Renault Grand Scénic Dynamique 1.6 dCi 130 Stop & Start road test review – Practical family transport at its best. DAVID HOOPER has a look at one of the latest people movers from Renault.
THE Renault scenic remains today what it always has been a hugely popular and practical family car.
This particular model is the second generation of the seven-seat Grand Scenic and comes with more interior space and the added benefit of a third row of seats. When they are needed, the seats flip up easily out of the boot floor and click into place, however due to their compact proportions they are not really suited to adult passengers, but are ideal for children and teenagers.
People in the second row of seats are very well catered for with flip up aircraft-style trays on the back of the front seats. There are also numerous pockets stitched into the seatbacks which are ideal for keeping bits small snacks, toys, and even games consoles securely stowed while on the move.
In fact, although it may be hard to believe, there are actually no fewer than 40 stowage spaces totalling 83 litres of space dotted around the cabin.
With the rear seats folded into the floor, and the middle row seats folded down, an easy manoeuvre which involves folding the seatbacks of the middle row flat before tumbling the base of the seat forwards, the Grand Scenic has enough room inside, thanks to plentiful headroom, to do a perfectly passable impression of a small van.
If even more space is needed, the middle row seats, once folded forward, can be removed completely from the vehicle, but then have to be stored in the house or garage.
More storage space is found in a large storage bin between the two front seats, large door pockets and even small compartments in the floor of the car which can be used for hiding valuables when the vehicle is unattended.
There are five engines in the range, three petrol and two diesels, with most featuring Stop & Start systems which turn the engine off in traffic jams when the car is taken out of gear, instantly restarting it when the clutch is depressed again. The fuel savings soon start to add up in city traffic.
The 1.6-litre diesel in our test car provided a nice mix of quiet, refined performance, comfortable motorway cruising, and enough oomph to make A-road progress a pleasure.
The dashboard of the Scenic will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever been in one of these models. It hasn’t changed for some time and is now beginning to look a little dated, however everything you need is there with cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod connections, CD players sat satellite navigation and plenty of information about how the driver is using the vehicle, with economy charts showing average mpg, CO2 emissions, distance travelled and how sympathetically you are driving the car – it even monitors your acceleration, coasting and braking performance to give you an eco-score which encourages the driver to maximise the fuel consumption.
During my test, the Renault Grand Scenic returned 48.4 miles to the gallon which is quite respectable. It’s comfortable, easy to drive and with parking sensors back and front, manoeuvring and parking is the simplest of the activities.
Our test car was fitted with the a few nice options, including 17in alloy wheels, and bi-xenon directional headlights, but my favourite was the electric panoramic opening sunroof and sunblind. Not cheap at £900, but money well spent in my book.
When it comes to a practical, well-designed family transport, in my book the Renault Grand Scenic still takes some beating.
THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: Renault Grand Scénic Dynamique TomTom ENERGY 1.6 dCi 130 Stop & Start.
RENAULT GRAND SCENIC RANGE: From Dynamique Nav 1.6 VVT 110 (£20,590) to Limited dCi 130 (£24,215).
ENGINE: 1598cc, 130bhp four-cylinder diesel engine, driving front wheels through 6-speed manual gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 121mph. 0-62mph in 11.1 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 55.4mpg.
Wheel World test average: 48.4mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS: 114g/km.
FUEL TANK: 60 litres.
INSURANCE: Group 19.
PRICE: £23,615 (£25,330 as tested).
WARRANTY: 4 years, 100,000 miles.
• All data correct at time of publication.