Renault invented the MPV so the company knows a thing or two about this class. The previous Grand Scenic was a regular in this Guide, providing class-leading fuel economy with 7-seat flexibility. It is impressive that the new model has moved the bar even higher.
Renault has gone on a style offensive in recent years and the results are evident in the Grand Scenic. For an MPV it is a decent looking car and the theme is continued inside where an airy cabin and stylishly simple dashboard await. Sadly whilst the lack of buttons looks great it does mean that functions such as adjusting the ventilation system require lots of stabs at the touchscreen.
The 1.8-litre turbodiesel makes do with 118 bhp but it is the 221 lb.ft of torque accessible at just 1,750 rpm which is more important here. If you are going to use all 7 seats all of the time performance will be leisurely, but it does a decent job the rest of the time. The pay off for a slightly class-lagging 0-62 mph time is the outstanding fuel economy, on paper at least.
The Grand Scenic is a small MPV at just 4.6 metres in length so in common with the rest of the class, whilst it does have 7 seats, the two in the last row are best kept for occasional use and preferably for kids. If you don’t need them all the time they fold away neatly into the boot floor. With the rear seats up, boot space is a paltry 233 litres, but fold 5 seats down and you get a cavernous space.
The Renault Grand Scenic is a good-looking MPV which is ideal if you occasionally need to carry 7 people or you have lots of kids. The fuel economy is outstanding on paper but you need to adapt your driving style and pace to let the system work at its best. It isn’t the best MPV to drive, it isn’t particularly cheap, and the dashboard is pretty but difficult to use but if you are prepared to put the effort in it can deliver good fuel consumption.