Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Regardless of model, all Scenics get 20in wheels; these are much bigger than the wheels you’d usually get in this class. Such large wheels often tend to cause an uncomfortable ride but, thanks to the scenic's large tyre sidewalls, the ride is actually not too bad and certainly no worse than its rivals on 18in wheels.
While expansion joins and potholes can thump through your seat, the car copes well with undulating roads and is comfortable at speed, thanks to tall tyre sidewalls and soft suspension that compensate for the wheels’ significant size.
The downside to this is that it's nowhere near as much fun to drive as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Corner hard and you get lots of body lean before the nose of the car loses its grip on the road, while the steering – though precise – doesn’t communicative enough to bolster your enjoyment.
Smallest in the Scenic's range of petrol and diesel engines is the 1.3-litre petrol TCe 140. It's a peppy little motor with more than enough grunt to zip along effortlessly in town, while having enough punch to feel at ease on the motorway. We have yet to try it paired to the optional six-speed EDC dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but the manual gearbox feels a bit vague and rubbery.
If you’re planning on covering big miles in your Scenic, however, you might want to consider the 1.7-litre diesel dCi 120. We’ve yet to drive it and Renault has yet to announce official economy figures, but being a long-legged diesel, it should be more frugal on long motorway jaunts.
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