Review: Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019)
Practical back row and large boot. Generous level of standard safety technology. Easy to drive. 5 year 100,000 mile warranty from December 2019.
Standard-fit 20-inch wheels impact ride quality. Tyres are an unusual size. High tech electronic mean heating and ventilation is controlled by a vertical touch screen.
Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019): At A Glance
- New prices start from £20,485, brokers can source from £17,501
- Contract hire deals from £301.75 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 10–20
- On average it achieves 74% of the official MPG figure
With its standard 20-inch wheels and chunky, almost-a-crossover styling, the Renault Scenic is a far cry from dull MPVs of the past. But, despite its radical new look it’s still a sensible and capable family car, with loads of cabin space, a big boot and some clever touches.
The back row of seats is comfortable, with enough head and legroom for adults or, more importantly, for three children. The wide-opening rear doors provide easy access, plus there are two rear Isofix points and one on the front passenger seat. On all but entry-level models the rear seats fold with one-touch buttons in the boot.
For those who have a bigger family there is a Grand Scenic, which is slightly longer to accommodate a pair of occasional-use seats that fold out of the boot.
The boot capacity is 572 litres with the rear seats in place and the load deck is flat to make loading easier. Pushchairs, shopping and other family bits and pieces will fit easily and there is a false floor for hiding little things like tablet computers. The only issue is the chunky rear bumper, which will likely get scuffed when sliding things in and out.
Bluetooth and DAB is standard, as is a large, crisp touchscreen system. On all but basic Expression+ models it comes with TomTom navigation and includes Live services, like traffic alerts. Importantly, standard safety tech includes auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and cruise control on all models.
The engine range includes 110PS, 130PS and 160PS diesels, plus there is a 1.2-litre TCe petrol with either 115PS or 130PS. Of these the 1.5 dCi 110PS diesel is probably the best bet, since it blends low emissions and official economy of more than 70mpg with decent performance and good refinement.
On the road the Scenic is easy to drive, with light controls and quiet engines, but the big wheels mean ride quality is a little unsettled over rough surfaces and there is some road noise on coarse British tarmac. On the motorway or around town this is no real issue, though.
With its generous level of standard safety kit, stylish looks and practical cabin, the Renault Scenic is a real contender next to rival cars. The Kia Carens is better value and the Ford C-MAX is better to drive, but there’s still every reason to give the Renault Scenic a look.
What does a Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019) cost?
Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
The Scenic may have stylish looks, but Renault hasn’t let practicality slip. There is a large boot and spacious rear seats, plus three Isofix mounts – two in the back row and one for the front passenger seat. Standard equipment is impressive too, with important safety kit like auto emergency brakes on all versions.
Wide-opening rear doors make access to the back row easy. There is space for a pair of adults to sit in comfort, or ample room for three children. Those who need to carry even more passengers can opt for the seven-seat Grand Scenic, which has two fold-up seats in the load area.
There is a clever, sliding centre console in all but basic Expression+ versions, which can be moved back so rear seat occupants can access the storage and charger/USB sockets, or slid forward to free up middle seat rear leg room and provide storage access for those up front.
Material quality is good on the whole, with a mixture of soft-touch plastics high up and hardwearing materials low down. That said, there are some cheap-looking details, like the unpleasant switch for enabling the speed limiter and the drab, uninspired centre stack.
The boot has a flat, low deck and a 572-litre capacity. That’s plenty for pushchairs or whatever else a growing family might need, though the position of the rear bumper means it’s likely to get scuffed up when unloading. On the plus side, a two-layer boot floor provides an extra storage space for valuables like laptops or things like picnic blankets.
The rear seats can be folded flat, freeing up a huge 1554 litres of space, which is ideal for flat packs or garden centre trips. On all but entry-grade models, the seats can be folded electronically either via one-touch buttons in the boot, or via the touchscreen system up front when parked.
All versions of the Scenic come with DAB radio and Bluetooth as standard, along with a touchscreen in either 7-inch or 8.7-inch. It’s responsive and easy-to-use when parked, but on the move it can be a bit of a fiddle to get the desired screen. Fortunately, the climate and volume controls are easy to find, so you can keep your eyes on the road.
The higher two trim levels gain a larger, vertically-mounted touchscreen which is clearer and includes navigation, complete with TomTom live services for speed camera warnings and live traffic. Unfortunately, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality.
Standard equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, auto-dipping headlights, cruise control, speed limiter, dual-zone climate control, auto lights and auto wipers. Moving up to higher equipment grades brings extras like a larger touchscreen and colour head-up display.
Standard Equipment (from launch):
Expession+ comes with auto emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, auto headlights with auto dip, auto wipers, cruise control, speed limiter, hill start assist, electronic parking brake, three Isofix mounts, 20-inch alloy wheels, seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, DAB radio and a handsfree keycard.
Dynamique Nav adds fatigue alert, front and rear parking sensors, ambient lighting and drive mode selection, rear sunblinds, sliding centre console with two USB sockets, a 12V socket, AUX-input and two 500ml bottle holders, rear picnic tables, one-touch folding rear seats, 3D sound system plus TomTom navigation with Live services.
Dynamique S Nav adds head-up display, reversing camera, panoramic glass roof, auto-dipping rearview mirror and a 8.7-inch vertical R-Link 2 touchscreen.
Signature Nav adds cornering front foglights, full-LED headlights, leather upholstery along with electrically adjustable front seats with massage function.
Child seats that fit a Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.2 TCe 115 to 1.5 Blue dCi 120 Automatic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 42–59 mpg
The Renault Scenic is available with a 1.2-litre TCe petrol engine producing either 110PS or 130PS. Plus there are 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre dCi diesels with outputs of 110PS, 130PS or 160PS. The most powerful diesel comes with a six-speed automatic transmission as standard, while the 1.5 dCi 110PS is also available with a seven-speed auto.
Even though the 1.2-litre TCe engine might sound small for an MPV, it's actually fine. Performance is similar to the diesel engines, but with less impressive official fuel economy figures. Both the 115PS and 130PS petrols achieve up to 48.7mpg depending on trim level.
The 1.5 dCi 110PS diesel is the pick of the engine range, though. It’s very quiet and smooth, plus it performs well at motorway speeds and its 260Nm of torque is fine for overtaking. Official economy is 72.4mpg for the manual, or 70.6mpg for the automatic. For most Scenic owners this engine provides the best blend of performance and running costs.
There is also a hybrid assist version, which has a small electric motor to help when pulling away. It means a small boost economy boost to an official 80.6mpg. Those who tend to drive long distance should consider the 130PS and 160PS 1.6-litre dCi diesels, which provide some extra grunt for the motorway.
Renault has fitted all variants of the Scenic with 20-inch wheels as standard, which might alarm some buyers – but there are three different tyre makers to choose from and Renault promises tyre prices will be no higher than for 17-inch or 18-inch wheels on earlier Scenics.
That said, the penalty for such big, stylish wheels is jittery ride quality over rough, potholed country roads, as well as tyre roar over coarse tarmac. It’s not a real problem around town or on the motorway, but if you spend a lot of time on B-roads a Ford C-MAX is probably a better bet.
Through corners the Scenic is predictable and body roll is well-controlled, but the C-MAX has more nicely-weighted and accurate steering. On the plus side, there is plenty of standard convenience technology including cruise control, a speed limiter, traffic sign recognition, auto-dipping lights and hill start assistance.
Parking Pack Premium is a £500 option and provides semi-autonomous parking. It recognises parallel, perpendicular and diagonal spaces and takes control of the steering. All the driver needs to do is control throttle, gear selection and braking, which is ideal for drivers who aren’t confident with their parking.
|1.2 TCe 115||49 mpg||12.3 s||129 g/km|
|1.2 TCe 130||49 mpg||11.4 s||129 g/km|
|1.3 TCe||52 mpg||-||137 g/km|
|1.3 TCe 115||52 mpg||11.3 s||122 g/km|
|1.3 TCe 140||52 mpg||10.1 s||122 g/km|
|1.3 TCe 140 Automatic||52 mpg||10.2 s||122 g/km|
|1.3 TCe Automatic||52 mpg||-||135 g/km|
|1.5 Blue dCi 120||72 mpg||-||129 g/km|
|1.5 Blue dCi 120 Automatic||71 mpg||-||135 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 110||72–81 mpg||12.4 s||92–100 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 110 Automatic||71 mpg||12.4 s||104 g/km|
|1.5 dCi Hybrid Assist||81 mpg||12.9 s||92 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 130||63 mpg||11.4 s||116 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 160 Automatic||63 mpg||-||118 g/km|
|1.6 VVT 110||38 mpg||-||174 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Renault Scenic (2016 – 2019)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
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