There’s a good chance that when you think of the term ‘Mom’s taxi’, the image of a Renault Scenic comes to mind, and for good reason. It was arguably the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) that began it all, but regardless, Renault have still sold over 3.9 million units since it first entered production in 1996. The 2012 Renault Scenic range, which is ‘Phase 2′ of the third-generation, has been updated to keep the popular MPV at the front of after-school pick-up points.
Beginning with the styling, the five-seater Renault Scénic has been given a slightly sportier look with the introduction of a more aggressive front-end that includes sleeker headlamps, a louvered front grille, chromed accents with gloss black surrounds and a set of LED daytime running lights. The seven-seater Grand Scénic’s front-end features a more elegant appearance, with wider horizontal lines for the bumper and grille, complemented by chrome detailing, as well as the new LED daytime driving lights.
Inside, the Scenic’s retains all the versatility that has helped to make it so popular. The practicality of the flexible seating system, in both the 5- and 7-seater models, is complemented by an array of storage compartments throughout the cabin, including beneath the floor.
The Scenic also benefits from new technology in a number of areas. The Grand Scénic Dynamique features dual-zone climate control, electrically operated and heated front seats, and Renault hands-free card for convenient access. The range-topping Grand Scénic 2.0 dCi Bose, which, as the name suggests, features a Bose premium sound system, together with park distance control, a rear-view camera, Xenon headlights, as well as windscreen that is better insulated from temperature and noise.
Safety technology includes ABS brakes with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency Brake force Distribution (EBD), as well as ESP stability control with Hill Start Assist (HSA). The passive safety measures include driver and front passenger airbags, combined with side and curtain airbags.
Luxury and convenience features continue to include the Carminat TomTom Live navigation system, a Bluetooth-enabled audio system, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, as well as front and rear park distance control. The Scénic’s instrument cluster has been updated to include the new engine Stop/Start and HSA functions, along with an Eco Assistant, a new air quality and toxicity indicator, and a range of driver-selectable display options.
One of the biggest changes, however, is the introduction of a new 1.6-litre dCi ‘Energy’ turbo-diesel engine. The new 1.6 dCi Energy replaces the previous 1.9 dCi unit and is the first of a new generation of efficient powerplants that benefits from Renault’s expertise in Formula One. Some 230 million euros have been invested in the development of the new engine, which Renault say is the world’s most powerful engine of its size with a maximum power output of 96 kW. Peak torque is a generous 320 Nm at 1 750 r/min. At the same time, its combined-cycle fuel consumption is 20 percent better than the 1.9 dCi at 4.4 L/100 km. CO2 emissions are just 114 g/km.
The 2.0 dCi engine is now paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Scenic 2.0 dCi Auto has 110 kW available at 4 000 r/min and 360 Nm of torque from 2 000 r/min. The familiar 1.6-litre 16-valve petrol engine remains unchanged in the 5-seat Scénic Expression, with 83 kW and 151 Nm torque.
|Renault Scénic 1.6 Expression||R259 900|
|Renault Grand Scénic 1.6 dCi Dynamique||R324 900|
|Renault Grand Scénic 2.0 dCi Bose||R379 900|
Prices include a 5-year/100 000 km service plan and 5-year/150 000 km warranty with 24-hour roadside assistance.