Apart from removing the need to develop different chassis set-ups for different wheel sizes, this one-size-fits-all approach allows the styling to be optimised around that wheel size, while the narrowness reduces drag and rolling resistance. The tyre has also be developed to provide a good ride.
Renault says it worked hard to ensure the car’s stance was just right, because it wanted to inject flare and style into the new model; two things it admits were lacking from the Mk3. On first glances it certainly seems to have done the job, with pushed out wheels and a sleek roofline giving the Scenic a much more muscular stance.
The Scenic has a higher than usual H-point for an MPV, to provide the seating position of an SUV. This “puts us in a bit of a bind with aerodynamics,” says Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker, “because the car is taller, and wider too. But the dropping roofline and the narrowing of the car’s body in plan form compensates.”
Optional extras for the car’s exterior include LED headlights, diamond cut alloy wheels and two-tone paint – which sees the roof painted in a contrasting colour. The 10 colours options list includes several bold colours, confirming Renault’s intentions to spruce up the Scenic’s image.
This design focus has been carried onto the inside, where a driver-hugging dashboard creates the feeling of a more cockpit-like interior. For drivers wanting a more airy cabin, part of the centre console can be opened, while a full-length fixed panoramic roof extends the view to the outside world.
The whole cabin is significantly more premium feeling that the outgoing car, with soft touch plastics and well finished trim giving the Scenic clout to compete with more expensive models. Renault says it wants the Scenic to appeal to drivers who want both style and practicality in their car, and a wide window of customisation is offered to cater for different tastes.
There are two USB charging ports, and all models aside from the base car get two digital displays. One is an 8.7in vertical touchscreen located on the car’s floating centre console (it houses the car’s R-Link 2 infotainment system), and the other is a 7in horizontal display that sits behind the steering wheel, taking place of conventional dials. A head-up display is also included on these models.
The Scenic’s boot can swallow 572 litres of luggage, but more space can be accessed when the 60:40 split rear bench is folded. Optional One Touch Folding can lower the rear seats electronically via the touch of a button in the boot, or through the car’s infotainment system.