Renault Grand Scenic

Our MPV gets put through its paces on a family holiday - and passes with flying colours.

Our Renault Scenic is Grand by name, and grand by nature! No matter how often I use it, I’m always amazed at just how much space the MPV provides for such a compact machine. It feels no bigger than a Volkswagen Golf to drive, but then I look over my shoulder and realise how much it can carry.

Whether I’m ferrying rear passengers or have folded down the seats, it’s taken everything I’ve thrown at it. Even modern estate cars can’t get close to the space on offer, as the Renault’s taller body lets it swallow large objects with ease. This fact was brought home to me recently, as I’ve had some moving to do – and was able to vastly reduce the number of trips needed by getting so much stuff into the car on each journey.

As the middle row of seats doesn’t fold flat, loading long items can be more difficult. However, these chairs can be removed entirely – and when you do this the Grand Scenic provides a van-like capacity. Yes, you have to store the seats somewhere, but if all you’re interested in is luggage space, it’s well worth the effort.

All this room doesn’t come at the expense of comfort, either. My family and I drove the Renault to Cornwall for a holiday, and the five-hour journey each way didn’t cause us any discomfort. Child- friendly features such as integral sunblinds in the rear doors also ensured that our two little girls could sleep in the back despite the glare of the day. And once they’d woken up, they could enjoy the extra light provided by the car’s huge rear sunroof.

The Scenic proved the perfect holiday companion; small enough to thread down narrow country lanes and tall enough to provide decent visibility on the unfamiliar and twisty roads. And the TomTom sat-nav’s handy postcode entry made it easy to find our way: we realised how useful this is while travelling in convoy with a friend.

I was leading the way as we approached a roundabout to turn right, but our mate was intent on swinging left. Assuming he knew where he was going, we followed him for a couple of miles before he stopped in a small country lane looking lost. It turns out his route-finder didn’t have postcode entry and had directed him to another road of the same name! 

Rounding off a fantastic week was our fuel consumption, revealed when I brimmed the tank at the end of our trip. So far the Scenic has been hamstrung by the amount of stop-start city driving it is used for, but our Cornwall holiday saw the average economy shoot into the high 30s – not bad for a fully laden seven-seat MPV.

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