THERE are times when car companies hit the mark; Renault did it when they created the Espace. When they created it there was nothing else like it on the market, it was big and could carry seven people so long as the last row didn’t mind their heads hitting the back window. Over the years things got smaller and bigger all at the same time, the Scenic was born.
Tested by Bob Flavin
The Scenic started off being a 5 seat version of the Espace but over the last few years it’s become a car all to its self. Now there’s a Grand Scenic which is longer and has 7 seats - the Espace is left to one side in favour of a 7 seat car that goes like a small hatchback.
The new one I’m driving came in for a big week, we took a family break down to Cork for a few days. All told I’ve driven for over a thousand kilometres and I still haven’t put fuel in it. It’s powered by a 1.6ltr diesel that puts out 130bhp and its smooth, as are the gear changes. It sits comfortably at 120kph on the motorway just as well as it does driving around the back roads of Cork.
I used it in 5 seat mode and that gave me a boot that can easily take all the stuff that 2 adults and 2 kids take with them for a week, the 564ltr boot was used completely. If the kids weren’t there it would be 2063ltrs of space which is van size. Even with the middle row up there’s room for 3 adults to sit comfortably because there’s 3 real seats
Another feature of my test car is the Bose surround sound system, if you put on the right song and turn it up you’ll be able to have a disco anywhere. It can play music anyway you have it, USB, Bluetooth, CD, AUX it makes no difference, it can take it all. There’s also a full Tom Tom sat nav alongside an LCD screen that replaces the speedo and rev counter; you can even choose what colour you’d like to have on the dash from the touch of a button.
The cabin is very comfortable; it’s just a nice place to be on a long drive. There’s also a double sun roof which makes the cabin bright and happy. On the move the Scenic is quiet and sturdy, it has cruise control and speed limiter that makes me very happy because it stops me speeding.
The Grand Scenic was already a good car, Renault have just made it better in every way that matters. The Bose edition is brilliant because it gives you lots more toys and better audio system which is all you need on the long haul drives. The range starts at €27,390 for the 1.5dci but I would go for the 1.6dci as it’s a smoother drive for €30,890 I loved it and it would suit my family perfectly.
Get into Joe Mallon Motors in Naas 045 897675 for a test drive, the new Scenic is brilliant.