Shropshire Star

UK drive: The Renault Scenic name lives on but in a different format

The Scenic name has become a household name for Renault, but has transforming it from an MPV to an SUV been a mistake? Cameron Richards finds out.

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What is it?

The Scenic E-Tech now rivals the Tesla Model Y. (Credit: Renault Press UK)

The Scenic name has been around since the mid 90s and since then it has gone on to be a very well-known and popular car in the MPV sector. However, the popularity of the SUV has made people carriers a dying breed and with stricter regulations coming onboard with EVs, Renault has decided to reintroduce the Scenic as an electric SUV.

Scenic models in the past have competed with cars like the Vauxhall Zafira and Volkswagen Touran, whereas this new EV will be competing with the Tesla Model Y and Peugeot e-3008.

What’s new?

It sits on the CMF platform giving it a completely flat floor. (Credit: Renault Press UK)

This new model is nothing compared to the outgoing Scenic. In fact, it sits on the firm’s CMF platform which gives it a completely flat floor and a longer wheelbase than before.

The exterior and interior design is new with the front end adopting Renault’s Nouvel’R logo with diamond surrounds where the front radiator grille would have been, while curved front LED daytime running lights and gloss black side mouldings set off the external design.

A new interior sports fewer buttons than before and the infotainment system now features Google-Built In as standard with up to 70 voice commands.

Renault has focused heavily on sustainability with the Scenic E-Tech. There is no leather found anywhere and up to 24 per cent of the car’s electric materials are recycled and 90 per cent of its mass – such as the battery – can be reused.

What’s under the bonnet?

There is a Comfort and Long range battery pack available. (Credit: Renault Press UK)

The Scenic comes with a choice of two battery packs. The Long range comes as standard on mid and top-spec models, coupled to a 214bhp electric motor and an 87kWh battery pack that gives out 300Nm of torque, does 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds and has a top speed of 105mph while delivering a claimed 379 miles on a single charge.

The entry-level model can be chosen with a smaller setup which makes it a little cheaper.. This model comes with a 60kWh battery pack and produces 172bhp and 280Nm of torque while achieving 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds, a top speed of 93mph and a claimed 260 miles between charges.

What’s it like to drive?

Though Renault has done its best to make the Scenic as light as possible, it still weighs over 1,900kg – so it’s no featherweight.  Although it still feels like a heavy car, driving it is a relatively comfortable experience with nicely weighted steering and the wheel you held had a square shape falling nicely into your hands.

The cabin was well insulated from road and wind noise and it has a good turn-in when going around tighter sections. It’s also got a tight turning circle making it easy to manoeuvre at slower speeds.

The Scenic is the first car in the firm’s line-up to use Safety Shield which allows the driver to programme their preferences to what driver assistance setting they want to be activated when driving; it means that at the touch of a button, any driver aids can be switched off, which we thought was a great idea. However, rear visibility was reduced due to the large rear headrests and large C-pillars.

Compared to its other French rival, the Peugeot e-3008, the Renault in on the back foot when it comes to driver involvement.

What’s it like inside?

The interior is bright and spacious. (Credit: Renault Press UK)

Inside feels light and spacious, thanks to our test car’s range-topping Iconic trim which comes as standard with what Renault calls a Solarbay Panoramic Sunroof that can be adjusted to dim the light into the cabin without the use of a sun blind.

The interior has a nice design with the infotainment screen all angled towards the driver while 38 litres of storage is dotted about the place. There are very large centre storage areas and the armrest in the back can be folded down revealing two swivel-out cup holders, USB-C charging ports and foldout stands.

The back is vast with an abundance of legroom and headroom which was pretty impressive despite our test car’s panoramic sunroof. The floor is completely flat, too, meaning a middle passenger could sit in the back comfortably while large back windows make it easy for kids to look out.

The boot stands at 545 litres with the seats up and 1,670 with them folded down, better than an e-3008 but not as big as something like a Tesla Model Y – also the Scenic’s rear seats don’t fold flat which could be a pain if you’re pushing larger items to the back.

What’s the spec like?

There are three trim levels on offer. (Credit: Renault Press UK)

In the UK, there will be three specifications on offer, beginning with the entry-level Techno which starts at £37,495 in Comfort setup and £40,995 in Long Range format. It comes as standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, power tailgate and a 12-inch multimedia display.

Move up to the Esprit Alpine, starting at £43,495 and it boasts a soft fabric dashboard, heated sports seats with blue stitching and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Our test car was the top-of-the-line Iconic which has a price tag of £45,495 and adds an electric driver’s seat with massage function, Harman Kardon sound system and the Solarbay Panoramic Sunroof – both Esprit Alpine and Iconic versions are only available in Long Range format.


The Scenic offers a better drive than the Peugeot e-3008. (Credit: Renault Press UK)

The heady days of the humble MPV seem to be well behind the Scenic as it moves into its SUV era. However, it’s a reflection of the times and you can’t fault Renault for switching the Scenic into a far more popular segment.

It’s good to drive while being practical and versatile, and with prices on par with its key rivals, it’s not bad value, either.

Sure, the driving experience is still not scintillating, but the Scenic was designed to be comfortable and commodious – which this French car has in spades.

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