Renault Scenic long-term test review

The latest Renault Scenic people-carrier is big on style and technology, but is it practical, too? We've got six months to find out...

Renault Scenic long-term test review
  • The car Renault Scenic 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique S Nav
  • Run by Luc Lacey, 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

Price £25,455 Price as tested £28,080 Miles 15,941 Official economy 51.8mpg Test economy 50.0mpg Options fitted Metallic paint (£545), LED headlights (£500), Parking Pack Premium (£500), Safety Pack Premium (£500), Bose Pack (£500), spare wheel (£90)

9 November 2017 – small touches make a big difference

There have been a fair few grumbles from my colleagues regarding the brightly coloured Scenic. I, however, have found it to be a reliable, enjoyable travel companion for the long trips I undertake up and down the country photographing various cars for the magazine and website.

And it’s the little things that make a difference. The V-shaped A-pillars – which split at the top to form a broad, transparent quarter-light – give the driver fantastic visibility, particularly in the tight urban environments in which many owners will habitually drive. Night drives are also easy enough, thanks to our car’s full LED lights, although the automatic full beam is disappointingly feeble on open roads, as well as being a bit slow to react at times. And the car has not one, two, three but four USB ports – useful when you’re four-up on road trips.

Renault Scenic long-term test review

Keyless entry – a function that, until recently, was reserved for more premium cars – always makes life easier, cutting out the faff of rooting through your pockets to dig out a fob with your spare hand. The system, which comes as standard on this Dynamique S Nav model, isn’t perfect, though. Often you need to pull the door handle twice before the lock relinquishes its grip – it's frustrating and somewhat defeats the point of a device designed for convenience.

One the subject of convenience, Renault has, after many years of marketing ambivalence, drawn a link between its long-standing involvement in the upper echelons of motorsport and one of its more humdrum road cars. Our Scenic features an ‘F1-style’ fuel filler cap, which sounds a little far-fetched, but essentially goes without the twisting cap itself. It’s one less thing to get your hands dirty with.

And one last thing – the boot floor is adjustable for height and it’s a cinch to operate. You simply lift the lightweight panel up and out before slotting it into an elevated bracket at the back of the boot cavity. It’s intended to help with ingress of heavy loads, aligning the boot floor with the lip, and there’s also space underneath for other items such as dirty mountain-biking gear, as is often the case in my car.