Review: Renault Scenic XMOD (2013 – 2016)

Rating:

More practical than a crossover but with rugged looks. Comfortable and easy to drive. Well equipped.

Confusing infotainment system. Some materials could be better. Not a true all-wheel drive.

Recently Added To This Review

5 March 2013

Launched at Geneva Motor Shows Renault’s Scenic XMOD bridges the gap between an MPV and a crossover SUV. Based on the Scenic people carrier it sports chunkier styling, complete with a much larger... Read more

Renault Scenic XMOD (2013 – 2016): At A Glance

With its black plastic bumpers, upright styling and silver roof rails the Renault Scenic XMOD looks a lot like a crossover SUV – but it’s much closer to a regular Scenic MPV in terms of its practicality and driving dynamics. That means it’s a sensible family car, but with a dash of extra pizzazz.

It’s not all style over substance. Renault has fitted a system called Grip Xtend to the XMOD to help it cope with mud, grass and snow. The car still has front wheel drive, but software helps improve traction in slippery conditions – and drivers can alter the system depending on the road surface. Traction is further helped by standard fit mud and snow tyres.

The engine line up mirrors that of the Scenic, with three petrol engines and two diesels, ranging in size from 1.2-litre to 1.6-litre. None of the engines is particularly powerful, but the top dCi 130PS diesel manages to blend reasonable performance with low emissions of 114g/km and economy of 64.2mpg.

Regardless of what's under the bonnet the XMOD is a reasonable car to drive – ride comfort is generally quite good unless road surfaces are particularly rough, while the steering is well-weighted and the gearchange slick.

More impressive is the practicality. There’s a lot of space in the back row and the boot has a substantial 437 litres of space, extendable to 1837 litres with the middle row tumbled forward. For a growing family it’s ideal and would be a wiser choice than most similarly priced crossovers if practicality is a top priority.

For those who want the everyday usability of an MPV with some of the style and prestige of a crossover or SUV the XMOD is worth a look. It comes well equipped and is competitively priced compared to both MPVs and crossovers, plus it’s spacious and easy to drive. 

What does a Renault Scenic XMOD (2013 – 2016) cost?

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Renault Scenic XMOD (2013 – 2016): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4372 mm
Width -
Height 1656 mm
Wheelbase 2702–2704 mm

Full specifications

The cabin of the Scenic XMOD is very similar to that of the regular Scenic, which means it’s practical for family use. There is a sizeable boot with 437 litres of space, plus there is a good amount of space for rear seat passengers. The back row of seats slides forward and back on runners, so owners can choose between either more leg room or load space.

The material quality is generally very good – the dashboard is covered in soft touch plastic while the gear lever and steering wheel are both trimmed in leather. There are some poorer quality plastics lower down in the cabin, but generally they feel hardwearing.

There are some problems though, the most notable of which is the infotainment system. It’s packed with features but it’s downright annoying to use, with confusing menus and tricky to understand navigation buttons. It’s something an owner would get used to, but it’s far from intuitive.

There are also a few dubious material choices on smaller switches here and there. On the plus side the windows are huge and make for a light, airy space with excellent visibility and comfortable seats. It’s easy to settle down and relax on a long motorway trip.

Standard equipment is generous, with more or less everything you’d need even on the entry-level Expression+ model. That includes alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning and Bluetooth. Moving up to Dynamique TomTom adds some luxuries including navigation and auto lights, while top models gain an excellent, powerful BOSE audio system.

Standard Equipment

Expression+ is the entry trim level and comes with a choice of two 16-inch alloy wheel designs, mud and snow tyres, Grip Xtend system, four-speaker audio system with USB/AUX, air conditioning, front foglights, roof bars, leather steering wheel and Bluetooth.

Dynamique TomTom trim adds Dual-zone climate control, Carminat TomTom navigation system, automatic headlights and automatic wipers.

BOSE+ pack adds 17-inch alloy wheels, BOSE nine-speaker sound system, electrically folding door mirrors, extra tinted rear windows, rear parking sensors, driver seat lumbar support, folding passenger seat, gloss black door mirrors, satin chrome roof bars and synthetic leather/suede upholstery.

Child seats that fit a Renault Scenic XMOD (2013 – 2016)

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.

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What's the Renault Scenic XMOD (2013 – 2016) like to drive?

In an effort to give some credence to the Scenic XMOD’s off-roader looks, Renault has fitted a system called Grip Xtend, along with a set of mud and snow tyres. Together these are designed to improve traction on slippery road surfaces. For light off-road use they should do the job, unless you’re planning to reach Everest base camp.

Aside from that, the XMOD is very much like the Scenic on which it’s based. That means a range of five engines – three petrol and two diesel. The entry point is a 1.6-litre 110PS petrol but it’s not particularly efficient – emissions are 174g/km and official economy is 38.2mpg.

Those who need petrol power are better off choosing a TCe turbocharged petrol. Both 115PS and 130PS versions are offered and there’s not much between them in terms of emissions or economy, so it depends on price and preference. The most efficient of the two is the 115PS, which manages 46.3mpg and emissions of 140g/km, versus 44.1mpg and 145g/km for the 130PS version.

Renault also offers two diesel engines – a 1.5-litre dCi diesel with 110PS and a 1.6-litre dCi with 130PS. The latter is the best engine in the XMOD range but it’s also the most expensive. With 320Nm of torque it’s very versatile, with strong in gear performance. It’s refined and capable even at higher speeds so is ideal for those who cover long distance or regularly drive with a full car.

As you'd expect, the diesel engines are the most efficient in the XMOD line up – the dCi 110PS manages an official figure of 57.7mpg with emissions of 128g/km. The dCi 130PS is better still, with an official economy figure of 64.2mpg and emissions of 114g/km.

The Scenic XMOD is a very easy car to drive. The major controls are light and precise while the ride quality is generally very good. Particularly rough roads will upset comfort a little, but for the most part the XMOD is a quiet and refined car that’s as at home in town as it is on a long motorway trip.

That said there is noticeable body roll at higher speeds on twisting turns. Furthermore the mud and snow tyres don’t give quite as much traction on tarmac as a dedicated summer tyre, but for most people, even those who live in an area with twisting, national speed limit roads, this won’t be a problem at all. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 TCe 115 46 mpg 11.7 s 140 g/km
1.2 TCe 130 44 mpg 11.4 s 145 g/km
1.5 dCi 58–69 mpg 10.3–12.5 s 105–128 g/km
1.5 dCi Automatic 60 mpg 13.4 s 124 g/km
1.6 dCi 130 64 mpg 10.3 s 114 g/km
1.6 VVT 37 mpg 11.7 s 178 g/km

Real MPG average for a Renault Scenic XMOD (2013 – 2016)

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.

Average performance

80%

Real MPG

40–59 mpg

MPGs submitted

14

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 XMOD (2013 – 2016)?

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.

Ask HJ

Need a reliable used family car - any suggestions?

We have a 2012 Ford Focus estate that my wife wants to get rid of and replace with something with a higher seating position. We have shortlisted two cars: 2013 Scenic XMod 1.6 diesel with 60,000 miles on the clock - £7k 2007 Toyota Rav4 2.2 D4D XT5 with 86,000 miles on the clock - £6k Can you help? The car needs to pull a caravan (of 1300kg weight) five or six times a year. It will also need to be a family car for us and our one year old and get the wife to and from work, six miles away. Any advice would be gratefully received.
The Scenic has the better engine. The Renault 1.6dCi 130 was introduced in the Scenic in 2011 and is now fitted to the Mercedes C200, Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar among many others. It was state of the art, manifold in head when it was launched, I have not heard of problems with it, and I am presently running one myself in a Kadjar. Expect high 40s mpg.
Answered by Honest John
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