Renault Grand Scenic

12 Mar, 2012 2:12pm Paul Bond

We get behind the wheel of the revised seven-seat Grand Scenic


The updated Grand Scenic justifies its place in Renault’s slimmed down range. The 1.6-litre dCi engine really impresses, with strong performance and very low running costs. And the cabin is full of useful cubbies, while the high roofline means you can carry seven in relative comfort. Renault’s new four-year warranty and servicing pack only adds to its appeal.
It's been a tough time recently for Renault in the UK, having been forced to slash its range. But now one of our favourite Renault models has been revamped – the Grand Scenic.

Facelifted for 2012, the seven-seater Scenic now gets a sleeker front grille, LED running lights underneath and smarter gloss black and chrome detailing.

A revised line-up means there’s only one trim level, but Dynamique TomTom comes well equipped, with sat-nav, air-con, Bluetooth and cruise control.

We drove the range-topping 1.6-litre diesel version, which combines 128bhp and 320Nm of torque with low emissions of just 114g/km. Unlike most eco-minded models, the Scenic feels really punchy and very refined, with a comfortable ride.

Vague steering and some body roll in corners mean it’s not as rewarding to drive as a Ford S-MAX or Vauxhall Zafira, but even in this high spec it’s cheaper than both.

As with most MPVs, the Scenic is extremely flexible, with a third row of seats that slide, fold and can even be taken out completely for a maximum 1,863-litre load space. It all adds up to a convincing package that holds more appeal than ever.

Disqus - noscript

Is it any wonder that Renault are losing sales when their designs are as dull and ugly as this? Where is the joie de vivre? Where is the je ne sais quoi? Where is the haute couture? But most of all, where is the va va voom?

Apart from the new engine which produces prodigious torque for its size combines with excellent economy, the Scenic is a disappointment. The Nissan/Renault design team needs to be refreshed. Are they serious bringing out cars like the Laguna and the pig ugly Juke?

The Scenic is too narrow. The three seats in the back would not be comfotable for adults as shoulder room is lacking. The versatility of the hatch is compromised by the descending roof line, so the car is not a serious load lugger either. The two seats in the crumple zone are only suitable for children up to 12 or 13 years old.

Renault invented this market segment and it is a pity the company has lost its way in not maintaining the momentum.

Sidewinder better steer straight - tailwinds are coming Renault's way. How/what? A new design head - Lauren van den Acker - started 2 years ago. You will feast your eyes on some nice Renaults to come...

As to the Juke - in all it's "uglyness" it sells well. See how dificult it is to predict one's future on looks alone?

Patrick Le Quément was responsible for ugly cars such as the Laguna, shake yer ass Meganne, Vel Satis as well as the Ford Sierra. He was lucky to reach retirement doing the same job.

Laurens van der Acker should look on each model now as a clean sheet. No more revamped designs of existing models. The next Laguna should trump the Mondeo, 508, C5 brigade with a swoopy beautiful design aligned to the Passat CC. Peugeot have demonstrated in the 5008 that you can design a handsome people carrier. Both the Scenic and Espace are yesterdays cars. Time for radical change.

I recently went through the decision process of Grand Scenic, Zafira or S Max and in the end the question over Renaults long reliability removed it from the list. I'm probably not the only that thinks like this. Until Renault provide a 5 or 7 year warranty I wouldn't feel comfortable buying one – regardless of how flexible it was.

Peter sp - Renaults are now extremely reliable nowadays. Most components are shared with Nissan and are just as reliable as any other mainstream manufacturer.
I test drove one of these a year ago, and I got out feeling depressed and emasculated - sooo dull! Renault need to retrieve design sparkle. I loved the unconventional Vel Satis and Avantime, but they sold badly. Who would have predicted that the Juke would sell so well? Renault need to be similarly bold again.

Key specs

* Price: £22,725
* Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
* Power: 128bhp
* Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
* 0-60mph: 10.4 seconds
* Top speed: 121mph
* Economy/CO2: 64.2mpg/114g/km
* On sale: Now