We discovered we were having another child! Hooray. However....we discovered that with all the paraphernalia we had for child '2', we were going to need a bigger car. So, even though previous experiences of Renaults were...ropey at best, for some odd reason I decided to buy a Renault Scenic, which is weird as I had read so many reports about leaks, electrical failure, suspension issues and bits just becoming detached - a french car trait - and having owned 2 R5s, and 2 Meganes, this might have been a mistake.
The scenic is a love it our hate it car - I like it. It looks solid on its 6 spoke alloy wheels, well proportioned, and it doesn't look big - but it is big, so its a very clever trick. The bonnet is short so parking is easy and the back of the car is quite flat so again what you see is what you get. I don't have parking sensors but I don't feel I need them. The alloys look nice, but are quite easy to kerb due to the protruding lip around the edge. They are also a bit soft and are easy to dent and buckle on pot holes (i know this by experience).
The interior of a scenic is utterly magnificent. It is so roomy, with big windows, and so many storage features, trays, cup holders, cubby holes, shelves etc etc. In fact I found a new cubby hole 2 years after buying the car! There are 4 cubbys in the floor, 2 under the front seats, 2 under the back, one under the dash, 2 in the boot, one between the seats and so on. The seats are wonderfully comfortable and after a long journey, you still feel refreshed. The fabric isnt especially hardwearing though so needs a bit of a tender touch or the seats will deteriorate quickly. The dashboard is a bit of an odd one. I still dont know if I like it. it is purely digital. Its easy to use, and at a glance is simple, but I still think a dial is nicer. Also, the trip computer is too far away from the driver. The dash is a bit rattly and looks rather poorly put together, with the heater controls sort of stuck onto the front of the dash, but its not the end of the world. The stereo is excellent. Superb sound quality, and a clever little unit. The bass is astonishing and there is no vibration though the speakers. The steering wheel is a nice size, with all the controls tucked nicely behind in easy to reach places. The auto lights and wipers are a little bit under sensitive, but they can be overridden. The gearstick is in a nice place and makes town driving easy. The handbrake is electric and out of the way on the dashboard. The boot is a great size and can be made bigger with the sliding seats moved forward.
At first I hated it to drive. I felt it was dimwitted, slow, noisy, wallowy and slow. But over the 4 years I have owned it, it has gained my utmost respect. It has done everything I have asked of it. And I have learned to love the 1.5 106hp engine. It is nippy, economical, quiet on the road, and gutsy. In town it is superb. Light clutch, light steering and nippy. Its no petrol, but it does a fine job. I would buy a 1.5 again. My Scenic does not have a DPF filter, and it is so much better for it. The handbrake is automatic which after getting used to it, is great - especially on hills. The handling is average - it is a people carrier, but it is not dangerous, just uninspiring. The ride is comfortable, but even a comfortable ride cant hide the fact that the scenic maybe needs built a little better as it can be a bit rattly and creaky on rough roads.
The brakes are reasonable, but could be a bit stronger. All told though, I choose to drive this car over my other car - the Zafira - any day.
There have been a few build quality issues. A leak into the passenger footwell (fixed with a prod of a drain in the engine), a resistor failure in the heating controls, all the suspension parts have been replaced over 4 years, as they appear to be made of a soft cheese, Various little electrical gremlins come and go, and as mentioned bits just sort of fall off now and again. Renault dealers are also a bit iffy, and are not especially helpful. But i forgive him, as 'so far' the engine keeps going relentlessly.
I actually have a soft spot for my boring beige box. I have learned to love it. I accept its flaws, and just drive it, and it rewards me with plodding on. The 1.5 engine is great and the interior is a gem. I will actually keep him until he wont go any further. I have actually named him donkey. He just goes on without moaning. I would recommend the Scenic II - however be warned - there are issues, and there are some shocking examples out there. Just be picky when buying one - really picky. But I think you will learn to love your scenic.
Also on Ciao.
I'm not a car person. At all. For me cars are from getting from A to B. However this changed when I bought the Renault Scenic (automatic). It runs like a dream. My Scenic is a 51 model, yet still passes its MOT first time. The car boasts climate control, leather interiors, dual sunroof (which I found odd given that it has full air con), auto immobilizer, 6 CD changer that sits under the passenger seats and my favourite feature - the miles to empty tracker.
As it's an automatic model I don't need to worry about hill starts, stalling or a broken clutch! Automatics are great for the reluctant or nervous driver. No need to worry about anything but the road. There are two uphill gears which are great for driving around Derbyshire!
The boot is huge. Great for packing in the family's suitcases when going away. More than enough for a big supermarket shop. There is also room for three carseats in the back. Great for parents of three who don't want to get a Zafira type car.
I'm very happy with this car. I enjoy driving again, which is a huge deal for me!
We purchased a two year old Grand Scenic - largely because we had a Renault Megane saloon which I loved so I was interested in staying with Renault at that stage. We needed a seven seater to ferry around our two kids and my elderly parents, who usually come with us on holiday. The car is now six years old and we have had absolutely no trouble with it. During regular services it has needed a few parts replacing as well as tyres, as you would expect from general usage and wear and tear. The model we got was a top of the range one and so has a nice few features such as a sunroof and rear parking sensors (these I use regularly to judge proximity to other cars, walls etc). Its very much a family car, with lots of storage compartments and small folding tables on the rear of each front seat. It's spacious - the three seats across the back are roomy and the boot is huge. In addition, the back seats can be moved forward to further increase boot space if needed. The two fold away seats in the boot are easy to set up and put away, although they are cramped and definitely only suitable for kids. You have the flexibility to only set up one seat, leaving the other flat to retain some boot space - a very handy feature that we use a lot.
The keycard - if its in your pocket or bag, the car detects it when you stand at the door and opens/closes the central locking.
Automatic handbrake - this took a bit of getting used to but is a great feature
Rear parking sensors - as you reverse an alarm indicates your proximity to another car/wall meaning you'll never reverse into anything
This car has taken us all over the UK and parts of France with ease. As a 1.6 petrol version it's not the most fuel efficient but thats to be expected. All in all, its a purchase I have never regretted.
I have had two scenics over the past few years one scenic dynamique and a grand scenic, here is my scenic review - the grand scenic review is very different!
I bought my first scenic because I had 2 very small children and needed a larger car. The scenis was lovely to drive, it had enough power as well as being a people carrier. On this model it had a sun roof and CD multi changer and sat navigation. I found the car great to drive and so easy to get the kids in and out of the car. I always for the car reliable and felt safe whilst driving with the little ones on the back. The boot was a good size and fit the family's needs. There are lots of space saving ideas in the car, like draws under the kids seats I thought these were a good idea but in reality we never used them. The car was easy to park despite being larger than i was used to, this was due to the height of the car.
I would recommend this car. Mine was silver and I thought was very nice to look at. The car was good on petrol for average use
The wife wanted another car so off she went and bought a scenic 1.4 16v
to make it short I will list the good points and bad.
Roomy with big boot and plenty of storage.
great view all round hence scenic!
great on fuel
good response on acceleration for engine size
great for the kids everything wipes down easily!
good stopping power ( when they work )
they look good ( i think )
forever wanting something doing to it, cure one fault another pops up ( typical ) this is one car you will spend as much on repairs as you did on buying it.
drives like a van, in-fact to be honest I find my transit a better drive
peddles to close, yes small feet required, I'm a size 11 and its driven with the toes.
watch when turning corners it can take over, going to be fun when it snows.
gauges can be temperamental, thought wife was putting petrol in for a change, how wrong it was the Gauge
can do 120 Mph. sorry it was the gauges again.
very tinny, the car gives no feeling of solidness. there is not a lot between you and the person running into you!
you might ask why do I drive one then if they are that bad, simples i don't I have totally no trust in the car. 29 years of driving and many different cars owned and driven and this car gets the golden "DOG" award
please in the name of sanity forget these there are better out there for the money..
I upgraded my Ford Ka at the end of last year for a Renault Scenic the same age. The comparison between the two is like night and day. The Scenic offers comfort, a smoothe drive and the steering is tilted in such a position that even lazy drivers like me can rest on the wheel rather than grip it.
The version we have is a fidgi and I would recommend that anyone out there looking at buying a Scenic look for this model. All the extras including, air conditioning, cd player (for its age 2002 it would normally have a casette radio), body coloured bumpers and a surprising amount of hidden storage.
Under the passenger seat there is a drawer for cds to be stored out of sight preventing scratches and mess. There are two glove boxes one located in front of the pasenger seat as you would expect, the other on the dashboard. Under the floors there are numerous boxes hidden under the carpets. There is also a box located around the ashtray, which is bigger than you'd expect.
As a mother these features are important as the kids toys can be stored without cluttering up the car. A fantastic idea and the most comfortable car I have ever driven.
I have had my scenic for over a year now and it still drives like a dream. Had it MOT'd for a second time since I have owned it and it passed with no advisories. Love it so much I have just bought one for my Mum and she loves it too!!!
Like many others on this thread, I had decided to upgrade the family car for something bigger and, boy, does this car manage that! Ok, it's not the most sleek of designs and looks a bit boxy but if you are after a reliable car with lots of space, this is the one! The boot easily accomodates prams and buggies plus all the usual baby gear you have to cart around with you. In fact, whe we go away for a weekend break, this car held a full size pram, a travel cot, 2 suitcases, 2 adults, a dog and a few bags of food shopping. and there was still room left! Gets decent miles per gallon - around 37.9 for me just now - cost me around £17K in 2006 and I haven't had any problems with it at all...apart from when I reversed into a fence post but that's another story...!
The time had finaly come for me to get a bigger car, as my family keeps on expanding we have finaly out grown the other two cars i own comfortably, a escort and a clio.
I wasnt looking for a new people carrier but had no specific idea when i first started loking what make i would go for and it just so hapens i was offered a very good deal and with my clio being from the same company and never having given me any trouble i thought why not.
I have an x reg 1.9dci version of tis car with 5 seats, and a very large boot so there is plenty of room for my dog to come along on days out with us too.
I am going to do things backwards and work my way to the front so here goes,
There is a built in ancoring point for a tow bar on the back of the car but mine didnt come fitted with one but i should imagine this would have been an opion as new.
The rear hatch opens in two sections which i thought was a bit odd when i first read it in the book but after having some idiot park on my bumper at the town i realised why they had added this feature, you can either open the whole hatch from the bottom which requires about a foot gap behind the car to open or you can just open the windoe section to access your parcel shelf or bot by ifting up the hinged parcel shelf.
There is absolutley heaps of room in the boot, i can easily fit everything i ned for a two week holiday for 5 in there including travel cot and push chair,
It has 3 full seats in the back that are all shaped just the same as the front seats with anice comfydip for you bottom to sit in, there are 3 full seat belts too rather than a lap belt in the middle and even with the front seats right back there is still nore than enough leg room in the back.
The drivers seat is my favorite part as it is where i spend my time in the car, it can be inflated or deflated with the turn of a wheel to give you better suport on your back, the back can have its position adjusted but so can the height of the seat fron the floor and to make this possible the steerinh wheel also moves up or down.
The clocks in mine are he only thing i can realy fault it with, they are a grey on a lighter grey so are particularly hard to see in the sun light but other than this it is a great car, it picks up better than i expected a small bus to and is a great motorway car, it is safe as it has lots of air bags, cool with air con and two sun rooves
oh yes its other fault is it doesnt come with a towing hook as standard on the front
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE 2009 RENAULT GRAND SCENIC (THE ORIGINAL 1990s MODEL IS PICTURED)
We take multi purpose vehicles (MPVs) for granted these days as there are so many to choose from & a popular sight on the roads. The British press often gives Renault the credit for 'inventing' this type of vehicle, it didn't.
In 1957, Fiat introduced the original small but spacious Multipla which despite its funny looks was the first true multi purpose vehicle. Strangely enough it was an idea that never really caught on, in the old days if your four door saloon wasn't big enough for your needs, you just bought an estate car or a bigger car.
Back in Italy in 1978, Lancia displayed the Megagamma at a motor show, a futuristic people carrier that featured a high roof & generous interior space. The designer was Giorgetto Giugiaro; his thinking was that passengers needed to sit high to save on interior space. The vehicle was boxy looking but it started a trend, four years later Nissan in Japan released the Nissan Prairie (which came to the UK), it looked quite similar & featured no door pillar between the two side doors & a sliding rear door, the result was a very roomy, albeit boxy vehicle.
A year later Chrysler in the USA released the Voyager which although bigger took the whole concept just that little bit further. Then a year later Renault released the Espace with seven versatile seats which included swivelling front seats & middle seats that folded to become tables.
Other manufacturers eventually followed but Renault was the most successful at one point offering a whole range of MPVs, the Modus, Scenic & Espace. People often call them space wagons or people carriers but at the end of the day they are very versatile vehicles & ideal for the modern day family.
THE RENAULT GRAND SCENIC
The Renault Espace has now been discontinued; two basic Scenic models are now available from Renault, the 5 seater Scenic & the 7 seater Grand Scenic which is the subject of this review.
The difference between these vehicles is mainly their length; the Grand Scenic is longer to accommodate two extra seats.
This is now the third generation Scenic model which shares many of its components with the successful Meganne. Outwardly you can see the likeness, the Grand Scenic is a smart looking vehicle & Renault has avoided it looking too boxy.
The car I had for an afternoon was very nicely finished off with a lovely paint finish albeit in a dullish dark maroon. You don't get a key with this vehicle; you get a plastic card not much bigger than a credit card but a little thicker. On the card are the buttons for locking & unlocking the doors on one side along with a button for activating the exterior lights, this makes it easier to find the car in the dark. One other button unlocks the tailgate & on the other side of the card is the little compartment for the battery. If the system fails there is an emergency key built inside the card.
Step inside & first impressions are rather good, this is a very spacious vehicle and surprisingly for a Renault is very well finished inside with decent plastics.
The seating arrangement is 2-3-2; the middle three seats can be folded individually which helps access to the rear most seats. The front & middle row seats will give passengers ample leg, shoulder & head room, but the last row of seats are best for a small adults, children or dogs.
With all seven seats in place, luggage room is very small indeed; this arrangement is ideal for moving seven people on a short trip but useless if seven people need to take luggage with them. With five seats erected there is ample space for five people's luggage. The rear seats can be removed altogether a job that is best carried out with two people.
Up front the driver & passenger's seats are very comfortable, some models feature electric adjustment but the ones in car I drove only had manual adjustment. The headrests are very clever with a hinged padded section that tucks right into your neck for added protection.
Space for odds & ends is tremendous with ample bottle & cup holders, a generous glove box, four under floor compartments (one in each footwell) & a clever sliding centre console with independent sliding armrest. There is no spare wheel fitted to this vehicle, only a 'get you home' repair kit.
The instrument panel is central mounted & instead of using a general colour such as white, orange or green, the display is in colour & looks like something you'd read on your computer screen.
The display is small & rectangular but it still gives you all the information you need such as speedo reading, fuel readout, temperature gauge, rev counter & a separate info display which can be chosen from a separate switch.
The Grand Scenic was well equipped & included automatic lights & wipers, alloy wheels, climate control, electric windows & mirrors & a decent radio CD. For some strange reason Renault decide to install three 'jack plus sockets' similar to ones fitted to the back of a stereo unit, you would need an adaptor to allow them to connect to a MP3 player or ipod.
On the steering column out of sight is a small stalk that controls the radio CD, it is so well designed that you don't need to see it to work out how it works but its much more effective than steering wheel based controls found on other makes of cars.
A nice touch is a fold-a-way mirror on the roof close to the interior mirror. When pulled out from the roof lining it reflects on the back seat so the driver can keep an eye on children or dogs in the back seat.
DRIVING THE GRAND SCENIC
To start the car you need your plastic card that you used to enter the vehicle, it has a slot next to the gear lever & you need to insert the card into the slot to start the car. Place the card in the slot, press your foot down on the clutch pedal & press the starter button situated in the centre of the dash.
Once it starts, select a gear, press the footbrake to allow you to release the parking brake via a switch on the centre console. The Scenic doesn't have a normal parking brake lever.
The 2.0 litre diesel engine is very smooth & refined at tick over & remained quiet at higher speeds. It is fitted with a six speed manual gearbox which unlike previous Renault models which had an awful gear change; this one is very slick in operation.
The main pedals are awkwardly placed but it doesn't take very long to get used to the position, albeit not ideal. The clutch is smooth & light, ideal for town use. Performance is very brisk but the vehicle only had me inside, I have no doubt it would cope with five passengers without much problems but I'm not so sure about seven.
For such a tall vehicle it felt very stable on the road, it was only driven on a major dual carriageway on a very windy day but side winds didn't appear to upset the stability of the vehicle. Brakes felt good & inspired confidence, handling was safe although I have no idea how it would perform on a tight 'B' road. The ride was very smooth indeed but the road conditions were also quite good.
The information readout on the instrument panel recorded 47mpg, if I had driven it less enthusiastically I have no doubt it would have passed 50mpg, great for such a large vehicle with a large engine.
Despite Renault's awful reputation for quality & reliability, they do admit their earlier failings & are making a conscious effort to improve. I don't doubt them, the latest model does inspire confidence but only time will tell.
On the basis of this two hour journey I was left very impressed with the Grand Scenic, it is a very practical family vehicle with loads of room & sensible features. It is refined & doesn't look like a van with windows like many other MPVs, just make sure you get a decent warranty with it & I have no doubt it will give many miles of pleasurable motoring.
Space, space and more space, the Renault Scenic is a 5 seater car designed around storage. A perfect family car and also excellent for transportation of goods.
The model I have is the 1999 RXE 1.9 dci version which I have had since new and I must say it has been a brilliant car since the start. The car in general is large and spacous, with five seats, all independantly mounted allowing them to slide forward or backwards on their own, also permitting each rear seat to be folded or removed if nessecary by a few simple button clicks. The car is equipped with a forward and a rear mounted sunroof, which, while providing excellent airflow through the car, are limited in their movement and do not retract fully as will other cars.
Air conditioning is included with this model which is of excellent quality, with a rotatory selector that has four settings for each recirculated air and outside air. The in-car stereo is pretty much a standard unit, however it did come with a 6 disc CD changer located out of sight in an enclosed unit under the passanger seat.
This car model has no roof rails for rack mounting however, mine came with roof rack bars which neatly fit, hidden away in a compartment located under the rear seats when not in use. The boot hosts several more pockets to neatly hold alll the car maintanence parts, which usually slide around the boot banging everytime you go around corners such as warning triangles and spare bulb kits.
The rear window has a very handy device which allows it to pop open, so items can be placed in or taken out of the boot where space does not permit it to be opened fully in a tight car park for example.
The engine has never once faultered on this car, I know that diesel models are usually more robust than petrol versions, but with the miles that I have driven, it has never let me down. The only major things that seems to have needed replacing are the shock absorbers which has gone twice, and the in-car ventilation fan stopped working. Apart from this the car has been faultless.
To drive this car is very nice, it does lack a little power in the lower rev-range but once the turbo has kicked in, its as powerful as most cars. The seating position is a real great feature, placing you in a high up position, or what certainly feels high up. Where it comes to safety, This car has multiple airbags for great protection, and its shear size it added protection as well. With respect to fuel economy, this car tends to get between 35-40 mpg on urban roads, where as on motorway driving, anywhere between 40-50 mpg, depending on your driving style and speed.
I would recommend this car to anyone who has a family or uses their car to transport large items regularly. This caer won't let you down.
The Renualt Scenic is a big family car, offering the usual 5 seats but also claiming to have a bit more extra room than the average car. It has plenty of storage space, including in the floor storage and the boot is a good size. There are full seat belts for every seat and the back seats can be removed if a trip to the skip or moving large items is required.
We decided to change our car due to our having our second child. We were looking for a car that was practical, had enough room for the kids and delivered value for money, that's when we came across the Renault Scenic. I was really surprised by this car not only was it good value for money it also had everything you could look for in a family car. There is plenty of room front and back as well as a decent size boot. We bought the 1.9 dti model it is second hand and has done 106k, it came with a full service history and drove like it was new.
As with any other car it does have a few bad points, Renault's have always been know for bad electrics, in my case I always seem to have problems with break lights working when they want, one other fault that happened to mine was the rear drivers side door jammed shut. I thought this was a one off but after speaking to people it's a common fault on them, other than these two points the car is great.
The mpg for diesel model is around 50 miles to the gallon on a run and 40-45 urban, it has a good driving position and is comfortable.
Since owning this car I have recommended them to other people now 3 people in my family have them both diesels and a friend bought the 2.0ltr petrol version. All of these people agreed that they were a excellent buy.
When the time comes to buy another car we will be buying another one and we will go for the diesel again the engines are great.
To sum up the Renault Scenic is a car that is great value for money, reliable and generally an all round good car.
The Renault Scenic became a run away sales success for Renault after they spotted a gap in the market for a mini MPV.
There was little like it at the time, and it appealed to all those who have young families.
Such is the success of this "car" that you have either owned one yourself of know someone who has one.
So for those of you who are considering a Scenic as a used buy, I thought I would put a little something together for you.
The model tested is a 1999-2003 facelift, 1.6 litre petrol.
When Renault launched the Scenic, the main focus of their advertising campaign was that this was the perfect vehicle for families, as it provides a hugely practical interior, has lots of luggage space but unlike large people carriers, drives like a car too.
So does the Scenic live up to those expectations? And how has it coped with 90,000 miles of hard work?
Although this model is now 10 years old it still manages to look quite fresh, whether that's because we tend to see literally millions of them milling about everyday I don't know. But it is still quite a good looking "car". Its curvy shape is quite inoffensive and welcoming, but also has nothing about it that excites.
There are a lot of hard plastic surfaces in the Scenic, but given the type of abuse it will be subject to from young children, this is probably no bad thing. The dash and instruments really do look dated now (it's amazing how far interior car design has moved on in 10 years), but everything is quite logically laid out and easy to find, which again is a good thing as you want to be able to shout at your kids and operate switches at the same time.
There are useful extra storage spaces under the floor, and the backs of the front seats have a handy flip up tray which no doubt your children will try to balance a drink on as you go round a corner!
The high roof and double sunroofs help make the inside feel very spacious and open. The middle seat also slides forward so a passenger can have more shoulder room.
The boot is quite a good size and the rear seats can fold flat, fold up to the front seats, or be taken out altogether.
So it certainly is versatile.
The seats for passengers are rather comfortable and travelling in the Scenic is quite pleasant, apart form the wallowing ride, (hence lots of throwing up from the children in the back!) It's not the same story for the driver though. The seat lacks support.
Which takes us onto what it's like to drive?
This is where the Scenic fails miserably. It's supposed to be the MPV that drives just like a car. Yeah right!!
Because of its size it has a very high driving position (just like a van). It feels very top heavy and wallows badly in corners (just like a van). You have to reach down a long way to reach the handbrake (just like a van). In cars you push the accelerator and brake pedals forward towards the bulkhead, in the Scenic you push them downwards (just like a van).
In fact I've driven large vans that have felt more car like than a Renault Scenic!
It really is an awful thing to drive. No wonder that most men I see driving them look so miserable.
Okay. Try to find some positives.
The 1.6 litre petrol engine performs ok when you drive it in "car" mode, i.e with 4 passengers on board, but when loaded with people and luggage, it really struggles to get up to speed. If you do lug around a lot of equipment very often and use it more as a van, then I would go for the 1.9 diesel.
That's about the best thing I can find about how it drives.
Now you have to remember that this is a French car, so expect lots of things to go wrong. The Scenic has suffered particular problems with the auto gearbox, the ignition coils (1.6 engine especially, including the one I drove) and suspension troubles. Used buyers should look out also for poorly-fitting panels, over-heating and signs of head gasket failure, electrical glitches, engine management faults (cutting out, poor starting) and even, on some of the earlier cars, the beginnings of rust.
So not the most reliable then!
Safety and Security.
Finally! Something for the Scenic to shout about!
The Scenic scored four stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests, good for a design this old. Twin front and side airbags are standard on all models, and all have standard-fit anti-lock brakes. An immobiliser is standard; annoyingly, it sets itself after a short time even if the car is unlocked. The centre rear seat has its own shoulder strap, which retracts neatly into the roof.
So at least your little treasures will be safe in an accident. Sorry collision. (Not allowed to call them accidents anymore.)
You can get a 1999-2003 model Scenic from about £1500, but these are quite scruffy and hard worked. £2700 upward should get you a decent cared for example.
So. Would I recommend a Renault Scenic as a good used buy?
Mainly because it only has 5 seats like any normal car. If you need more then the Vauxhall Zafira with its 7 seats is a much better buy.
But if 5 seats is enough, then an Estate car will be just as, if not more, practical than a Scenic, and because and Estate car is a car, it will drive like a car too.
For similar money to a decent Scenic, you can get a Skoda Octavia Estate, or a slightly older VW Passat Estate. Both very good cars with massive load space.
Be aware that many used Scenic's will have been used hard, especially with young families, and as a lot of mothers drive these too, check for supermarket parking bumps and scrapes, and curbed alloys. If wheels show signs of heavy curbing then check the wear on the tyres to see if there could be wheel alignment problems.
For me, people who buy mini MPV's have either given up on life, or hate driving.
If you see a Dad driving one, you can be sure his family are enjoying a nice comfortable ride while Dad is dieing inside and dreaming of low sleek and powerful sports cars, or a divorce!
With Renault you got to be lucky to have a good car.
Usualy we say we are unlucky when a car reveals itself to be a bad number, full of failures, since your neighbour's or friends' ones never had a glitch.
But with Renault it's absolutely the opposite:
Luck is required.
But then, when you have it, it is the Eldorado !
Comfort, quietness, funcionality, it's the best...
So bottom line: go to any japanese car if money and time matter
Otherwise, Renault is the name, say, for company cars...
I am not a mechanic, or indeed mechanically minded. My Dad once tried to show me how an engine worked over breakfast when I was trying to cram for a German test and then got cross with me when I wasn't interested. So it does actually feel strange to feel that happy with a car that I've wanted to write a review on it. This is the first occasion in almost 20 years of driving that I've changed my car because I wanted to and not because either I had written it off, someone else had driven into it and written it off or it died because it needed topping up with oil (I mean who knew you were supposed to do that?) So having decided I was going to change I drove off to see Daddy (who works in a garage) to see what to get.
I will admit that my husband was probably the main influence in the car I chose, I had looked at brand new cars but then we settled on a 1.6 Renault Scenic expression.
So what is it like?
Now being a complete non-mechanic, I don't understand half of the mechanical specifications, a full list can be found on www.renault.co.uk. But as a consumer, with kids there are things on the car that are important to me, so I will go through these.
It has ABS braking system (that probably irritates people as much as PIN number irritates me, but tough) and part of the reason for changing my last car, a micra, was the fact that the brakes never really felt safe. This has EBD which is an electronic braking distribution and they feel so secure.
There are front driver and passenger airbags but one feature I do really like is the fact that new parents can disable the passenger airbag if you want to put a baby seat there. As it is illegal to have the baby seat in the front when an airbag is operational as it could suffocate baby.
There are mirrors galore, including one which the driver can pull down to keep an eye on the kids.
I love this aspect of my car, I have always had a traditional dial type panel before but this is all computer aided, almost spaceship like. The speedometer tells you what speed you are doing, this may sound obvious but when you have a dial my mind is saying, right I am doing almost 40 which could be 3 or 4 mph either way, now I know exactly and I must say, I am not a fast driver, but this has made me more aware of how often I probably was driving over the limit. Its much more noticeable than a dial version as well. The only problem I need to overcome with this is it is naturally in miles per hour and we are going to France this summer so I know it can be done but I haven't yet worked out how to switch it to Kilometres.
The petrol computer is wonderful, you have the usual gauge telling you how much is left, but it will also work out your average miles per gallon (I'm at 35.6 at the moment) and tell you approximately how many miles you have left on your current tank of petrol. I haven't trusted it below about 50 miles yet, but I have been known to be the ditzy woman running out of petrol so hopefully it will solve that issue.
It also gives you your average speed for the journey, which makes me wonder what would happen if you were stopped by the police after a long motorway journey and they looked at the average - if it said you averaged at over 100 and they stopped you doing 98 I think it would be reasonable grounds for banning you. You also have a section that tells you how many miles until your next service is due. Which according to my husband is another feature I desperately need!
The only other features on the panel are the CD details, clock and external temperature, oh and I almost forgot - the oil gauge as well!
Features on this car I would miss
This car has an automatic hand brake, you put it on by pulling a small leaver, but when it's ready to move again you just drive and it goes off automatically. Now this is seriously weird when you first use it as, get ready to move, release handbrake, move, is instilled into the habit of driving a car right from word go, and 2 months in I am still trying to put it off manually occasionally, but I would really miss it.
Automatic headlights. The car decided whether it is dark enough to require headlights, then turns them on for you. This is great if you are going through tunnels as its times like that you are likely to forget to turn them off. The only issue with this is it doesn't seem to pick up fog so you have to turn them on manually, but it does shout at you if you forget to turn them off.
This is a very comfortable car to be in for any long period of time, all the seats move, there are arm rests in between the front seats which you can adjust the position of. One of the reasons for looking at this car was the height, which again makes for a comfortable drive and very easy to get out elegantly, just swivel and you're out!
Space and Storage
This car is deceptive, externally it is about the same size as your normal medium size saloon car. Internally it is huge, you have the extra height which is great, the boot is enormous to the extent that we no longer need the roof box to go camping with, and there are loads of little, medium sized and big cubby holes to hide things in. The man at the garage did warn me though if you don't shut the one in the front down properly the internal lights don't go off.
How does it drive.
It handles beautifully, there are all sorts of internal built in steering controls that I don't understand like understeer control, but I love driving it. It also has a rear sensor thingy for when I'm reversing (invaluable, believe me)
For every niggle there is a silver lining. It took us a while to find how to turn the child locks off, there is a little button on the drivers door, which is very easy to lean on and turn them on unintentionally. This annoys the kids but doesn't bother me, and it is designed so it is not possible to turn them off accidentally.
The radio, not so much of a niggle, it's a fairly basic radio CD player but it does have a good reception, there is one radio blackspot locally that I seem to be the only one who can still get a reception. The controls are also on the steering wheel, but I had gloves on this morning and kept catching the dial and changing the CD track with them. Again, not a huge niggle.
The manual, as with many manuals these days they seem to try to cover the full range rather than concentrating on your specific model and there are some things in the manual that are simple wrong, for example where they said the button to turn the child locks off is nowhere near where it actually is.
The painful bit
I paid £10500 for mine which is 18 months old, and had 11000 miles on the clock. New they are listed at £13800. A friend of my Dads imported one from France, I am not sure how much he paid but doing it that way did mean that KM per hour (mentioned above) is set as a default and I think he has had a few niggles trying to get it to stay on MPH.
So for the first time ever, I am really pleased with my new car, and I am under no illusions that my review will cause you to run down to your local Renault dealer, but if you are looking to change your car, I would certainly recommend you take a look at them.
Thank you for reading.
Renault grand scenic expression 1.5 DTi
Having both rented one of these vehicles and now owned one for a year I felt it time to review this vehicle. Unfortunately I can't find the exact catagory so I've decided it's suitable to place it here.
Safety ratings -
Having achieved a massive 34 points in the safety ratings, which puts it in the 5 start bracket (highest available).This tops most of it's rival 5 star companions by an extra point as the majority enter the 5 star bracket with 33 points. Euro NCAP safety tests provide these figures with a maximum award of 36 points and five stars. The Euro NCAP system is formed from many European countries, insurers and motoring organizations to provide a comprehensive guise to vehicle safety.
Features worth noting -
There are several features and designs I think are worth noting with this model, Whilst features like the rear view mirror which darken the tint when hit by bright headlights (avoid dazzle) don't help in a crash, they certainly add safety towards avoiding accidents in the first place.
Automatic windscreen wipers were a feature I was unsure about, but have grown to find them rather handy. Once they are switched on they will work as fast or as slow as the rain falls. The only input they need is the size of rain droplet (fine rain or great big blobs) which is controlled by a simple turn of a stalk on the steering column.
The handbrake is another nifty bit of kit. A small lever engages it when you stop and it automatically disengages when you pop it into gear and let your clutch out. Fab for those of us who struggle with smooth hill starts.
Storage space is another big plus in this vehicle, with heaps of compartments making the most of the space .Under seat draws along with opening floor pan compartments allow you to store a lot and very discreetly. The two front floor pans are also linked into the air conditioning leaving them to act as a fridge in the hot weather, ideal for both cold drink storage or popping your perishable shopping into to retain the cool temperature.
The large curved dash that precedes the spacious and well designed windscreen has a voluptuous curved nature which looks good but means displaying parking tickets, permits etc is problematic as everything simply slides to the side. It is also so deep that reaching the front of it means an exhaustive stretch that nearly dislocates your arms. A huge shame when it tops the wonderful digital dashboard that provides easy to read displays that are positioned well.
Road handling is between good and excellent. It holds the road well, griping round corners at good speeds, but not managing to grip without under steer at high speeds .Whilst I would normally suggest this is good handling, taking into the account this is a 7 seat MPV, I would say the road holding is very impressive!
The seating position for the driver is excellent. An almost upright position as you'd finding a van, but with the comfort of highly adjustable seats that offer great back support gives you a comfortable ride no matter what the distance. It also affords you good vision and good access to reach the easily laid out instruments.
Steering is responsive and generally only gives to under/over steer when pushing the car to high limits.
ABS,EBD (electronic braking distribution) are standard with Traction and under steer control being optional (EPS and ASR).
This generally makes for an impressive braking performance although there tends to be an annoying habit of excessive braking response whilst at low speeds. So tap the breaks whilst reversing off your drive and you get whiplash!!
On the braking front there is something to watch out for. It seems a common niggle to get an awful grinding sound after low mileage, giving the impression of your brake pads being down to bare metal. Officially this is caused by bad sinter (poor surface material on the brake pads giving excessive dust). The fix for this annoyance is either to have your brakes blown out with compressed air to remove the dust or to have the pads changed to a different variety.
Whilst we have been assured on several occasions that does not affect braking and the blow out is all that's needed usually, we ourselves had the blow out then within two weeks ended up having not only new pads all around, but also new discs too. Not bad for a car less than 1 year old!!
The decision to replace all the breaking parts was taken by Renault after we nearly went through someone's boot after the breaking WAS affected badly!!
Engine performance -
The 1.5 DTi engine transforms the myths and legends about diesel engines.
This is a large vehicle designed to take 7 people, which is quite a weighty load, yet the engine doesn't struggle to cope with it at all.
Fast off the mark and acceleration available in all gears adds to the feeling your sitting on a turbo diesel of a good size, yet this mere baby's cc provides great fuel consumption leaving you to cruise comfortably or nip round town whilst still obtaining between 40 and 50 MPG. I have actually managed to pull a massive 69PMG whilst maintaining a swift speed in sub urban areas.
Be warned though, you can expect to lose anywhere between 1 and 5 PMG when the air conditioning is on.
This newer designed diesel engine uses a common rain injection system that creates more power, more fuel economy and a much quieter engine. Bye, bye to the tractor noise of the older diesels and hello to an engine that offers more oomph than it's petrol counterpart.
Whilst this vehicle lays claim to its 7 seats, I can't help feeling that there's something missing, like 2 seats. Yes it does have all 7 seats, however the last two I would be more inclined to class a baby chairs. Whilst Renault cleverly market this MPV as an ideal vehicle for transporting your children to and from school etc, they don't directly limit the rear seats to children. My experience also tells me that by the time your child is of school age they'll be getting rather large for the leg room available. The leg room is adjustable by way of the sliding second row of seats, but this only suffices to limit the room of all 5 rear seats.
Seating and interior covering is nothing to write home about but it is comfortable and functional without being tacky.
This whole 7 seat quandary shouldn't however make you discount this vehicle as a darn good people carrier. Even with this restriction it affords good sized seats and leg room when using the last seats for small children or simply not using them. Use it for all 7 seats with larger people and you can still use it comfortably, just not for long journeys.
The modular design of the seating offers more range for use, making it adaptable in leg room, interior space or transporting for the proverbial multi purpose vehicle.
With the last two seats being designed to pull up from the flat level of the boot into sturdy and safe seats, the primary rear seats can also be folded down on top of the rear floor to make enough room (with the last seats down) to transport a small elephant.
The added extras (as standard) such as in car trays that fold down from the front seats to provide table room with cup holders may seem a trifle gimmicky, but do offer good and practical uses for trips with the nippers.
Seat belts are positioned well providing safety without compromising comfort whilst you sit in the amply sized seats. Even my large rump doesn't complain of space or support even when wedged in the smallest option.
Whilst this specific model kicks off at around £17,320 with option extras available to top up that figure, the petrol range start from £15,270 making them well priced against their competitors with lower price tags only attached to vehicles such like the Vauxhall Zafira.
The base starting figure of this vehicle does include as standard many features that other manufacturers leave as optional more expensive add-ons, such as air conditioning, multiple air bags, CD player, electric windows and a whole heap of other paraphernalia.
After care and service -
Taking a closer look at the manufacturer/dealerships we find a good network of dealerships backed by the manufacturer.
Finding your local dealer and more information about this vehicle, options, specifications and service etc, can be done at www.renault.co.uk.
Both Renault and the dealer ships offer good information and servicing, with promises of courtesy cars or hire vehicle locating, convenient servicing and repairs.
We are still unable to resolve a large knocking sound despite havng a new shock absorber fitted and it took two trips to get the windscreen water pump replaced, apparently a common fault.
Unfortunately our experience of our local dealer turns these promises into a vague memory of broken promises, with poor communication, lack of hire /courtesy vehicles and dubious workmanship. So much so that unless I hear first hand of much better service from another dealership, then I'm sorry Renault but I won't be coming to you again.
Armed with a range of security features such as R.A.I.D (Renault Anti Intruder Device) and a Thatchum/insurance approved engine immobilizer, you'll find this vehicle amply provided for.
Such things as, your door automatically locking at 6pmh and above, deadlocks on the doors and the lack of key holes in the doors make it impressive.
Doors are locked through a key car that has remote activation and slots into a gap in the dash to engage the ignition. The ignition is then started by the press of a button. No card no activation.
Should someone try to hot wire the vehicle they may be successful eventually, but will simply find themselves stranded just down the road when the fuel cuts off.
One big aspect is the deadlocking system that prevents the car thief from breaking the windows and opening the door from inside. This sounds a great idea - WRONG.
Who ever thought up this concept needs their heads reading. The car thief has smashed the window - so they climb in instead, the lack of opening door is simply an inconvenience that is likely to result in them eventually trying force the door and cause more damage. Statistically this concept may make the car slightly less targeted, but I doubt it. Many of the newer vehicles from many manufacturers incorporate this feature.
Build quality -
Safety aspects of this car push it into a high bracket, but this is compromised by the poorer built quality. The general trend of mass produced lighter body panels wafted over with water based paints means they chip and mark easily.
Exterior trims are less robust and poorly fixed.
The initial paint surfaces look great, but in a short time they will be marked and scratched.
At the end of the day you get what you pay for and on a vehicle of this price with so many safety features and so many extras, something has to be sacrificed and I feel that it is the build quality that suffers, a big shame for a great looking car that likes to "shake that ass"
Good v evil -
Having covered a lot of points it's time to weigh some of them up.
Driving comfort and function is excellent for the type of vehicle, but is let down with potential braking problems that are hard to justify ignoring.
Build quality is compromised by the pricing and safety features, but safety is more important than looks so safety and affordability wins out here. Both the looks and gadgets are great to start with, but a few years down the line I wouldn't want the responsibility of trying to keep this vehicle looking good or the replacement parts to keep it running. So despite affordability winning in the steaks of new cars, it's a disposable vehicle .Keep a couple of years then upgrade or renew, though if that's not an option it should just see you through the children's transportation years before it heads off to the great scrap yard in the sky.
Service at Renault has high promises that simply have not materialized for us. This is non negotiable for me and is not going to have me calling Renault for a repeat performance. However this is something both I and you should research further as it most likely represents a local phenomenon as Renault commitment to overall safety suggests they have the right attitude to offer good service. Be wary but don't discount this point.
The addition cost of opting for the diesel will put you back around an extra £1000, so whilst your fuel economy is great and the power's all there you need to do your sums, divide the extra cost by the length of time you intend to keep it and then again by the average mileage you are likely to do and you'll get your answer. Can you save enough on fuel to justify the extra expenditure? I do high mileage (in excess of 16,000 mile per year)
so it is viable for me. Do less than 10,000 and you might as well opt for the petrol although the resale value is slightly better for a diesel vehicle.
Seating is a tough one and although the 7 seats are usable if your family is large you may want to look at alternative 7 seaters that offer more rear end leg room.
Lastly, the double-locking security system.
On the surface this offers good security, which in some ways it undoubtedly delivers.
It does however present one pitfall. Should someone inadvertently lock it whilst you are in the vehicle, you are totally stranded. This I discovered after a shopping trip to Tesco in the heat wave that recently hit, where my son and I opted to remain in the car whilst hubby went round the store. As my son is Autistic and can mess about he removed the key leaving us with all the windows down. Shortly after he entered the store he place the key card in his pocked and the button must have caught as the locking cut in. This activated the security system locking the windows and doors. From inside the car you are unable to open the door, activate the windows or switch on the air conditioning or fans.
The temperature was 35 degrees and after 10 minutes my son was hysterical, my asthma was none too good and I was unable to even kick out a window or sound the horn to get help. Substantially good soundproofing of the car made it impossible to attract outside attention either. Fortunately my Hubby was only in the store for around 20 minutes, but now I have great difficulty getting into the car at all without the windows all open and I find car washes impossible, such was the effect of the situation. Another 5 minutes and I think it would have been the hospital for both me and my son.
I was so concerned about how easily this had happened that I contacted Renault themselves, feeling sure this was a fault. There response is posted below
Our Ref: 1-77073603
Dear Mrs Powers
Thank you for your recent email.
I am sorry to learn that you disappointed with the security device that is fitted to your Renault Grand Scenic and that it caused distress to both your son and yourself.
When the deadlocking button is activated, all the doors and luggage compartment are locked. It has been designed this way to prevent the doors from being opened with the interior handles. This is to stop intruders from breaking the windows and then trying to open the doors from the inside.
Deadlocking should never be used if someone is still inside the vehicle and so caution should be used when leaving the car parked with occupants still inside to prevent this happening.
We like to hear ways in which our customers think we can improve our products and services, so we are very grateful to you for getting in touch.
Thank you for taking the time to contact Renault and if you would like any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Customer Services department on 0800 072 33 72. Our department is open from 8.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank holidays) and is committed to providing the best service in the industry.
With kind regards
Renault Customer Services
Also following this incident I have discovered many other cars have this same style locking and that many other people have found themselves in similar situations. I note that Renault advise me to take care an indeed I'm taking enough care as to send back my year old vehicle and look for another.
Common sense tells me to take care, but with the greatest care in the world accidents can happen and I see how easily a small child could become a statistic when a parent falls pray to this device in extreme temperatures, unfortunately Renault don't.
This car is the car of my dreams and my nightmares. It is everything I want in a car and more, but the flaws and failed service will keep me steering onto another track with my next car. Should Renault improve the care and security systems then I would be straight back