27.3.2012 Renault Megane Scenic review
Despite its more glamorous styling, Renault's Scenic is all about sensible family transport and to that end is a spacious, five-seater MPV with a large box shaped boot. Its fuel consumption, practicality and 40 storage compartments are more important to buyers than 0-60 mph times, but the car likes long journeys. Fuel consumption is in the 60s according to official figures while insurance is group 16E.
The cabin is better made than before and should be hardwearing. The Scenic is okay to drive and running costs shouldn't break the bank. It looks pricey, despite more generous standard equipment levels, so haggle a good discount to match the big ones available from Ford and Vauxhall dealers on equivalent models.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
Engine felt 'tight' on low mileage test car, so coupled with a long throw six-speed gear change, progress was stately rather than brisk. The automatic start-stop system operates well to save fuel in traffic. Acceleration to 62 mph takes a leisurely 12.5 seconds, eventually winding up, where legal, to 112 mph. One brisk journey across country saw only 28.2 mpg from the on-board computer read-out (and they are supposed to be optimistic). The 1481 cc four-cylinder turbo diesel engine produces 110 bhp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 192 lbs ft at 1,750 rpm.
You sit high in the Megane Scenic and it's a relatively tall car so hard cornering is not the raison d'etre of this family car and it's likely to make the passengers sick anyway. Reflecting its country of origin it is happiest over rolling roads in a high gear with the new, quieter, engine barely audible. Around town, despite the good visibility, it feels more clumsy, though the electric variable steering remains light and easy to use though not natural in feel. Gear changing is a bit vague/notchy, but there is strong braking performance from the all disc set-up.
This is the first revision of the third generation Renault Megane Scenic, Europe's top selling family MPV with total sales exceeding 3.3 million. Renault's designers have completely restyled the front of the car with a new bonnet, wings, bumper and headlights for a stronger, sportier look. High gloss black on the grille and chrome touches around the new LED daytime running lights give the Scenic more presence, and yes, more bling. There are new rear light clusters too. In total it is 4366 mm long and 1845 mm wide (2077 mm including mirrors).
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The front seats are generous chairs and you can just about fit three adults into the rear ones if needed. Even after 22 years of Scenic MPVs, the instrument design and layout comes as a shock with the display in the centre of the car just below the base of the windscreen, with air vents below and then the radio.
Considering Renault's safety pioneering by putting radio controls on a stalk behind the steering column it is a huge error to put those for the satellite navigation and other functions on the centre console between the front seats. Drivers won't be able to resist taking their eyes off the road and looking down at the ten button controls. It was also a surprise to find the rear seats don't fold into the floor. Yes, you can remove them for big loads but they are heavy and tricky to refit.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
With more miles under its belt to loosen up the engine the official figures suggest in the region of 62 mpg round town and 68 mpg on the combined cycle. CO2 emissions of 105 g/km put the Scenic into band B with zero first year road tax and then £20 per year. Low daily running costs have to be balanced against average resale values though negotiating a good deal when buying can mitigate against this. Warranty is four years/100,000 miles (or unlimited in first two years) and includes free servicing to 48,000 miles and free roadside assistance.
Fitted with automatic start-stop, this much revamped 1.5 litre turbo diesel engine emits the lowest CO2 figure for any conventionally-engined MPV. Advanced work on the air intake system, combustion and new turbo architecture has increased torque compared to the dCi 110 it replaces. Different fuel injection nozzles reduce unburned fuel by 15% improving fuel consumption and lowering CO2 emissions. 'Cold loop' exhaust gas recirculation reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides and a variable displacement oil pump reacts to engine revs to reduce fuel consumption. A brake energy regeneration system recaptures kinetic energy and turns it to electric energy to recharge the battery.
The Scenic trim levels are now a single grade, Dynamique TomTom. Standard equipment includes TomTom live satellite navigation, radio CD, automatic parking brake (hateful!), air conditioning, cruise control, front fog lights, speed limiter and aux input connection for portable music players. Option packs are Luxe, Convenience (£600), Leather (£1,800) and Leather Luxe £1,800 (only available with Luxe pack). The £1,500 Luxe pack adds 17 inch alloy wheels, nine-speaker Bose sound system, lane departure warning and automatic high/low beam headlights. Options include electric sunroof with blind (£700), Bi-Xenon headlights (£750), rear parking camera and front sensors (£350),
Model tested: Renault Megane Scenic 1.5dCi 110
Body-style: Multi-purpose vehicle (MPV)
Engine/CO2: 110bhp 1461cc four-cylinder turbo diesel / 118 gCO2/km
Trim grades: One, Dynamique TomTom. Optional packs (Luxe, Convenience, Leather, Leather Luxe add comfort, safety, entertainment and styling features.
On-road price: From £20,225 (As tested £21,370)
Warranty: Four years/ 100,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 3.5 STARS
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