From £19,590
The most powerful diesel in the model range

Our Verdict

Renault Grand Scenic

The Renault Grand Scenic isn't interesting to drive, but it is pleasurable to sit in and live with

What is it?

This is the Renault Grand Scenic 2.0 dCi 160 – the most powerful diesel engine in the model range. The Grand Scenic is the first Renault to get the 158bhp version of the 2.0-litre common rail turbodiesel amd we’re testing the range-topping Privilege model complete with standard six-speed manual gearbox.

If you want to save your left foot some effort, the lower powered 2.0 DCi 150 has an optional six-speed auto, or a new CVT auto is available on the 2.0-litre 140 petrol-engined models.

What’s it like?

Everything about the Grand Scenic is designed to make family life easier, and the driving experience is suitably serene and in keeping with that theme. It’s a long way from the sharp dynamics of an S-Max, but the diesel unit offers plenty of acceleration over a broad rev-range and, thanks to the decent refinement and economy, is a good choice if you undertake regular motorway miles or carry the full complement of seven passengers.

Ride quality is less composed and noticeably firmer in the DCi 160 than in the new TCe 130 petrol model thanks to the extra weight over the front axle, but it still absorbs all but the worst breaks in the road surface and is never an uncomfortable place to be.

It has various driver-oriented luxuries such as the sliding centre console that doubles up as an armrest, comfortable seats and excellent visibility. The new digital display graphics are very clear, and the novelty of changeable coloured backgrounds and various displays is sure to enthral new buyers. In truth, though, the system lacks user-friendliness next to many more conventional layouts.

Should I buy one?

There are many reasons to buy a Renault Grand Scenic – it’s good value, comfortable and endlessly practical. But the competition at the price level of the Grand Scenic DCi 160 is tougher than ever. Though the Grand Scenic is a pleasant thing to drive and spend time in, Ford’s S-Max is still in a class of its own when it comes to combining MPV functionality and engaging dynamics.

Join the debate


24 April 2009

I think this renault looks quite good... from the rear!!! the front end is the least sucessful part of the design! Also I think its emissions could be better than 173g/km??

24 April 2009

I'm sure it will be a decent family car but Renault seriously needs to improve the reliability. The current Scenic is a joke when it comes to the numerous (and expensive) electrical faults.

Anybody wanting a smallish Renault family car will need to look at the Scenic because the megane just isn't up to the job. I sat in a new Megane today and when the front seat was adjusted for me (I'm 5'11") there was about 3 inches of rear leg room. That's a complete joke for a family car.

25 April 2009

I thought it was a good joke when you said it was good value . 22 grand for that ugly awful badly made garbage ? A van based mpv for £15000 makes so much more sense , and it will look better !

27 April 2009

[quote timmmmy] think this renault looks quite good... from the rear!!! the front end is the least sucessful part of the design! Also [/quote]

Looks like the back was done by a Nissan designer and the front was from Renault's usual "ugly team." A bit like the Laguna coupe and several women I know who look like a good idea from behind!

28 April 2009

[quote Audi Tastic]A bit like the Laguna coupe and several women I know who look like a good idea from behind![/quote]

That's a bit naughty! But funny...

We saw ones of these in a huge head-on the other day - it held up unbelievably well after wiping out the front of a mid 90s Jag. Really unbelievable.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune
  • BMW X2
    This is the new BMW X2
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    Doesn’t deliver many typical crossover selling points but looks perky, handles keenly and is well capable of winning over your latent cynic
  • First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The newest version of Rolls-Royce's flagship model sets new standards for opulence and luxury whether you're driving it or being driven in it