Security How to stay safe online: Please beware of telephone calls from fraudsters posing as Auto Trader Close
Back Icon Back to previous page

Review

Last updated: 26th November 2014

Review

Renault Scenic MPV (2009 – ) review

Read the Renault Scenic MPV (2009 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.

Last updated: 26th November 2014
The Auto Trader expert verdict: 3.5 The Renault Scenic was the original compact MPV. This third edition offers even greater practicality, better dynamics and greatly improved build quality.

Pros

  • Very practical
  • Looks great
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • Rivals retain more of their value when used
  • Rear seats don’t fold flat
  • Reliability is a weakness

Interested in buying Renault Scenic?

Find a used Scenic Find Renault dealer

Exterior Our rating 3/5

With its swept-back headlamps and corporate grille, it’s easy to tell that the Renault Scenic comes from the Renault stable. The side profile is less distinctive and looks like it could wear badges from a multitude of rivals, such as Seat or any number of Japanese marques. Predictably, this third-generation Scenic looks far more modern than its predecessors, although Renault has missed a trick by not making the profile a bit more futuristic, as with the Espace.

Interior Our rating 4/5

The dashboard has a very high-tech feel. Large, full-colour displays are combined with brushed alloy highlights. It’s a bit over-fussy though, with the switchgear not always easy to identify at a glance. It doesn’t help that the remote controls for the audio are hidden behind the steering wheel rather than being on the front. Getting comfortable is straightforward though, thanks to ample adjustment of the seats and height and reach-adjustable steering.

Practicality Our rating 4/5

Practicality is impressive. There are three individual rear seats, which can slide back and forth to optimise the balance between rear seat leg room and boot space. However, while these seats can be removed altogether, they can’t be folded flat into the floor. With the rear seats in place, the boot provides 437 litres of luggage space, and with them removed, this increases to 1837 litres.

Ride and handling Our rating 4/5

The Scenic’s body can roll around in corners and the steering feels rather light but the handling is perfectly acceptable. The ride is a little firmer than previous Renault models, but the Scenic is still comfortable to live with.

Performance Our rating 3/5

Three petrol engines and three diesel engines are available, two of which offer different power outputs. The 84bhp 1.5-litre diesel is the slowest of the lot, but it still manages 103mph and 0-60mph in 11.7 seconds. There are 1.9 and 2-litre diesel engines offered too, the latter in 148bhp or 158bhp forms. The one to go for is the 1.9dCi 130 though, or if you prefer petrol, go for the excellent turbocharged 1.4TCe unit, as it’s more fun than the 1.6 or 2-litre units.

Running costs Our rating 3/5

The two most economical engines are the 1.5dCi and the 1.9dCi, which deliver between 57.6 and 51.4mpg average fuel economy. Predictably these also have the lowest CO2 emissions, with 130g/km for the 1.5dCi and 145g/km for the 1.9dCi. Even the cleanest petrol engine, the 1.4Tce, emits a high 168g/km while the 2-litre unit is pegged at 183g/km. However, whatever you buy, fuel and road tax costs will be outstripped by the cost of depreciation – Renaults never hold their value very well, and the Scenic is no exception.

Reliability Our rating 3/5

This hasn’t been Renault’s strongest area for quite a while now. As well as squeaks and rattles throughout the cabin, many of Renault’s recent cars have suffered from electrical and electronic glitches. Things have improved with the latest models, but the company has yet to prove itself over a longer period.

Safety Our rating 4/5

The Scenic has a five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating. It’s packed with safety kit such as anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability programme and emergency brake assist. Front and front side airbags are fitted, along with front and rear curtain airbags. All seats feature an adjustable head rest and a three-point seat belt.

Equipment Our rating 3/5

There are four trim levels offered, the more basic ones with the smaller engines, while the bigger engines get the more lavish trim levels. Entry-level Extreme comes with a trip computer, CD/tuner, air-con and electric front windows. Expression adds an electronic parking brake, a dash-mounted display screen, powered rear windows and extra interior lighting. Dynamique TomTom features alloy wheels, sat-nav, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and privacy glass. The range-topping Privilege has dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and part-leather trim.

Why buy? Our rating 4/5

The fairly priced Scenic is practical, spacious, safe and  stylish. It feels very well put together, and there’s a wide choice of engines and trim levels to choose from.

Interested in buying Renault Scenic?

Find a used Scenic Find Renault dealer

Our recommendations

Best on a budget
Scenic 1.6VVT Extreme
Entry-level car still offers practicality galore
Best seller
Scenic 1.5dCi 106 Expression
More go, better equipped and spacious too
Blow the budget
Scenic 2.0dCi 160 Privilege TomTom
Lots of go, performance and practicality