How do you improve on a success story? That’s what we often ask ourselves before testing a facelift or a new version of a successful model.

The Scenic was Renault’s major hit on the local and international markets. As with books and albums, the question was whether the second would be as good as, and maybe even better, than the first.

The answer is simple - yes.

At first glance, the new Scenic looks sportier, more practical and striking. With its standard 20-inch wheels and chunky, almost-a-crossover styling, the Scenic is a far cry from dull MPVs of the past. But despite its radical new look, there’s nothing fleeting about it - it’s still a sensible and capable family car with loads of cabin space, a big boot and some clever touches.

The back row of seats is very comfortable, with enough head and legroom for adults or, more importantly, for three children. The wide-opening rear doors provide easy access and on all models, the rear seats fold courtesy of one-touch buttons in the boot. There are also two rear Isofix points and one on the front passenger seat.

For those who have a bigger family this is an ideal vehicle, with ample cabin space and comfort plus a strong drive. Driving position is commanding and visibility is ideal all round. The dashboard is easy to reach and simple to use and the gears are as smooth as silk. All the latest technology helps you control the car in all situations.

The boot capacity is 572 litres with the rear seats in place and the load deck is flat to make loading easier. Pushchairs, shopping and other family bits and bobs will fit easily. There is also a false floor for hiding little things like tablets and laptops. The only issue is the chunky rear bumper, which will likely get scuffed when sliding things in and out.

Bluetooth and DAB is standard, as is a large, crisp touch-screen system. On the safety side, the new Scenic packs all the standard safety technologies.

The engine range includes 110PS, 130PS and 160PS diesels. There is also a 1.2-litre TCe petrol with either 115PS or 130PS. Of these the 1.5 dCi 110PS diesel is probably the best bet, since it blends low emissions and official economy of more than 70mpg with decent performance and good refinement. All options though provide excellent performance - general handling is optimal and there is always a sense of security. The French really went to town on the driving feel of this car.

On the road the Scenic is easy to drive, with light controls and quiet engines. The big wheels contribute to the smoothness of the ride and there is very little road noise on the rough local roads.

With its generous level of standard safety kit, stylish looks and practical cabin, the Scenic is a real contender next to any rival cars. Local importer Autosales Limited is also offering a five-year warranty plus a five-year servicing giving the owner of the Scenic a package one cannot ignore.


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