The Scénic makes its revolution. In addition to leaning towards SUVs, it is going all-electric. It becomes the first electric Renault with a long range. Automobile-Propre was able to discover it in preview.
Forget what you know about the Scénic. Renault just kept the name and changed everything else. It starts with the engine, only electric, with a dedicated platform. Then it continues with the silhouette.
The Scénic is no longer a compact minivan, a genre he had invented…but which is no longer fashionable. Fashion is for SUVs, so the new generation of the Scénic is leaning towards SUVs. This can be seen for example with the body protections on the side sills and around the wheels. If the Scénic, however, does not look very adventurous, it clearly abandons the rounded shape of minivans, abandoning for example the plunging hood. The look is more structured, more angular.
Little airs of deja vu
With this model, Renault is also continuing the revolution in its design, which began with the Rafale coupé SUV. 180° turn, we forget the curves, make way for more marked angles. Some will see a Peugeot influence there. Which is not totally false, because this Scénic was supervised by Gilles Vidal, who arrived at Renault in 2020 after having worked at the head of the design of the Lion (we owe him, for example, the success of the second 3008).
Some gimmicks that he put in place at Peugeot are even found on this Scénic, such as the unstructured design of the rims. Or careful attention to small details. Gilles Vidal thus wanted to play with the diamond. Diamond halves form the new light signature at the front, on each side of the shield. Above all, here, the shape of the logo gives rise to a very successful mesh at the level of the grille.
On the profile, the decor of the quarter panel is reminiscent of that of the Hyundai Tucson. If this decor is aluminum-coloured, the brand has banned chrome. At the rear, Renault is abandoning the light strip, opting for arrow-shaped lights on the sides. To improve aero, deflectors are molded into the shield.
La Megane XL
The Scénic uses the CMF-EV platform, inaugurated at Renault by the Megane. We can also see the Scénic as the XL version of the Mégane, which is certainly described as compact by Renault, but is a compact of modest size, with 4.21 meters in length. The Scénic stretches him over 4.47 meters. It benefits from an extended wheelbase of 10 centimeters compared to that of the Megane, at 2.78 meters.
Habitability and trunk volume are not the strong points of the Mégane. Flaws that the Scénic does not have. In the back, there is plenty of legroom and generous headroom. The feeling of space is reinforced by the flat floor and the good size of the windows, the waistline not being too high. It is also reinforced with the panoramic glass roof. This one is not opening, but benefits from an unprecedented function for a model from a generalist manufacturer: it is opacifying.
This is a technology developed with Saint-Gobain. No need for an awning, the roof becomes opaque. This can even be done in half, so for example with transparent at the front and opaque at the back, or vice versa. The function can be controlled by voice using the Google Assistant.
Good trunk, bad modularity
On the side of the driving position, we are on familiar ground, because we find the furniture of the Megane. So there’s an L-shaped screen assembly: a 12.3-inch horizontal screen for the instrumentation and a 12-inch vertical one for the infotainment, with Google services. However, the Scénic benefits from a new design for the interfaces, which is more graphic. Just below the central screen, a space allows phones to be recharged by induction.
Renault ignores leather for this model, which it presents as an example of a sustainable vehicle. Nearly a quarter of the mass of the car corresponds to recycled materials. For example, there is up to 80% recycled material for the dashboard (polypropylene from industrial waste) or 100% for the upholstery (in techno finish).
On the trunk side, the volume is generous, at 545 litres. But the perched high threshold forms a hell of a step. The bench seat folds in the 40/20/40 format. But once folded down, there is another step, the fault of a battery, part of the modules of which are on a second level. The Scénic has therefore been able to keep a nice interior volume, but it looks less practical in use. The modularity is simple (we forget the independent seats) and the little tips appreciated by families are almost absent. Renault also explains that it is now a model cut out for parents with two teenagers more than three young toddlers. The proof with the “Ingenius” central armrest, which incorporates USB sockets and holders for telephones and tablets.
610 km of range!
In terms of technology, we therefore have the same basis as the Mégane, but the offer is different. Here we have motors (synchronous with wound rotor) of 125 and 160 kW, i.e. 170 and 220 hp. The maximum torques are 280 and 300 Nm.
The 125 kW block is associated with the 60 kWh battery, which gives a WLTP combined cycle range of 420 km. The big novelty is the 87 kWh battery, for the 220 hp block. With it, Renault promises 610 km! So we finally have a long-range electric Renault. Small originality of the model: the regulatory sound emitted under 30 km/h, which allows pedestrians to hear an electric vehicle arriving, was imagined here by the musician Jean-Michel Jarre.
For charging, the vehicle may have the 22 kW on-board charger. In direct current fast charging, the maximum power will be 130 kW with the 60 kWh battery, and 150 kW with the 87 kWh battery. The brand says it has improved the load curve with a longer chainring. The heat pump is standard. Paddles on the steering wheel allow you to choose from four levels of “regenerative” braking, as Renault calls it.
A refined planner
The already good journey planner of the Megane has been further improved, to better calculate the journey time. With Google Maps navigation, pre-conditioning is activated automatically when approaching selected charging points. Note that the optimal operating temperature has been reduced from 35 to 25 degrees, which saves energy. The driver can now set his home and workplace as charging points, which will allow him to arrive at these destinations with a 12% charge level instead of 30%. To pass the time during a recharge, the OpenRLink multimedia system embeds leisure applications, including a musical blind test.
In the list of driving aids, we find the Active Driver Assist, a level 2 semi-autonomous driving, which has been improved. The aid combines the adaptive cruise control and centering in the lane, with geolocation data thanks to specific mapping. There is also an overspeed alert, which adapts to rainy conditions.
The electric Scénic will be produced in France, in Douai (the engines are assembled in Cléon). It will be marketed in early 2024. The Losange has not yet given a price. However, we are making a bet: a large battery that benefits from the bonus, at least at entry level, therefore under 47,000 €. The Scénic could therefore have prices close to those of the Megane, which for their part would be a little lower. We hope to aim right, because this will then give a well-placed Scénic.
The first report
With this Scénic, Renault finally offers an electric offer that combines good space on board and great autonomy. The model will thus appeal to those who find the Megane too fair on these points. On the other hand, it risks confusing the regulars of the Scénic. Admittedly, the SUV silhouette is more trendy, we understand the need to change the shape of the vehicle, but it is a shame to see the modularity and the practical aspects set back. However, Renault has an electric model here which is generally attractive… if the prices remain in line with the competition. Peugeot will also soon unveil the 3008 electric.
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