Skip advert
Advertisement

Renault Scenic review (2016-2019) - Interior, design and technology

The Scenic's bold exterior gives it the edge over staid MPVs, while the interior is versatile and well-made

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.2 out of 5

Find your Renault Scenic
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Renault’s design boss Laurens van den Acker has gone to great lengths to explain why the exterior look of the Scenic is so important. The only way to save the MPV sector is to make these cars more desirable, he reckons, and he’s even gone as far as saying that if this Scenic doesn’t sell, then MPVs deserve to die altogether.

Advertisement - Article continues below

You can see what he’s getting at when you first clap eyes on the Scenic. The bulbous front-end is even more striking than the Renault Kadjar, while the windscreen is steeply raked and there are loads of curves and creases.

At the back the design is softer and more rounded, while it’s raised up slightly to give it presence. You could go as far as calling it elegant, although this is still an MPV. It certainly gives the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer a run for its money, and is far less staid than many other MPV rivals. 

The 20-inch wheels are as big a design trait as the bodywork – they’re the same size as the ones you get on a Bentley Mulsanne, for example. There are several designs available, and they can even be personalised with handy inserts that clip on and off.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Inside, things aren’t quite as stylish. Most of the plastics are dark and the design isn’t particularly interesting. Still, it looks smart enough and feels considerably better built than the previous generation car, with only a few squeaks and rattles on our early test model letting things down. It just lacks a bit of the plushness and airiness of the C4 SpaceTourer's interior.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The design is much the same as its Megane sistrr model, only with a less driver focused and more upright, family-friendly shape. Renault has elected to ditch the old centrally-mounted speedo and use digital instruments in the conventional place behind the wheel, which it says improves the driver’s control of the car. Top models are very well kitted-out, thanks to electric memory leather seats, a panoramic glass roof, a Bose sound system and a head-up display, plus the new portrait-style touchscreen.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Play and Iconic versions of the Scenic feature a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard, but Signature models get the portrait-style 8.7-inch R-Link 2 set-up first seen in the Megane. Compared with the units in the Citroen and Ford, the Renault has the crispest graphics, the most user-friendly menus and most responsive screen, which includes a pinch and swipe function. 

As with its rivals, the screen features a number of tabs that work as shortcuts to the main functions (sat-nav, stereo and climate controls). Connecting your phone is straightforward, as is programming a destination into the nav, although we found the TomTom-powered unit often failed to highlight snarl-ups until we were in them.

All versions of the R-Link 2 system feature a 12-month subscription to the R-Link store, for access to a variety of free and paid for apps, from weather updates and Michelin guides to a concierge service and E-mail. One criticism is that there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto option. 

The system is fairly easy to operate, although it can be slow to swap between menus, which spoils the experience somewhat. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 review - the do-it-all family SUV
Skoda Kodiaq 2024
In-depth reviews

New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 review - the do-it-all family SUV

The Kodiaq aims to be the do-it-all SUV for families and it largely succeeds. The driving experience isn’t the most exciting, but for a big, practical…
12 Apr 2024
New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April
Facelifted Volkswagen Golf - front static
News

New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April

The eighth-generation Golf has been given a mid-life refresh - just in time for the model’s 50th birthday
9 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month
Peugeot 2008 facelift - full front
News

Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month

Buyers can snap up the Peugeot 2008 small SUV at a bargain price; it’s our Car Deal of the Day for 10 April at just £142 a month
10 Apr 2024