Renault Grand Scenic review
The Renault Grand Scenic is highly efficient, spacious and flexible inside
Launched back in 2009, the Renault Grand Scenic has been subject to two recent facelifts, the first of which, saw updates to the engine range and equipment levels.
The second facelift came in 2013 - this was a mid-life refresh, which was intended to help it fend off competition from the Ford Grand C-MAX, Toyota Verso and all-new Kia Carens. Most of these tweaks were cosmetic, and very much needed, as the Grand Scenic was beginning to look outdated when compared to stylish rivals such as the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.
There's only one model on offer now - the sat-nav equipped Dynamique TomTom version. Still, the Renault Grand Scenic is one of the best value people carriers money can buy - it's practical, spacious, and well suited to family life. Plus, it has the advantage of 21cm of extra length over the standard Scenic, as well as those extra two-seats.
Our choice: Grand Scenic Dynamique TomTom dCi 130 Manual
Engines, performance and drive
The Renault Grand Scenic offers great visibility, thanks to a large glass area and a high driving position. There are two diesels in the range, a 1.5-litre dCi 110 and 1.6-litre dCi 130, which manage 68.9mpg and 64.2mpg respectively. Both diesels offer decent performance, although the 1.5-litre can feel a little slow when the car is fully loaded.
The 1.6-litre is probably the best engine to opt for if you're going to be racking up the motorway miles - it offers a more relaxed driving experience thanks to the extra power. There's also a 1.2-litre TCe 130 turbocharged petrol in the line-up. This was improved massively in 2013 when Renault added highly efficient stop-start technology and it now manages 46.3mpg.
Generally speaking, there's little wrong with how the Scenic drives. The body rolls a bit in corners but there's plenty of grip and refinement isn't bad either. The ride's a little firm, yet the Grand Scenic is still an easy-to-drive and comfortable family car.
MPG, CO2 and running costs
Despite the extra length and two extra seats, the Grand Scenic doesn't suffer too badly in terms of economy when compared to the standard Scenic. The 1.5-litre dCi 110 returns an impressive 105g/km of CO2, while the 1.6-litre is just shy of this, with 114g/km of CO2 emissions. The 1.5-litre is the most efficient in the range - it manages 68.9 mpg, while the 1.6-litre gets 64mpg. The 1.2-litre TCe 115 petrol emits 140g/km of CO2 emissions and manages 46.3mpg.
Buyers should be aware that carrying seven people or a lot of luggage around with you will reduce fuel economy due to the extra weight. Renault's excellent 4+ deal gives you warranty, free servicing, breakdown and finance for four years should you decide to take it up.
Interior, design and technology
Following the facelift in 2013, the Renault Grand Scenic now features a new front end design that brings the MPV's look into line with other stylish cars from the manufacturer, such as the Renault Clio and the Captur SUV.
There's a larger Renault logo set in the centre of a gloss black front grille, and LED running lights, too. The interior has been revamped as well, featuring a new dashboard design with a navigation and multimedia screen. Buyers can opt for a Bose+ package, which isn't strictly a trim level, but might as well be; it includes a nine-speaker Bose sound system, bigger alloy wheels and extra styling touches such as chrome roof rails.
Standard Renault Scenics come in Dynamique TomTom specification, and as the name suggests, this comes with a sat-nav, 16-inch alloy wheels, USB connectivity and automatic headlights. Although the interior has been revamped, it's beginning to show its age. Fit and finish is reasonable, but the cabin materials aren't up to the standard of the class leaders.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
Unlike many rivals, in the Grand Scenic you can remove the middle row completely to create a huge van-like space of 2,063 litres but the seats are heavy to lift out.
When the middle row chairs are tumbled forward it's easy to get into the rearmost row and the tall roof ensures the Scenic's back row seats are among the most comfortable you'll find in a seven-seater of this size.
Each of the middle-row seats also slides independently and has Isofix mountings. There's plenty of storage places and cubbyholes, including hidden bins in the passenger footwells and an optional sliding centre console.
Reliability and Safety
The Renault Grand Scenic has eight airbags, traction control and adjustable headrests on all of the seats. The car scored a full five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests back in 2009, and as this latest version has only improved following the facelifts, you can expect a similar standard of safety.
The current Renault Scenic came fourth in the 2013 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, so the Grand version should prove to be very good as well. Renault finished 21st in our 2013 manufacturer ratings - it's not great, but its reputation for reliability is improving at least, and the manufacturer has worked up a name for itself in terms of safety.