Renault Scenic

Dynamique S dCi 110

EDC

Renault Scenic, side static
Renault Scenic, front action
Renault Scenic, front action 2
Renault Scenic, side action
Renault Scenic, rear action
Renault Scenic, boot 2
Renault Scenic, dashboard
Renault Scenic, rear seats
Renault Scenic, boot

WOULD you ever buy an ugly car? Thought not... we all like our motors to look good, it helps brighten the day as we approach with the keys.

And the one design feature the people who make our cars look good (or try to) always follow is to bolt on a set of big wheels.

Car designers love the way they add a sporting poise to whatever metalwork they're supporting, never mind their potential for spoiling the ride in the real world and making an owner wince at the cost of replacement tyres.

But Renault's design chief, Dutchman Laurens van den Acker was not to be thwarted when he decreed that the new Scenic had to have big - really big - alloy wheels.

You will pay a small fortune on the likes of an Audi for an alloy wheel upgrade, but the new Scenics have 20in rims, and that's that.

But the Scenic remains a practical proposition - with lots of room inside for people and come with engines and safety systems that ought to make it a fine family workhorse.

Back to those wheels, though. Renault has fought the potential downside of such generous sizing, firstly by making replacement tyres available from three makers at a little over £100 a pop.

Then, the tyres are taller and narrower than those typically found on such large alloy wheels, helping roll more easily along the road and disturb the airflow less too.

Because they wheels turn more slowly than if fitted to smaller wheels, the tread reaches the road less frequently, so ought to last longer.

It all sounds convincing enough to move on to other aspects of the newcomers without a nagging doubt about running costs.

Renault claims, with some authority, to have invented the compact MPV with the 1996 introduction of the Scenic; since when more than six million of them have been sold before this new, fourth generation car arrived.

Choose the right car from today's offerings (that'll be the dCi 100) and you can have 100g/km and 72.4mpg in the official, if optimistic, tests. The Scenic Dynamique S dCi 110 EDC on test managed 51.1mpg with a smooth changing automatic gearbox.

Out on the road with the 110 horsepower diesel the new Scenic impressed with its ride comfort (those big wheels firmly in the background) and the clear dash display, with high definition screens, would have looked space age improbable to the owner of an original Scenic in 1996.

Moving lots of controls to the touch screen makes it harder to choose some of them (setting the cabin temperature for one) but it does neaten up the look of the dashboard - an designers love that almost as much as big wheels.

FAST FACTS

Renault Scenic Dynamique S dCi 110 EDC

Price: £27,085

Mechanical: 108bhp, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph: 12.4 seconds

Combined MPG:70.6

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 104g/km

Bik rating: 22%

Warranty: 4yrs/100,000 miles

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