Fitness for purpose: that’s the mantra that lies behind all of Autocar’s road tests. Does a car, we ask, do the things it is supposed to do?

In the Grand Scenic’s case the answer is yes – it does them unequivocally and absolutely. The Renault has spaciousness, a perfectly acceptable seating arrangement and the kind of comfort and refinement that buyers in this class will expect. Its interior finish is impressive, too.

The Renault is a sensible family car, albeit not a very interesting one

The Renault also majors in efficiency, making it a viable option for company car users who want something that can serve family as well as business requirements. 

As with all cars, though, there are things the Renault Grand Scenic could do better, things that would elevate it above its rivals.

Just because a car is spacious, for example, there is no reason why it should not also be engaging to drive –  as Ford’s C-Max and the Mazda 5 both prove. 

The task of removing the Renault's seats can also prove tiresome and, even though they can add weight, we like to see the use of more practical sliding rear doors on MPVs. 

Overall, however, these are small foibles. What the Renault Grand Scenic does well, it does very well indeed.