Are you looking for a seven-seat MPV with agility and room for a picnic in? Renault has you covered…
Multi-purpose vehicles, once about as electrifying to look at as a soggy satsuma, are easier on the eye these days. You could even say they’re desirable, especially the current Renault Grand Scenic.
Inside the French-made machine, digital instruments replace the conventional speedo that the old model housed. There’s also a prominent infotainment unit in the middle of the dashboard. If you can operate an iPad – it’ll be like falling off a log for you to use this. It all looks agreeably upmarket.
But it’s not all about appearances. Behind the latest Grand Scenic’s stylish body and sporty 20-inch alloy wheels, you have a car that offers a practical transport solution for a family of seven. You never have to worry about where to put stuff as there are loads of oddment bins to keep coins, cans of drink – and toys. Picnic tables in the rear fold-out – and feel sturdy enough to put up with kids leaning on them and eating their lunch on.
There are lots of trims to choose from, and I drove the Iconic, which comes with front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio, cruise control and hill start assist.
Good seating arrangement
On the road, the Grand Scenic is agile for a large motor, and visibility is excellent. The car stays relatively free from body roll and offers a firm ride, but not an uncomfortable one. The five-door Renault is planted at speed, and it feels secure. And so it should, having achieved the top five-star safety rating from crash test body, Euro NCAP.
The petrol version is the one to go for if you can. My test model had the 1330cc 140ps unit fitted. It gives just enough punch to make the car a good, efficient commuter. Top speed is only 119mph, but in a country besieged by safety cameras, is a fast car even relevant anymore? Not really – what’s more significant is the 40.9mpg the Grand Scenic can achieve with this engine. On top of that, you’ve got lowish CO2 emissions of 139g/km, meaning road tax is relatively cheap.
As well as being transport for parents who haven’t given up on what their car looks like yet, the Grand Scenic offers a good seating set-up. In addition to the usual five chairs, two more can be raised from the cargo floor – making this a true seven-seater. Furthermore, one-touch folding seats collapse easily to give a flat deck. Oh, and this Renault is one of the only cars in its class, if not the only one, where you can activate this feature from inside the load area. The Grand Scenic also offers 596 litres of boot space when the five seats are up. And you still have 233-litres of cargo capacity when all seven seats are in use.
Fast Facts (Renault Grand Scenic Iconic TCe 140 – as tested):
- Max speed: 119mph
- 0-62 mph: 10.3 seconds
- Combined mpg: 40.9
- Engine: 1330cc 4-cylinder turbo petrol
- Max. power (ps): 140
- CO2: 139g/km
- Price: £24,820