Not only did the Renault Scenic essentially invent the European compact MPV segment, but its four-generation lifespan has also neatly charted the evolution of the family blob on wheels.
It neither sounded nor looked like much of a prospect, and even Renault believed it would be a niche product.
But the model won the European Car of the Year title in 1997 and caught the public’s imagination in the best possible way. At its peak, the manufacturer was said to be turning out 2500 examples a day.
Its replacement added to the line-up a long-wheelbase Grand version, which came with the two third-row jump seats necessary to bridge the gap between the compact segment and the longer-running, more expensive large MPVs.
However, the outgoing Scenic III floundered, along with the rest of the class, as droves of family buyers migrated from drab five-door bubbles into the more dynamic profile of the crossover.