RENAULT is making cars with more interesting designs. So that at least in the looks department it might be easier to do battle with the competition.
As a compact MPV, the five-seater adopts some of the looks of an SUV, scaled down to deliver more accessible proportions.
The Scenic now sits on wider tracks and a longer wheelbase, and rides on stylish 20” rims inspired by the R-Space concept car. The dual tone finish gives it a more compact feel, the black top contrasting nicely with the honey yellow body of the test drive car.
The C-shaped LED day time running lights, first seen in the Kadjar, gives the front a sharper look, and the rear lights give it a distinctive appearance.
With glass all around, and not forgetting the moonroof, the Scenic offers more space than it appears to have. Once inside this Privilege variant, it is comfortable in front, and the glass does let in lots of light. But that’s not going to help if you’re tall and relegated to the back.
While the Scenic affords you a good view of the scenery, it’s also easy on the eye, especially in front. With a large display and with the gear shift mounted on the dash, it gives the impression of greater roominess. Also that old-world sensation of driving a van.
A sliding centre armrest is among the various storage options available in the Scenic, which makes it a good family ride to carry the needful paraphernalia for a long road journey. The foldable rear seats are also options for more space. And they can be conveniently flopped down by a touch on the 8.7” centre console or in the luggage compartment.
The multimedia system offers good connectivity, with Bluetooth bringing your mobile phone into the cabin. Four USB ports allow virtually everyone to keep their devices charged and ready for action.
The centre console does feel like it’s been taken from a left-hand-drive model. The information about the gears is on the passenger’s side of the shifter, making it hard to see where it’s at; not that you’re going to be looking at it much, but it just seems like an afterthought.
On the go, the Scenic is functionally smooth, but nowhere near as exciting as its colour or groovy lines. It lacks the immediacy of a diesel performer, but it is quite mingy with the fuel.
The turbocharged 1.5-litre diesel engine does what it’s able to in conjunction with the 7-speed gearbox. The larger tyres may not help. And a springy steering tends to offer a little battle of wills initially, but it’s generally a colourless drive.
This is not going to be nippiest set of wheels around, but it is packed with other features — handsfree auto parking, blind spot monitoring and hill start assist, e.g. — that make it a worthwhile consideration.
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RENAULT SCENIC PRIVILEGE dCi(A) TECH SPECS
Engine: Direct injection with Common Rail, turbocharged
Max Power: 82kW@4,000rpm
Max Torque: 260Nm@1,750rpm
VES Band: A2
0-100kmh: 12.4 seconds
Top Speed: 184kmh
Retail price: *$115,999
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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