All-new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine is impressive

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.

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JackB 29 July 2009

Re: Renault Scenic 1.4 TCe Dynamique

Everything about new Scenic is great except one thing: why is it so bloody bland?!

skylinecrazy 29 July 2009

Re: Renault Scenic 1.4 TCe Dynamique

39.8 MPG on a new MPV.

Have Renault taken a step backwards? We have an old '98 Scenic in the family and it comfortably returns in excess of 45mpg.

Stick to diesels when buying cars to trundle the family around or go on holiday.