Originally released in the mid-1990s, the Renault Scenic is a small MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) designed for chauffeuring families and taking long family trips with loads of cargo in the trunk. The Scenic is a really well-equipped car for its class and is also one of the most popular and successful family minivans to date. So, is Renault Scenic a good car?
The Renault Scenic is indeed a really good car as it combines all the benefits you get from a passenger van with a more car-like driving experience and cheaper running costs. All the engines on offer are fairly efficient, sophisticated, and adequately powerful for what the car is.
Design-wise, the Scenic is certainly not a car that is going to take your breath away, but it really does work with its flowing styling lines and interesting-looking trim. The driving experience is nothing special as this is a family minivan after all which means that it is restrained and ordinary-feeling.
Reliability could be better as the Scenic does have a few notable problems with its suspension, engine, trim, electrics, and similar. The prices have come down in the past few years for the latest models which means that the Scenic does give you a really good value per dollar ratio for what is an immensely practical family hauler.
There are quite a few engines to choose from with the Scenic and all of them are either gasoline-powered or diesel-powered. The main engine in the latest Scenic is the 1.4L inline 4-cylinder engine which pushes out between 115hp and 160hp depending on the model you go for. The previous generation of the Scenic uses a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that pushes out 140hp.
As the Scenic is designed for the European market, it also comes with a wide array of diesel engines. Older Scenic models come with either a 1.9L, a 2.0L, a 1.6L, or a 1.5L diesel 4-cylinder engine with power outputs ranging from 110hp to 160hp. The newer Scenic offers you a choice between three diesel powertrains, a smaller 1.5L 4-cylinder with 110hp, a mid-size 1.6L 4-cylinder with 131hp, and the 1.8L with 110hp.
All of these are strictly front-wheel drive, but you can choose between a manual or an automatic transmission. We also need to mention that the Scenic is available with a diesel hybrid engine that pushes the MPG numbers up to 65MPG which is also the best MPG result you can get from the Scenic.
Normal gasoline variants can do up to 45MPG at best while normal diesel units can do around 50-55MPG at best.
Design and Driving
As mentioned in the intro, the Scenic was never intended to be a looker which means that the overall design isn’t all that attention-seeing. However, we do need to mention that the newest Scenic model does look really cool with its sleek front lights and a large Renault badge in the middle. The interior is relatively nicely appointed but isn’t anything to write home about.
The driving experience is subdued and completely tailored towards easy, relaxed cruising which is understandable for a car of this size and function.
Reliability and Common Problems
Reliability-wise, the Scenic isn’t perfect, but if you do everything that needs doing early enough, you should be able to stay on top of all of its serious issues. If you don’t take proper care of it, the Scenic is going to fail eventually and is going to be accompanied by fairly expensive repair bills.
The most common Scenic problems include the front suspension squeaking, engine cutting out, water getting into the car, fuel leaks, and a whole host of electrical problems. However, likely the worst problem of them all is the one associated with a faulty EGR valve which can lead to terminal engine or turbocharger damage.
Pricing and Practicality
The current Scenic costs between £21,635 – £30,875 in the UK which is relatively reasonable for a car of this size. However, most people are likely going to turn toward the used car route where the Scenic is able to make a name for itself as it did lose quite a bit of value over the past few years.
Practicality is nothing but a doddle with the Scenic as it offers up to seven seats, a huge trunk, lots of interior space, lots of interior cubby spaces, easy-mounting child seat anchors, and a whole load of features that are designed to make a family hauler family-friendly.
Did Renault Discontinue the Scenic?
It is said that the Renault Scenic ceased production in 2022 after almost 30 years of consistent production. Renault believes that it makes little to no sense to make minivans anymore as the world is slowly turning toward complete SUV and crossover domination which does make sense as many other brands did the same thing.
Others believe it has more to do with the fact that the Scenic’s engines are getting on a bit now and they would need to develop a new powertrain for the Scenic in an era where almost everyone turns to hybrids and EVs.
Which Cars Rival the Renault Scenic?
The Renault Scenic faces off against cars such as the Citroen Grand Picasso, the Peugeot 3008, and the Seat Ateca. All four of these have been on a slow and steady decline over the past few years which means that Renault was right when it said that the era of minivans is coming to an end.
Either way, no one can deny that you should buy a really large SUV in order to enjoy the same amount of space you typically do in either of these.
Is the Renault Scenic Safe?
The Renault Scenic enjoys a perfect five-star safety rating with a really impressive 90% adult occupant protection, 82% child occupant protection, and 67% pedestrian safety protection result. All in all, the Scenic is a true family car which means that Renault wasn’t going to risk not making it as safe as it possibly could.