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Steering, suspension and comfort

Based, like all previous Scenics, on the concurrent Megane, the Renault Grand Scenic has a torsion beam rear axle and MacPherson struts at the front attached to what Renault calls a horned subframe. In essence it means a front structure that is more rigidly located than in the previous car, to give a firmer base for the suspension and, more significantly, improve steering precision – something some modern, electrically power-assisted Renaults particularly lack.

Some cars seamlessly blend the two dynamic elements implied by this section’s headline, gliding effortlessly across bumps and rough surfaces yet retaining an impressive composure when asked to pitch into a corner at speed. The Grand Scenic is not one of those cars.

The Grand Scenic doesn't handle as well as a Ford C-Max

Instead, it cuts this section neatly into two. Its ride is very good – pillowy over low-speed lumps and thumps, aided not just by its fulsome kerb weight but also by modestly wide tyres on fairly tall sidewalls. As such, the suspension can be set tightly enough without harming its secondary ride across high-frequency surface imperfections, yet it controls the Scenic's body movements well across large dips and crests.

The suspension is not so tight, however, that the Grand Scenic is immune to the effects of crosswinds, which it is not keen on at all. If you ask a lot of its dynaamic abilities the Grand Scenic does what it can, steering more consistently than many recent Renaults, but there’s still little feedback through the helm and the Grand Scenic finds itself out of its depth more quickly than, say, a Ford C-Max would in the same situation.

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However, given the lack of finesse in the ride of some late Renaults, we’ll gladly trade the Grand Scenic’s shortcomings in agility for the comfort it affords its occupants.