Renault Grand Scenic Dynamique dCi 13006 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Renault updates its family-favourite carry-all


    When I was a lad, me and my pals all piled into the back of my friend’s father’s Hillman Minx for the run to school. Those were the days before seatbelts, airbags and crumple zones and we jumped around the car full of boisterous boyishness. Amazingly, we survived to tell the tale. Nowadays it seems children have to have all of these protective cushions to see them through their formative years in safety.

    These memories came back at the wheel of the latest Grand Scenic from Renault which is a haven of serenity, safety and seven seats for all the kids. It’s the second generation of the model and it’s bigger, more comfortable and stylish and a better performer than ever before. It’ll carry all the family, and their kit as well, with an amazing 40 stowage spaces; though some of them are only big enough for a mobile phone or MP3 player. The Scenic, large and small, is well established as Europe’s most popular family MPV. 

    The handling was for all the world like that of a standard car

    On the road

    For a vehicle whose primary role is to transport bodies, it is remarkably agile yet economical. Renault’s engineers have cut running costs by between 20 and 30% from the previous model while improving performance in all driving conditions. There are seven available engines but the 1.8 litre diesel unit in the test car delivered a very handy 130bhp along with superb economy.

    I spent a couple of days in the Borders, and on a wide variety of roads around Berwickshire and Northumberland it took everything in its stride. It was easy to forget this was a sizeable vehicle, because the handling was for all the world like that of a standard car. Visibility through the huge windscreen is superb and an improved suspension design has reduced body roll and brought a more precise feel to the steering.  

    Comfort & Safety

    The last Grand Scenic was good – I drove one over 3000 miles from Glasgow to Italy and back and felt relaxed – but the new one is even better. There’s more range in the driver’s seat and steering wheel adjustments, so no matter how long or short your arms or legs are you’ll find a comfortable setting. The longer length and increased wheelbase mean the cabin is more spacious with more room for those in the back than any other compact seven seat MPV. There’s a huge amount of stowage space, including underfloor compartments, underseat drawers and an 11-litre chillbox.

    What’s particularly useful are the three individual 12V power outlets, one for every row of seats. The Dynamique model test car comes with a whole range of toys including cruise control and speed limiter and automatic headlamps and wipers. The front end incorporates new features to protect pedestrians in a collision with more energy absorption at shin and knee height and in the bonnet, wings and wipers which can all cause injury in an accident.  

    Should I Buy One? 

    Yes — if you need a stylish, safe and comfortable family transport which can handle anything the family want it to carry.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £20,745
    Engine / Power: 1798cc / 130bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 11.9secs / Max 121mph
    How big/heavy?: H1645 mm W1845 mm L4560 mm / 1540kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 50.4mpg / 145g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 13 / Band F, £125
    Alternatives: Ford C-Max £18,742; Citroen Picasso £20,161;  VW Touran £18,472

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