From £19,590
Looking for a refined, frugal, practical family car? This Renault Grand Scenic covers all the bases

What is it?

It’s the most frugal entrant in Renault’s 2012 model year Grand Scenic people carrier range – the 1.5-litre dCi 110 Stop and Start.

It is also the only new seven-seater on sale in the UK that qualifies for a £20 tax disc. And for benefit-in-kind company car tax at less than 16 per cent. And for the government’s 100 per cent first-year ‘capital allowance’ tax relief scheme, which is increasingly important for fleet operators.

It’s a three-row, one-and-a-half tonne family car that, Renault claims, does almost 70mpg; the sort of car with which Renault should really have the seven-seater fleet car market all sewn up, surely?

What’s it like?

Marginally less exceptional away from the spec sheet and out in the real world – but convincing nonetheless. On a mixed urban and motorway route, our test car bettered 50mpg, making it frugal next to its peers; well short of Renault’s government economy claims, but the car wouldn’t be alone on that front.

The Grand Scenic suffered slightly with lazy low-rpm throttle response, but teamed with entirely adequate performance and such commendable economy, that’s a flaw that’s easy to forgive. Engine refinement is good, the car’s ride quiet, settled and absorptive. Driving with enough discipline to always be in the right gear is the only chore.

This Renault doesn’t hold much allure for the driver; it’s got light, spongy steering that’s a little too keen to return to the dead-ahead, and stable but only moderately responsive handling. But its value proposition is strong: the car comes with sat nav, Bluetooth, cruise control and rear parking sensors as standard. Renault’s 2012 model year refresh has smartened up the cabin quite successfully, too.

If you want a seven-seater for full-sized adults, you’ll need to set you sights on a larger MPV altogether; no member of the Grand Scenic’s class offers enough space to comfortably meet that brief. The Renault’s rear seats aren’t quite wide enough for larger occupants, headroom in the 2nd row is slightly restricted for taller passengers in the outer two seats, and the third row is strictly for children only. But the seats slide, tumble and stow easily, boot space is good, and cabin storage is generous enough.

Should I buy one?

For those looking for a refined, frugal, super-practical family car, this Renault covers the bases better than most of its direct competition. There are faster, more responsive, more upmarket and more desirable cars you could choose, but few that combine basic MPV fitness-for-purpose and multi-dimensional value-for-money quite so well.

Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCi 110 Stop and Start

Price: £21,625; Top speed: 112mph; 0-62mph: 13.5sec; Economy: 68.9mpg; Co2: 105g/km; Kerb weight: 1516kg; Engine type, cc: 4 cyls, 1461cc, turbodiesel; Power: 108bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 192lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual.

Join the debate

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Fidji 19 February 2012

Re: Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCi 110 Stop and Start

Incredible efficiency for a car of this size! I imagine that this particular Grand Scenic could do well as a minicab. I'd have one with the 1.6dCi personally, but this one still seems mighty impressive.

Zeddy 16 February 2012

Re: Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCi 110 Stop and Start

TegTypeR wrote:
Remember who this car will be aimed at..... school run mums and older people

More fool them then for spending £21,625 on an under powered car that probably has too many seats for their actual needs.

xxxx 16 February 2012

Re: Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCi 110 Stop and Start

TegTypeR wrote:
xxxx wrote:

0-60 in 13.5 secs, I wonder how long it would take with 7 people in.

I'm not a fast driver but I always find it more stressful driving a car that car that couldn't pull the skin of a custard tart!

Remember who this car will be aimed at..... school run mums and older people who need the room and don't have an interest in driving. It isn't meant to be a drivers car and it will do exactly what the majority of its customers will want to do.

In fact, in reality it probably doesn't even need to be a diesel for these people but it gives them the choice.

Not sure where the "interest in driving" came from, I just said I'd find it stressful driving a car this slow. Plus I'm sure these cars would do more than just the school runs.