Sitting comfortably

in a so practical

MPV

Renault Scenic, 2016, front
Renault Scenic, 2016, front action
Renault Scenic, side static
Renault Scenic, rear static
Renault Scenic, 2016, rear, action
Renault Scenic, dashboard
Renault Scenic, rear seat
Renault Scenic, boot

IT is 20 years since Renault launched the Scenic, which means many of those blessed back then with fecundity or fecklessness are now pushing their offspring through university on one of those exciting new degree courses; carpet knitting or candle craft.

Small MPVs were the somewhat hateful price you paid for a normal family life; some kids, a dog, holidays in Devon, that sort of bliss.

It is what people aspired to, stability and 30-something barbeques on the patio, unlike the fondue-set 70s where the idea was to get married at 21 so you would still have a good head of hair when you divorced.

Normality was indeed the reason for the small MPV after all you were hardly going to buy one to demonstrate a love of verve and excitement any more than you would tow a caravan with a fish.

Therefore the pinnacle of design excellence in the sector was not sleek good looks, unless you think the Accrington brick a stylish item, and certainly not performance.

It was seats.

Seats which moved with all the ease of a liquid paraffin diet, tilted, folded individually had all sorts of hiding places under and around them or rose from beneath like Reginald Dixon's organ.

There was even a Vauxhall which, according to its advertising, actually split into two, which it didn't tempting though it may have been to own a car you could leave the snappers behind in.

Who says the post-truth age is something new.

But then along came the crossover, firmly plonking itself down in the in middle of family fortunes with a racier line and the extra promise of 4x4 options just in case you get one rear wheel on the lawn.

Which has clearly put the MPV under pressure to evolve from a motorised crèche into something with broader appeal.

Enter the six-speed manual Renault Scenic DCi 110 S Nav with Dynamique trim. Very pleasing, very well finished.

This car could safely be bought, for £25,445, as a tourer not least thanks to the more than acceptable performance from its 1.5-litre diesel engine which gobbles up motorway easily leaving the legal limit behind and making the head up display all the more attractive.

Okay, so 12.4 seconds to 62mph is hardly the stuff of Korean missile tests but the car is lithe in the middle ground and frugal, with a combined possibility of 72mpg.

The other thing to remember is that with five seats, no shortage of refinement and equipment you will pay exactly no tax.

The test vehicle came with some tasty options like all-road sensors, hands free parking, distance warning, adaptive cruise control and philharmonic seven-speaker orchestra.

Standard fixtures and fittings include a reversing camera, 20-inch alloys for you to kerb, sunroof, large touchscreen for the navigator and other functions, automatic lights and wipers, walkaway keylessness and leather trimmed seats.

This is a well finished and sensible cabin with high quality materials and no shortage of clever design, including a storage space-rich centre console which slides back into the rear as a, well I am not sure what, a small table would be good.

Now I will gladly stand corrected but it appeared to have no preventative mechanism to stop you slamming it back into unsuspecting middle-seat passenger legs, amusing at the time but unlikely to promote family harmony.

Anyway there is no need to chop any legs off, there is plenty of room for them in the rear.

Loads of space in the boot too, with a false floor and good level loading, totally practical and if it is to be used in la-la Isofix land, at least enjoyable to boot.

A great car for a bit of touring, this, nimble enough in the countryside but obviously not something you would plan to throw about, would you?

Well it's sure footed enough with ESP and understeer control but let's not be silly here.

Oh, and very good looking which is probably what you can say for your husband/wife/divorce co-respondent 20 years ago.

LATEST Renault NEWS

THE surge in popularity of SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles, or crossovers, may...

Read more View article

THE all-new Renault Scenic, which goes on sale in the UK later this year, has...

Read more View article

WOULD you ever buy an ugly car? Thought not... we all like our motors to look...

Read more View article

LATEST NEWS

Google+