JUST because you feel like you’re a bus driver shuttling six people around, it doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re driving a bus.
Renault, who invented the world’s first compact multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) some 20 years ago has continued to redefine it. The Scenic has sold in excess of five million units worldwide, and the fourth generation combines the changes that changing times have had on society.
The seven-seater is still about practicality, with automatic folding seats that let you carry a lot of long stuff around. It can also carry people with some degree of comfort, though it does get a bit tight in the back. To alleviate this, large windows and a panoramic roof lets you watch the scenery and clouds go by, and those in the last row will be hoping that numb feeling below the knees will pass once they get out of the vehicle.
Keeping things at a practical level, the front of the Scenic is equipped with enough gear to fool you into thinking you’re driving a smaller vehicle.
The clean dash and centre console with the big portrait screen, deliver loads of information that you can swipe and stab at. Sometimes a touch too many is required to change a setting, but all in all, the reduced buttons and clutter is welcomed.
Loads of storage — even under the floor mats — give you plenty of places to forget where you left something. And the armrests can be shifted back to reveal yet more storage spots.
Where it matters, the Scenic delivers well. Good connectivity ensures the phones sync well and you can go about much of your business seamlessly. The Arkamys 3D sound system with six speakers makes full use of the volume within the Scenic to give you a fuller sound.
Handling this big fella isn’t too difficult. The diesel dash is good for a quick take off. Rear view cameras help in parking, and a responsive steering ensures you get through parking garages without too much fuss. The 1.5L turbo engine delivers enough torque at low revs to pull you along relatively swiftly.
The work done to the exterior of the Grand Scenic helps to take away from the people carrier image.
The short front with the grooved bonnet, stylish LED daytime-runninglights and aggressive grille slopes back to a two-toned body. The abrupt back is inevitable, though you’d best step back when opening the rear boot. It takes some hefting to open.
Given that it is still a practical vehicle, the Grand Scenic has remembered to keep the occupants in mind.
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Engine: Direct injection with Common Rail
Max Power: 82kW@ 4,000rpm
Max Torque: 260Nm@ 1,750rpm
0-100kmh: 13.2 seconds
Top Speed: 184kmh
Retail price: *$131,999
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
Read more STORM car reviews HERE.
We had a 2007 Scenic until a few weeks ago and it was one of the best car I have ever driven. We simply adored it. Unfortunately Australians are not keen on this type of car, preferring ugly inappropriately big SUVs so we can not get this latest model Scenic. There are so few cars that have the space and carrying capacity of an SUV but the driveability of a Euro car. The 5-seater is a better drive and less bus-like, while still having loads of space and versatility.
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