What's the used Renault Grand Scenic MPV like?
Family cars used to be a humble hatchback with five seats and a boot big enough for the weekly shop. Then the needs of the family grew, so cars did too. Renault made tall hatches popular with the first-generation Scenic in the 1990s, expanding the idea a decade later to produce the seven-seat Grand Scenic.
There are a number of engine options available, but most buyers went for a diesel because of their extra torque and reduced running costs. The 106bhp 1.5-litre diesel isn’t particularly brisk, but it is very refined, even when worked hard. You could also go for a turbocharged 1.2-litre TCe petrol with either 114bhp or 128bhp that’s also notably quiet. Apart from the 128bhp 1.6-litre diesel that was added later to the range, most of the larger engines are rather expensive to run and aren’t as good as their smaller siblings.
The handling isn’t much to write about, being safe and easy rather than entertaining. It’s a shame that the suspension isn’t a bit more supple, because it can be caught out by larger bumps that can cause the car to judder. The steering is light which is great for parking, but ultimately offers little feedback on the open road, but then it is an MPV.
What’s more important to potential family buyers is the interior and its flexibility. With seven seats, it can deal with the school run well, but the third row is best suited to children. The boot isn’t particularly large with the rearmost seats in place, but they do fold flat into the floor when not in use. The boot opening is quite wide and the floor is nice and low for ease of loading. Trouble is, the second row doesn’t fold flat and you have to remove that row completely to achieve the maximum load capacity; it is an awkward task and, due to the weight of the seats, is akin to a work out in the gym. Space in the front is fine for most, with plenty of adjustment in the driver's seat and steering wheel.