First DriveBody styling add-ons and new traction system aim to turn MPV into a crossover rival; and there's no price penalty for choosing it over a standard Scenic
First DriveGenerous space and a comprehensive specification, with a wide and elegantly styled cabin
What is it?
It’s the mildly revised Renault Scenic, equipped with an all-new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Renault argues that the new motor produces the power of a 1.8-litre unit and the torque of a 2.0 litre, while offering better fuel economy and lower emissions.
What’s it like?
Composed, without ever offering entertainment. The overall set-up (still based on the old Megane) is focused on comfort more than agility, and it shows. The steering has plenty of weight but not much feel, but the six-speed gearbox is slick enough.
The engine is more convincing than you might expect, though. There’s not the same mid-range surge that you get with a turbodiesel, but power delivery is impressively linear. In something more involving than a Scenic, it could even be fun. It’s certainly refined at motorway speeds; wind and road noise are more of a problem there.
Should I buy one?
The Scenic’s brief is family life and on that score, it delivers, with impressive cabin finish, a decent spec for the money, lots of cubby holes and a flexible (if fiddly) rear seating arrangement. Just don’t expect turbo thrills.