Quarter final 2

Renault Scenic vs Volkswagen Golf Estate

EntrantsWINNER: Renault Scenic (£14,703-£23,637) Our choice: 1.5 dCi 106 Dynamique TomTom

RUNNER-UP: VW Golf Estate (£17,200-£23,580) Our choice: 2.0 TDI 140 SE

The second of our quarter finals is another MPV versus estate match-up – only this time it’s on a larger scale. Renault’s Scenic and VW’s Golf Estate are both based on mainstream family hatches, so which one takes the win?

When it comes to style, there’s little between them. The VW has the advantage of a lower roofline, which gives it a sportier silhouette, but the German model is understated to the point of being boring. The neat rear lights of the Golf hatch have vanished, and so has any hint of visual flair.

In contrast, the upright Scenic is full of unusual touches. Its distinctive boomerang-shaped rear light clusters and smooth nose are more likely to catch your attention in the car park.

The Renault really begins to apply the pressure when you look inside.

Its quirky, practical interior includes digital centre-mounted instruments, and three independent rear seats. They slide, fold and can be removed completely, depending on how much passenger and luggage space you need. Even with them in place, there’s still 522 litres of room. When folded, load space increases to 1,637 litres.

Switch to the Golf, and things are more conventional. It has a decent 505-litre boot capacity, but its rear seats don’t slide, and the undeniably classy interior lacks the family-friendly imagination of its MPV rival.

On the road, the lower-slung VW counters with sharper dynamics and superior refinement. However, this isn’t enough to help it draw back on level terms.

Competitive pricing seals victory for  the Renault. You can pick up a diesel Scenic for £15,726, but you’ll have to fork out at least £17,000 to get behind the wheel of the cheapest Golf Estate (and nearly £18,500 for the diesel). That’s a big own goal in this company. In the end, French flair triumphs over a workmanlike German performance.

In this review

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