Lifestyle

Review: Renault Grand Scenic 1.5dCi (A)

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For a multi-generation family, the Renault Grand Scenic fits the bill nicely as a fuel efficient people mover.

When we talk about having realistic expectations of an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) hitting the magical number 7 in terms of the seating capacity, it does not mean the installation of the additional two child seats at the back of the car. On first thought, it is not hard to imagine that the Renault Grand Scenic might just be another one of those child-carrier wagons, but we understand that adults do take up a considerable amount of space. And it appears that Renault does understand that space is the main priority when it comes to building MPVs.

So the Grand Scenic is not what most people often think it is, and it is definitely not just another copy of an overhyped Asian child-carrier. In fact, this is a car that has been widely overlooked, and people seem to have forgotten that Renault was the very manufacturer that first gave us its take of what we can expect from a compact MPV, while the rest of the world was probably talking about mini-vans.

grand scenic seats

But back to the Grand Scenic. On the inside, the car boasts of an impressive sliding mid-row seats, a feature that most would appreciate when ferrying five passengers on a long trip. Although the foldable seats on the third row don’t really snuggle down nicely onto the rear floorboard, it does transform the rear compartment into a huge luggage area for the journey, even larger when you are traveling on two.

Moving along; as you cast your glance ahead, one can tell that the dashboard design is signature-Renault, conventional yet an improvement from its predecessor. The more digital aspects like the multi-functional LCD TFT (Thin Film Transistor) technology colored screen along with the navigation system is appropriately sheltered by the dashboard hood. It may be disappointing though, that I actually had a hard time trying to negotiate directions with the navigation system’s voice command. It is recommended to take your time to learn about the cluster of controls from the instructions manual.

Given that diesel-powered vehicles have also been widely hailed by some manufacturers as an environmental saving alternative to petrol, this is a good point to consider. As well as the fact that the engine doesn’t make unbearable clattering noises.

The highlight of this car apart from its capability to accommodate seven is its engine – a turbocharged 1,461cc diesel powered engine block, which handles acceleration responsively from standstill due to tis torque. By using diesel, it also means you get much better mileage than traditional gasoline-powered engines, a close 20km per litre performance based on its rated combined cycle fuel consumption statistics.

grand scenic side

On the move, due to its design, the Grand Scenic also provides good glass clearance all round for those who worry constantly about blind spots. The higher driving position should pacify the average driver who wants an overview of everything detrimental around the vehicle. Overall, the driving experience is an indication of how Renault has prioritised family-orientated priorities of an MPV over the fundamentals of a road hugging performance car of its RS range. And because of that, the Grand Scenic doesn’t particularly outperform itself when we speak about overcoming adverse handling limits. More often than not, we would rather drive a family MPV as it is, with safety at the top of our list. That is also in line with Renault’s sole motivation, which is to produce genuinely safe cars that will actively reduce the risk of accidents and their potential consequences.

Having said that, the driving experience that the Grand Scenic provides would be on par with any other MPVs on the road. However, with the practicality offered, lowered fuel costs and attractive tax rebates, the Grand Scenic surely deserves a tick on your shortlist.

 

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