Renault Scenic - Buyer's Guides - Review of 3 Scenics - Renault Forums :: Independent Renault forum

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 18th July 2005 Thread Starter
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Renault Scenic - Buyer's Guides - Review of 3 Scenics

Although slightly out of date, below is a review I wrote not long after I took delivery of my third Scenic. I have now had 1 each of the 3 Scenic shapes.
Hope it may prove to be useful to anyone considering buying a Scenic.

I have now had my new Scenic for a couple of months, and, as this is my third Scenic, thought it might be worth sharing my views of the 3 cars. This is not a comparison between Scenics and other cars, this is simply my view of them which may, or may not, be of use to anyone considering buying one. I have 2 children, aged 10 and 6, so hopefully my thoughts may help those that Renault consider to be their target customers for this car.

The 3 models I have had are as follows
99 T Reg Scenic 1.9rtdt
01 51 Reg Scenic 1.9dci dynamique+ 105bhp
04 04Reg 1.9dci Dynamique 120bhp

My first Scenic was the original shape, I bought it just before the face lifted version came in and got a good deal. It was at the time that dealers could pre-register cars as a loophole and save money. I was very impressed with the car, as was my family. As we have came to expect with mpvs, the versatility these cars have are amazing. Whether it be taking a full car Inc pram to the South of France, or taking bikes, or rubbish to the dump, the flexibility of the seating layout is excellent. The dash and trims held up well even though they were subject to the usual mess you get with kids in the car, food on the go etc. I took the car to 60000 miles, including getting its timing belt changed at, I think, 48000 miles. There were no major issues mechanical wise, no irritating rattles; all round it was a great car. The only downside was that just before I traded it in, I discovered that the rear passenger foot well cubbyhole was getting wet. I tried everything to try and sort it but couldn’t get to the bottom of it. No doubt the garage fixed it for the new owner!
Engine wise, the old style turbo diesel was great. Over the term of ownership, I averaged 48.5mpg, it had great torque, could cruise at 100mph all day long on the French motorways.
I liked my first Scenic so much that I believed Renault's hype about their new dci engines, and traded it in for my second……………..

My second Scenic had 6000 miles on the clock and was the dealer’s accountant’s car. Platinum silver, alloy wheels, part leather interior, it looked fantastic. I kept this one for only 35000 miles and the only reason I got rid of it was the engine.
I have posted about this several times in forums; after the turbo diesel in the first car, the dci105 engine was awful.
I only averaged 42mpg, doing the same journeys as before and that was without air con on. It has no torque at all, no overtaking grunt, and felt very low geared when setting off from standstill. I was so concerned about this that I had 3 different garages check it out for me in case there was something majorly wrong, but they all said the engine was working perfectly. Interestingly though, every garage I consulted advised me that they had numerous customers with the same opinion as myself. I eventually decided to have the car chipped to get some more performance but at the last minute I decided to trade it in for the new style Scenic instead.

Other than the engine, the car, once again was great. The kids liked the electric windows in the back though I could isolate them from the drivers seat, climate control was a boon although, as with all air cons, if not used you end up with steamed up windows. I take pride in my cars, washing and waxing etc, but took a severe dislike to the alloys on the car. They were the variety that had lots of “spokes”, maybe 10-15 or so, and due to the gap between them being so small they were an absolute pain to keep clean. Even using Wonder Wheels and then applying a layer of polish, they still got dirty very quickly, the lacquer had started to peel off, and they had just lost their attractiveness. I would quite happily have exchanged them for a set of clean wheel trims! The part leather trim was very smart and, surprisingly, very easy to keep clean with the kids in the car. One point of note, when buying a car seat, either a baby one or a booster cushion, actually check out whether it fits the Scenics moulded seats. The middle seat is narrower than the outside two. Also, the split tailgate was very useful at times, you can just open the glass part and lift the parcel shelf and place your items in. This is especially useful either in tight places, or those times when your boot is full and you don’t want it to spill out when you open it!

At the beginning of July, I traded it in for a new shape Scenic, mark 2 I believe they are being called? When I first saw the new shape I wasn’t impressed, the boot looked smaller and the shape, well, it had the new Megane shape, which didn’t appeal to me.

However, after a lengthy test drive, and many hours deliberating, I decided to take the plunge and get the new car.
Currently in scenicman's garage:
Scenic 2004 1.9dci Dynamique
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 18th July 2005 Thread Starter
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Review of 3 Scenics (Cont)

The Scenic 2 is 4259mm long (compared with 4169mm of previous Scenic); 1506 mm wide compared to 1485mm; 1620mm high compared to 1675. But, for me, the important difference is the extra 5cm shoulder room both in the front, and in the back, of the new car.

I have now had it for a couple of months and done 1200 miles. Fuel consumption wise, I have only averaged 41mpg so far, however much of that has been my wife travelling 3 miles each way to her college. Obviously, once the engine is loosened up a bit and starts to get longer journeys under its belt, then I expect that economy to increase.

The highlight of this car, without doubt, is the engine. It is the 120bhp 6 speed dci and it goes like a dream! It will drive round town in 5th gear at 30mph (my previous Scenic preferred to be about 37mph for 5th) and 6th gear from about 40mph onwards. It has great torque, very similar to my original Scenic. You can feel the car thrusting forward, it is ideal for overtaking on motorways and country roads. It is everything that my previous Scenic was not!

The new car is full of gimmicks and toys, all of which I love. My car was a pre-reg, I paid 13988 for it with 6 miles on the clock, the new price should have been about 18500 as the car came with the electric roof, climate instead of air-con, retractable door mirrors and keyless entry.

Keyless entry at first sounds like a total gimmick but it is a wonderful invention. As long as you have the card on your person, then the car senses that when you put your hand on the door handles and it opens automatically. You then just press the button on the dash and the engine starts. Translating that into everyday use, you are laden down with shopping, or carrying your kids in your arms, you don’t need to search your pockets or bag for the keys. If you are a woman, you don’t need to feel vulnerable in a car park standing by your car, searching your open bag for your keys. Just walk up, pull the handle and get in the car. When you get out the car again, you just press the button on the handle twice, the first one locks it, and the second applies the alarm. Simple.

Automatic wipers are another gimmick, which I have actually taken to. Why would I feel that I need the car to control the speed of the wipers? Well I don’t, but I enjoy it when it does! It can be amusing driving along and the spray of a lorry is thrown up and the wipers will suddenly go like the clappers all by themselves. Similar with the automatic lights, they switch themselves on and off when required. A useful function is the follow me home lights, once you leave the car, flick the light switch once and the headlights will stay on for 30 secs to light your path to the house. Another gimmick, but again, one, which I have warmed to and used.

Automatic handbrake takes a bit of getting used to as well. When you switch the engine off, the handbrake automatically comes on. When you lift up the clutch, ready to drive away, the handbrake releases itself. One of my wife’s criticisms of the previous Scenics was that she had to almost bend over to reach the handbrake so the automatic one is much appreciated. You still have the option of applying and releasing it manually via a discreet lever in the dashboard.

Although there are 2 “sunroofs” running the length of the car, only the front one actually opens. It lifts up and slides back on top of the rear one but can be very blustery at speeds.

My car also has steering adjustment for height as well as rake.

A criticism of the previous Scenics was the lack of dashboard space. Yes, they had plenty of cubbyholes around the car but in the actual dashboard these were limited to two small cubbies. However, the new model has a huge glove box, which is also cooled when the air con is on. Regarding storage, as usual there are plenty of cubbyholes. However, now there are also 2 floor-mounted cubbies for driver and passenger. A nice touch is the door “puddle light” comes on when you open these cubbies. Previous Scenics had storage space under the rear seats, which was only accessible by folding the seats out the way. Renault have improved on this by having a pull out drawer under the seats instead, similar to the ones in the front seats which makes these much more accessible and useful for the passengers.

If you have kids, a couple of nice touches. As well as the driver having a switch to isolate the rear electric windows, this also acts as the child lock for the doors. So instead of having to go out and open doors with the normal child locks on, you can control it via the switch in the driver’s door. Also, the rear windows have built in shades. These simply pull up from the door and clip to the window. If, like me, you have previously bought these “suction” type shades and no matter where you put them on the glass, the sun always gets thru the side, then the built in shades will be a boon for you.

A downside of the car is, very surprisingly, there is no rear accessory socket. Both my previous Scenics had this but on the new shape, you can only get it if you have the moving centre console which comes as standard on the top of the range model, or a 250 factory option on other models. Having seen this feature, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone ordering a new Scenic. It is huge, it moves between the front and back of the car, it has a light in it and, of course, the rear power socket as well.

Another small point is the roof aerial. Instead of having an aerial at the front which you can adjust the angle on, the new Scenic has a fixed aerial at the rear, although it can be unscrewed, Unfortunately, if I want to put the car into my garage I need to unscrew the aerial to do so. A small point but one, which I would have thought Renault, would have taken into account.

I have had a few issues with my new Scenic; alarm is very temperamental which has been traced to a faulty bonnet switch (a known fault apparently). On my first day, the electric sunroof got stuck in the open position but the garage was able to reset that.

My car is flame red and the standard 6 spoke alloys on it look as if they will be so much easier to keep clean!!

So to summarise, my newest Scenic is definitely the best of the three, with its highlight being its wonderful engine. Yes it has lots of gimmicks but its amazing how quickly these features will move from gimmick status to accepted norm. I love it!
Currently in scenicman's garage:
Scenic 2004 1.9dci Dynamique
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 19th July 2005
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Superb review.

Great to hear that you're enjoying your latest Scenic.

I had to chuckle about "I only averaged 42mpg", with my wife using the Espace to take the kids to school, local shops etc, the Espace generally averages 18, on a long motorway trip the computer proudly declares 30-31. Knew I should have got the diesel

post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 13th March 2006
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Cough cough splutter splutter....

God it's dusty back here in the archives section -

Thought this thread was full of useful info so have moved it to the kb scenic buyers guide.
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 6th June 2006
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Super article on owning Scenics.....what is it about them ....they always seem to leak in the footwell....I'm going to keep fish in mine !!!!
Currently in Rogerb's garage:
1998 Renault Megane Scenic 2 ltr
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