New Renault Grand Scenic vs Citroen Grand C4 Picasso vs Volkswagen Touran

Renault has upped the MPV stakes with its stylish new Grand Scénic seven-seater. Is it enough to defeat our current MPV of the Year, the Touran, or the revamped Grand C4 Picasso?...

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What Car? team
27 March 2016

What are they like inside?

Regardless of which of our trio you pick, there are unlikely to be any complaints from the front. Even with optional panoramic roofs on all three, there’s more than enough head room even for tall adults. For leg room in the front, the Touran is best, but the others still offer plenty.

The Touran has the most conventional dash with traditional dials directly in front of the driver. The Scénic instead has a configurable digital display (and the option of a head-up display, which projects info into the driver’s eyeline), while the C4 has a massive digital display in the centre of the dash. Although it takes a little getting used to, this screen is high up enough to be in your peripheral vision. Nevertheless, the Touran’s instruments are easiest to read.

New Renault Grand Scenic vs Citroen Grand C4 Picasso vs Volkswagen Touran

The Touran also has the highest concentration of squishy plastics and the nicest-feeling switches and dials. The C4 and Scénic have some attractive trims and soft-touch materials, but harder plastics are easier to find and not as nicely finished as those in the Touran.

Move to the middle row of seats and the C4 has the most leg room with the seats slid all the way back or all the way forwards. The Touran has nearly as much room, although its lower floor means your knees sit at a comfier angle. The Scénic’s high floor and worst leg room make it feel the most cramped.

At the very back, the Touran is roomy enough for adults, while only shorter adults will be comfy in the C4. The Scénic is best reserved for children. All have seats that are easy to pull out of the floor, although the C4’s middle row is fiddly to fold away. The Scénic’s standard electric folding seats are even easier, but disappointingly the middle row is a 60/40 split-folding bench, while the C4 and Touran get three individually folding seats.

New Renault Grand Scenic vs Citroen Grand C4 Picasso vs Volkswagen Touran

With all seven seats up, none has a very large boot. There’s room for a few bags of shopping, but nowhere near a full trolley’s worth. The Scénic’s is a little longer than the others, but you still need to stow the third row to get decent space.With five seats up, all three are quite evenly sized, with lots of room for buggies and other bulky items.

Each car here has a variety of cubbyholes inside. The Scénic scores with a massive sliding compartment between the front seats that also has USB ports and a 12v socket on the back for rear-seat passengers. Like the Touran, the Scénic also gets folding tables on the front seatbacks, something you only get on pricier C4s.