Can The Renault Scenic Save the MPV in Europe? {Review}

    Or is it just too late...?

    4w ago

    4.6K

    In recent years and with the growing popularity of the SUV, MPV sales have gradually been diminishing. While many manufactures are going with the 'dump every MPV in the line-up' strategy (such as Ford with its' S-Max and Galaxy models), Renault have take a different path. With the fairly recent all-new Scenic, they have kept the model in the line-up, but made it more 'SUV-like' to appeal to more buyers. So, can the French automaker save the MPV in Europe, or is it just too late...?

    In the summer, I spent 10 days in France and travelled a total of around 1000km. Our car for the trip was a 2020 Renault Grand Scenic in a lovely pearlescent white paintjob. We were usefully equipped with the 1.6 litre DCi diesel engine, which reached 60mph in under 13 seconds and felt decently nippy for a car of this shape and weight. On the motorway, the engine was very refined and could quite easily handle sudden bursts of acceleration for overtaking slow traffic. Country roads on the other hand, were not its' strongpoint. While the Scenic handled bumps in a calm manner, there was just too much body lean through tighter corners, even in this class. In terms of fuel economy, we were getting a respectable 48mpg, taking into consideration the car was fully loaded with 5 people and 3 suitcases. Parking, although it seemed daunting at first, was not too bad as the Scenic is equipped with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

    One of our driving routes was along the magnificent French Rivera, near the port city of Marseille...

    One of our driving routes was along the magnificent French Rivera, near the port city of Marseille...

    While the front end of the car looked stylish, the rear end was more...meh

    While the front end of the car looked stylish, the rear end was more...meh

    Enter the front of the Scenic, and you'll be greeted with a large 8.7 inch touchscreen; this dominates the dashboard and controls most of the cars' features apart from the climate control (there is a separate cluster for this). The system itself is very smart and can do tasks, such as finding the nearest petrol station or locating any nearby tourist locations. Inputting destination on the move can be a little tricky as the buttons and screen are touch-sensitive and there is no voice control or touchpad. At least the screen is situated high up on the dash so it is easier to look at the navigation system on the move. The Scenic also come with a suite of on-board safety tech such as automatic emergency braking (aeb), rear cross traffic alert and a system that monitors the driver and warns them if they are getting to tired to drive.

    Our car came with an impressively smooth 7-speed automatic gearbox...

    Our car came with an impressively smooth 7-speed automatic gearbox...

    In terms of the build and material quality, the Scenic on par with rivals. While the materials on the tops of the doors and dashboard and nice and soft, the lower materials are not so nice to touch. As comfortable as the front of the car is, in this case it's the back where you'll be most comfortable. As with the rest of the vehicle, the seats in the back are part leather and have lot's of adjustment so you will have no problem getting comfortable. Leg and head room in the rear is plentiful; even six-footers should not have any complaints. Fitting three in the middle is not so good, with elbow room being minimal. As this is an MPV, there is a whole host of additions you get as a rear seat passenger such as, blinds, a fold-out table, 2 usb's, lot's of storage areas, AC vents that you can have in practically any position and a centre armrest with cupholders.

    LED lights are also on the plentiful options list...

    LED lights are also on the plentiful options list...

    The boot is a decent size for this class, although not being the biggest, it is a handy shape and there is lot's of tie down hooks about the place. We managed to fit 3 large suitcases, 3 large rucksacks and more into the boot. As this is the Grand Scenic, it also comes with 2 pop-out seats in the boot, although please bear in mind these are only for kids and are very tight! Unfortunately, the Scenic does not come with an automatic tailgate or a clever system where you swipe your foot under the boot to open it; this can make loading and offloading a full car trickier.

    The Grand Scenic is an extra 291mm longer than the standard Scenic...

    The Grand Scenic is an extra 291mm longer than the standard Scenic...

    So then, does the Renault Scenic have the potential to save the MPV in Europe? Well, it is a decently equipped MPV that rides nicely and has space for days. What's more, the price point is praise-worthy as well, starting from £23.445. As great as an MPV the Scenic might be, the latest news shows that, in the UK at least, the MPV is truly dead as Renault have recently announced the withdrawal of the Scenic and Grand Scenic from its' UK range. That does not mean though that the MPV is dead in Europe though. In fact, the Scenic might just have the appeal to save it.

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    Comments (2)

    • SUVs are just MPVs with a higher ride height and slightly rugged styling. They’re basically the same. SUV owners generally don’t go off road but I will say this; being in town in a normal height car nowadays is like being a kid at a party. You’re more or less surrounded by taller vehicles. I think this is why everybody is buying them. I have a CSUV, and I like not scraping the splitter on steep driveways and speed humps.

        29 days ago
      • Everyone is buying them because it's the trendiest thing at the moment, just like small, economic cars were in the 70's and 80's. Good points mentioned.

          29 days ago

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