Renault Grand Scenic

Dynamique Nav dCi

130

Renault Grand Scenic, front action
Renault Grand Scenic, side static
Renault Grand Scenic, front static
Renault Grand Scenic, rear action
Renault Grand Scenic, dashboard
Renault Grand Scenic, third row seats
Renault Grand Scenic, middle row seats
Renault Grand Scenic, screen close up
Renault Grand Scenic, empty boot

FIRST, an admission. This particular Renault became out of date while I was trying it out for this report; on day six in fact.

That was the moment its successor was announced with the usual glitz and fanfare at the Geneva Motor Show - with promises (as ever) that it's a better car than the one that went before.

Which might make you wonder why you should bother reading another word on this now officially outdated Renault.

Well, here's one reason for starters; the new one doesn't arrive until next winter.

So if you need sensibly-sized family transport before then, ignoring the current Grand Scenic knocks a potential driveway resident off the list.

Need more reasons? Well, the new one is unlikely to cost the same as today's car - Renault needs to recoup its budget for building a bigger and more technically dense (read extra electronic goodies) machine.

But there are two more compelling reasons to consider the current car; it remains a worthy competitor in its part of the market - and your local Renault dealer also knows he's selling a car that leaves the price lists later this year.

That ought to make room for an interesting conversation about discounts or optional extras thrown in free, or both.

So, if your interest continues, it's time to look at the car itself. The Grand Scenic comes with three rows of seats, with the third set adding room for growing children and putting £1,235 on the bill compared to the five-seater Scenic.

Prices range from £21,790 to £24,785 before you start adding the sort of tempting options that shows Renault has designs on the buyers of cars like Audi and BMW, where list price seems simply a starting figure.

So, the car came with £1,000 worth of Bose+ pack that includes smart black alloy wheels, a Bose sound system, DAB radio, satellite navigation, rear parking camera and sensors, part leather trim, heated and folding door mirrors... and more.

Which means it's not like an Audi at all. That little lot would cost a king's ransom on a prestige German car. A mere grand makes these temptations look like the bargain of the century.

That they're attached to a car that fits its family role as well as just about anything on the road is a splendid bonus.

High on the list of attributes (especially after a bout of test cars that thought they'd rather be setting lap times at Silverstone) was a ride that soaked up typically scabrous surfaces with aplomb, while still clinging on to corners with enthusiasm.

Then there's a diesel engine that made nonsense of the car's on-paper performance figures. Once at anything like cruising speed the Grand Scenic actually felt much more potent than some more obviously sporty machines.

It also showed 47mpg on the trip computer at the end a testing week that took in lots of town work and stop-start traffic that does nothing to flatter economy.

So has the brand new Grand Scenic any room for improvement over this car when it arrives late in the year?

Well, it's got a bit more space for people and luggage and will sip less fuel and pollute the planet a little less. It also looks strikingly modern (if that sort of thing bothers you) and seems set to build on Renault's strengths in the practical family car market.

FAST FACTS

Renault Grand Scenic Dynamique Nav dCi 130

Price: £23,715

Mechanical: 128bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 121mph

0-62mph: 11.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 64.2

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 114g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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