Getting a new Renault Scenic can be tricky. You will have to go to a dealer to find a new one rather than trying to purchase a new one from the Renault website. The Renault Scenic is a multi-purpose vehicle, which is why it has a van body type while looking like a car. It is a middle-of-the-road car, meaning it doesn't excel in any one area, which sounds like a criticism, but that is the essence of a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).
If you are looking for a family vehicle or a commute vehicle for carpooling, or perhaps even a business and leisure vehicle suitable for taking bags of cement or baskets full of picnic goods, then the Renault Scenic is the car for you. Built like a van but handling more like a car or small people carrier, the Renault Scenic doesn't make a lot of noise and has several family-friendly features. It is far from a luxury car but offers a fair amount of pragmatic charm and economic value both in its original buying price and engine size and certainly in its second-hand price tag. A three-year-old Scenic holds around 38 - 40 per cent of its original value.
The petrol versions come in 1.3 or 1.2 litres. The diesel engines are bigger at 1.6 and 1.5 litres. Your petrol choices are the 1.2L Energy TCe 6MT (115 HP), 1.2L Energy TCe 6MT (130 HP), 1.3L TCe 6MT (140 HP), 1.3L TCe 6MT (160 HP), 1.3L TCe 7AT (140 HP) and the Renault Scenic 1.3L TCe 7AT (160 HP).
Your diesel choices are the Renault Scenic 1.5L dCi 7AT (110 HP), 1.5L Energy dCi 6MT (110 HP), 1.5L Energy dCi 6MT (95 HP), 1.6L Energy dCi 6MT (130 HP) and the Renault Scenic 1.6L Energy dCi 6AT (130 HP).
The trim levels have been renamed as the car has evolved. As of 2018, the trim levels were named Play, Iconic, and Signature. Play is the entry-level car, though it still comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, climate control, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, and a seven-inch touchscreen.
With the Iconic, you also get front parking sensors, privacy glass, a better infotainment system, a sliding centre console, added USB ports, and some 12-volt sockets for the rear passengers. The Signature level comes with all these things, except that the heads-up display is 8.7 inches, there is a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, and it has one-touch folding seats in the rear.
This Renault excels at nothing, which means it is an everyday car built for families and/or people who transport others on the daily commute. It doesn't excel on open country roads or motorways but is at home on town and city streets. If you do need to do a lot of long-distance travelling, then diesel engines are probably better for you. It is not a fast car, but it is economical, and the seemingly oppressive interior design is offset by the range and view offered by the windscreen.
It may not overtake too many diesel vans on the motorway, but its brakes offer a reassuring amount of stopping power, and the steering still feels very precise and in control. The gearbox is a little old-fashioned, especially in the way it feels, but it is as responsive as one would expect from a modern middle-to-lower priced car. Secondhand prices are very fair, and the suspension holds its own on regular roads. However, the larger shell and suspension can exaggerate bumpy road surfaces, though it cruises nicely on motorways.