Renault Scenic long-term test review

The latest Renault Scenic people carrier is big on style and technology, but is it practical, too? Our chief photographer has got six months to find out

Words By John Bradshaw

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Renault Scenic exterior and interior
  • The car: Renault Scenic 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique S Nav
  • Run by: John Bradshaw, chief photographer
  • Why it's here: Renault claims to have redefined the MPV with its latest Scenic, but while it's certainly striking to look at, we want to know if it's as practical and easy to live with as the best rivals
  • Needs to: Cope with all of our photography gear, provide smooth transport on long journeys and be an effortless commuter

25 May 2017 – second report

Price Β£25,455 Price as tested Β£28,080 Miles 7111 Official economy 72.4mpg Test economy 50.8mpg Options fitted: Metallic paint (Β£545), LED headlights (Β£500), Parking Pack Premium (Β£500), Safety Pack Premium (Β£500), Bose Pack (Β£500), spare wheel (Β£90)

To achieve the β€˜concept car look’ of our Renault Scenic, certain compromises had to be made – compromises that have become increasingly apparent the more I live with our long-termer.

Most noticeable is the high floor position, which forces rear occupants into an awkward position where their knees are higher than their hips. Combined with a dramatic sloping rear roofline it only takes a matter of minutes before taller passengers start to grumble.

Renault's efforts to reduce drag and in turn improve efficiency throw up another issue. At speed, in heavy rain, the air streaming down the flanks of the car quickly generates a vortex of water on the side windows, rendering the door mirrors virtually useless. Now, I admit, this is not an effect limited to just the Scenic, but never before have I experienced quite the same loss of visibility.

That said, not all is doom and gloom with the Scenic, because Renault's decision to go for a bold design also brings a number of highlights.

For example, that pesky raised floor gives the Scenic a higher driving position than the usual MPV, providing the driver with the seat height of an SUV. This might not appeal to some of my younger colleagues, but for me, the upright driving position is superb, providing great visibility around town.

The looks, colour aside, have also gone down well with my family, and the full-length fixed panoramic roof is a treat for younger passengers. But is all that enough to help me warm to the Scenic? Well with more family-focused trips planned over the summer, there's still plenty of time for the Renault to prove itself.

First Renault Scenic report >