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Underneath the stylish and bold exterior of the new Renault Scenic lies a highly functional and practical multi-purpose vehicle.

17 May 2018


The Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) is the quintessential family vehicle, for better or for worse. It offers tons of utility, space and functionality, but is often also judged to be bland and unexciting. Renault's latest offering, the brand new Scenic, wants to have something to say about that. 

The Scenic's bold styling certainly helps it to stand out in a segment often derided for being quite bland

Wow, it's extremely orange...

Yes, the first thing that strikes you is the way the Scenic looks. If nothing else, it's extremely bold and purposefully styled. Does it look good? Can any MPV actually look good?

Well, we'll commit that it at least looks different and has it's own character. It doesn't just look like any other bland five-seater MPV, so that has to at least count for something. And compared to the previous generation model, this new Scenic is vastly more pleasant to look at.

With storage spaces a plenty (such as under the foot wells), the Scenic makes for an ideal car for quick jaunts into JB

It's supposed to be a family car, right?

It very much is. Look past the bold (and very orange) exterior and what you have is a very practical, functional and sensible MPV.

The interior is spacious enough, with a lot of nifty storage compartments (some cleverly hidden, such as under the foot wells) to store away all the wet wipes you need to clean up after the kids. The centre console also slides back and forth, allowing you to customise the cabin space to best fit all your stuff.

As far as build quality is concerned, yes, there's a fair amount of plastics used, but it doesn't feel overly tacky or cheap. There's enough soft-touch materials in the right places, and the cabin feels well put together. 

You can allow the hands-free parking system to control the steering for you while parking, whilst you focus on just the accelerator and brakes

The Scenic also comes equipped with an 8.7-inch capacitive touchscreen in this Privilege trim. It's not the most streamlined system (for example, after start up, you need to click through four menus to access media on your phone, even if it's already been paired previously), but it functions well enough.

Also, you kind of do wish there were at least a couple more buttons on the centre console though, especially one to control the air-con fan speed.

As far as equipment is concerned, the Scenic comes with a head-up display, hands-free parking, Blind Sport Monitoring System, and panoramic sunroof, so it's no bare bones car, this one. 

Meh, a diesel?

The Renault Scenic is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine. The engine punches out 110bhp and a very generous 260Nm of torque, which makes it easy to use on our roads. For a car its size, and the fact that one of its key functions to is haul the family (and their stuff) around, the diesel makes sense. 260Nm of torque will make light work of even a fully loaded car. 

Tucked neatly under the bonnet is a 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine delivering 110bhp and 260Nm of torque

In fact, on the go, the engine feels refined enough, though it does sound a tad raspy. Even on its big 20-inch shoes (which is much bigger than you'd normally find in this class), the Scenic rides well, and isn't particularly crashy or unsettled.

The large tyre sidewalls and soft suspension compensate for the wheels' significant size. It also tracks around corners decently enough, with body roll reasonably managed.

Despite riding on big 20-inch wheels, the ride in the Scenic is comfortable and well-damped

We did find that wind noise is noticeable above 90km/h, which shouldn't technically be an issue because we aren't supposed to drive above 90km/h. We only did so in the name of scientific testing, obviously.

So it's a good family car?

Yes, we think so. For $117,999 (as of 13th May), it's well-priced enough. With its bold styling, the Scenic is definitely a more pronounced and extroverted choice of a family car.

The new Renault Scenic is a practical and comfortable family MPV with a bold visual outlook

But most importantly, it still serves its quintessential function of being a family MPV. Beneath the new Renault Scenic's bright and bold skin lies a decent MPV - functional and practical.

In that sense, it feels well put together, it's not particularly compromised in any way, and it just gets the job done. And as far as a family car goes, that's just what you need. 

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Car Information

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Price

: $116,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1461cc

Horsepower

:

82kW (110 bhp) / 4000 rpm

Torque

:

260 Nm / 1750 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) EDC

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

12.4sec

Top Speed

:

184km/h

Fuel consumption

:

25 km/L

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