10 March 2008
Renault is pushing hard to make Australian buyers consider
its Scenic as a family car. Feeling that those downsizing to keep
their fuel costs under control will appreciate the spacious and
practical nature of the French people mover.
Now it has further enhanced the viability of the Scenic by
adding a turbo-diesel option. With officially measured fuel
consumption of just 7.1 litres per hundred kilometres, anyone
trading in a family six on a Scenic dCi can trim a solid third off
their fuel costs.
The 1.9-litre diesel is already familiar to us from the Renault
Megane where it has enjoyed a deal of success since its late 2007
launch. It puts out 250 Nm at just 1600 rpm, with a power peak of
96 kW. Our initial test drives in the Scenic showed the engine is
refined, quieter than average for its type and produces good
pulling power with a minimum of turbo lag.
While it certainly doesnít have the gusto of a Commodore of
Falcon, there more than enough performance for most drivers, and
that fuel economy is most appealing.
An interesting feature is a fuel filler flap that seals the
fuel inlet Ė so there's no cap to remove. Thus reducing the
opportunities for getting oily diesel on your fingers.
The new turbo-diesel joins the existing 2.0-litre petrol engine
and the Scenic range gives buyers plenty of choice. While most
Scenics are sold with five seats, there's also a seven-seat
option. However, the rearmost seats on the latter are on the small
side and really only suited to kids. To its credit, Renault doesnít
call this a seven-seater, rather it uses the tag of 5+2. But those
with extended families or children with lots of friends will
certainly appreciate the versatility of the extra seats. Note that
the diesel isnít offered in the seven-seat Scenic at this time.
Renault Scenicís spacious interior belies its external
compactness and is excellent in its layout, with lots of sensible
features for all in the family. Such as a huge centre console that
can swallow an amazing amount of stuff. A cooled glovebox to keep
those drink cans pleasant, individual rear seats that can be moved
sideways as well as back and forward. This is one of the most
intelligent cabin designs you will ever experience.
Then there's plenty of French flair in design both inside and
Those who can think outside the square will certainly add the
Renault Scenic to their short list of family cars, even if that
list has traditionally included the big Aussie sixes. The diesel
is priced at $37,990; with petrol models starting from just
The full Renault Scenic range, with prices (excluding on-road
Expression five-seat 2.0-litre petrol: $33,990 (manual)
Dynamique five-seat 2.0-litre petrol: $36,490 (automatic)
Expression dCi five-seat 1.9 litre diesel: $37,990 (automatic)
Grand Scenic Dynamique seven-seat 2.0-litre petrol:
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