthreatening to do the family duties. The bulk of sales will go on the dCi diesel engines which develop 110PS in 1.5-litre form, or 130 or 160PS in 1.6-litre guise.

The best seller will be the 1.5 110PS dCi variant and this derivative is also being offered with clever 'Hybrid Assist' technology. Hybrid Assist functions with a 48-volt battery, enabling the electric motor to support the internal combustion engine, which remains in continuous operation. So far so practical. There's also a very attractive 1.2-litre TCe turbo petrol unit in 115 and 130PS guises which is well worth a look if you don't cover such big mileages. In terms of the way this Renault will drive, well as before, don't expect pin-sharp handling, with the emphasis instead on supple comfort. The way 7 seat MPV drivers like it.

Renault Grand Scenic - Review of the week

This is a bigger MPV than its second generation predecessor, 75mm longer, 15mm higher and 2mm wider. As significantly, there's 35mm more wheelbase. That's not enough to make this Grand Scenic a rival to really large MPVs like Volkswagen's Sharan, but it'll make it easier for this Renault to be considered as a really credible alternative to one of the best 7 seater MPV in the segment, Ford's S-MAX.

It certainly looks sharper than before. The styling is based on Renault's R-Space concept car, key features like the steeply-raked windscreen and short bonnet heightening the elegance of this Renault Scenic MPV silhouette. Uniquely, big 20-inch wheels are fitted to all versions. At the same time, the three-part screen combines a panoramic view with improved side vision. At the front, there's a more distinctive lighting signature. Depending on version, the C-shaped front headlights benefit from LED PURE VISION technology, while Edge Light technology provides the taillights with a 3D effect.

The boot of this third generation 7 seat MPV boasts a volume of 718-litres when the third seating row isn't in use; that compares to the 572-litre figure you get from the standard Scenic model. Plus around the car, there's total additional stowage capacity of 63-litres. Take the 'Easy Life drawer', which faces the front passenger seat and offers a storage area of 11.5-litres. That's three litres more than a conventional glove box. Lit and chilled, it opens via an electronic sensor and automatically locks when the vehicle stops. Plus, as before, there are four underfloor compartments.

You might think your day-to-day family car journeys are mind-bogglingly dull but there are numerous models on the market locked in ferocious competition for the right to come along for the ride. If your brood needs everyday space for five and occasional room for seven, then here's one of the best of them, should you be seeking one of the best 7 seater MPV that's big enough for the family, without suggesting to the world that you've your own reserved parking space down at the maternity unit.

It'll certainly help in the showroom that the looks of this third generation Renault Scenic are now trendier - plus it's significantly more practical where it counts - inside. On top of that, build quality is strong, running costs are low and safety is outstanding. Overall then, a car that shows Renault still has its finger firmly on the pulse of what modern families are looking for. This is Europe's most popular family 7 seat MPV for a reason.

Click here to find out more about our Renault Grand Scenic range