Scenic’s space and versatility tempt

Renault Scenic
Renault Scenic
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A Woman’s View – will it suit me?

There’s a school of thought that says an MPV isn’t a proper MPV unless it’s got extra seats. The argument goes that a normal family hatchback can seat five with a reasonable boot so there’s little point in paying extra for an MPV to do a broadly similar job. Renault has both the seven-seat Grand Scenic and the five-seat Scenic on its books.

The practicalities

The Scenic models lay-on lots of space and versatility. The second row of seats can be folded flat or removed, and boot space is measured at 522 litres. The loading lip is usefully low and there’s a big square opening that will give you a fighting chance of fitting even bulkier objects inside.

Behind the Wheel

Economy is obviously important for a functional family vehicle but the Scenic’s engines also need the performance to move a fully-laden vehicle with a bit of spirit. The entry-level 1.6-litre 110bhp petrol engine is likely to find this difficult but with turbocharging and another 5bhp, the 1.2 TCe 115 powerplant looks a far more compelling option.

But it’s the diesels that are likely to attract more interest. Renault’s 1.5 dCi engine pops up here in dCi 90 and dCi110 guises but its real strength is low running costs. Buyers wanting a punchier oil-burner can choose the fast yet frugal 1.6 dCi 130 unit.

Value for money

Trim levels start at Extreme, then move up to Expression, Dynamique (or ‘TomTom’ if you want this trim with sat nav) and Privilege.

Could I live with one?

While I recognise the wide range of extra options that a pair of additional seats gives to an MPV owner, I’m with Renault on this one.