Cars - Renault

Road tests and reviews of the latest Renault models available in South Africa

2016 Renault Scénic

By Franky Johnson

The new 2016 SCENIC is a modern, assertive MPV that will be bought not only for the driving enjoyment it delivers, but also for the comfort the whole family will be able to enjoy whilst travelling.

The design and appeal of the new Renault SCENIC breaks away from conventional MPV cues thanks to the new model’s unprecedented proportions, the fitment of 20-inch wheels across the range and a head-turning two-tone colour scheme that is unprecedented in the segment.

True to its DNA, the new SCENIC meets the needs of families. It takes the modularity that forged the success of the model’s earlier generations to a new level to make everyday motoring even easier, including a One Touch Folding system for the rear seats.

Meanwhile, in addition to a comprehensive list of other driving aids, the new SCENIC is the only compact MPV to feature AEBS (Active Emergency Braking System) with Pedestrian Detection as standard equipment.

The new SCENIC also packs features more usually associated with the next segment up, such as MULTI-SENSE technology, R-LINK 2 complete with an 8.7-inch screen and a colour head-up display. The fourth generation of the model will also be available with an electrified Hybrid Assist diesel powertrain.

The new SCENIC establishes a fresh approach to the MPV and much of its inspiration comes from the R-Space concept car that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Chief features include re-designed proportions, painstaking quality and meticulous attention to detail, both inside and out.

The design of the new SCENIC marks a major shift, if only because of its unprecedented proportions. It sits on large 20-inch wheels – the standard fitment across the range – and its nicely-balanced lines make it especially pleasing to the eye, thanks to a lower roof line, longer wheelbase and shorter rear overhang compared with those of its predecessor. Its fluid silhouette, broad shoulders and belt line that rises towards the rear imbue it with a new sense of dynamism. Wider tracks at both the front and rear ideally position the wheels at the four corners of the vehicle to ensure a particularly solid stance.

Like those of the R-Space concept car, the new SCENIC’s steeply-raked windscreen and short bonnet heighten the elegance of its MPV silhouette. At the same time, the three-part screen – a first for the SCENIC and a feature carried over from the new Espace – combines a panoramic view with improved side vision.

The new SCENIC’s expressive front end includes a distinctive lighting signature. Depending on version, the C-shaped front headlights benefit from LED PURE VISION technology, while Edge Light technology provides the taillights with a 3D effect.

A key feature of the new SCENIC’s spacious cabin is the continuity of the dashboard’s lines across the door panels and the harmony of the materials employed (foam-backed materials, chrome beading) which heighten the impression of space. The layout of the uncluttered dashboard is more driver-centric than that of the Scénic 3. Shielded by a curved visor, the instrument panel is positioned directly in the driver’s line of sight and incorporates Renault’s full-colour head-up display for even greater driving enjoyment. The optional large fixed panoramic glass roof does not necessitate the fitment of a central brace, thereby allowing occupants to enjoy an even brighter cabin.

The new SCENIC offers a two-tone livery which is unique in the compact MPV segment. This elegant colour scheme gives the vehicle a distinctive, modern look by highlighting its dynamic proportions. The two-tone option is available from the second equipment level upwards and is a standard feature of high-end versions (depending on market).

Two roof colours are available, as a function of the selected body colour – either black metallic or grey metallic.

The new SCENIC is the only compact MPV to offer AEBS (Active Emergency Braking System) with Pedestrian Detection fitted as standard. This driving aid provides active emergency braking when a pedestrian is detected in the vehicle’s path. This function works across a speed range of 7 to 60kph.

Before the end of 2016, the new SCENIC will be available with the Hybrid Assist electric option for its Energy dCi 110 diesel engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. This system promises to combine low fuel consumption and high levels of driving enjoyment, providing a boost of acceleration at certain speeds, particularly at low revs.

Renault’s most recent models come with a comprehensive suite of warning and occupant-protection systems for an increasingly higher level of active safety.

The new SCENIC marks the introduction of three new safety systems to the Renault range: Lane Keeping Assist, Active Emergency Braking System with Pedestrian Detection and Tiredness Detection.

More than simply embellishing the interior design of Renault models, R-LINK 2 plays a fundamental role in the driving experience and the travelling comfort occupants enjoy by controlling key functions such as the multimedia, navigation, audio, hands-free telephone and MULTI-SENSE systems, as well as the different driving aids, the 4CONTROL chassis, etc.

The 7-inch landscape- or 8.7-inch portrait-format display is particularly clear and carefully designed for in-car use. It is capable of storing up to six different driver profiles which means that preferred comfort- and driving- related settings are just a click away.

Meanwhile, through its R-LINK Store, Renault proposes an extensive catalogue of applications developed specifically for automotive use.

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