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Relaunching the Scenic is above all a promise for ordinary people, as the label of the family vehicle par excellence has left its mark on the four successive generations from 1996 to today. A promise in terms of interior volume and practical aspects to which the newcomer has complied, says the official voice of Renault. But is the count really there?
From the outset, this new vintage of Renault Scenic starts off on the wrong footing by renouncing the minivan profile to focus on the more fashionable crossover profile. Gone is the sloping hood from which the windshield once extended, its silhouette now evoking a brave sedan with a flat hood. A more classic architecture logically moving the passenger compartment back, with all that this entails in terms of loss of habitability. A disappointment which this Scenic attempts to overcome by extending its size (+6 cm) to peak at 4.47 m, when its wheelbase also gains 5 cm. If the gain in leg space is real in the rear seats, the drop of its roof of 8 cm harms the headroom. Logically, a greater feeling of confinement predominates in second place.
This is the biggest disappointment of this new Renault Scenic, as its predecessors made a point of making life easier for passengers. First source of annoyance: the incomprehensible removal of the sliding bench seat, while simple SUVs like the Captur or the Austral are equipped with it. It is therefore no longer possible to choose between increasing legroom or trunk volume, the latter stagnating at 545 l, when that of the old Scenic varied from 506 to 572 l depending on the needs of its owner. . And there is no longer any question of properly accommodating the middle passenger, the backrest sketching a bulge to conceal an armrest. It’s better to travel in pairs in the back of the new Scenic, unlike its predecessor which offered the same level of comfort in the three seats in the second row. Finally, the account is not there either in terms of storage spaces scattered throughout the passenger compartment with a total of 38.7 l, compared to 63 l previously.
Another potential subject of tension, the complete conversion of the new Scenic to electricity. But from this point of view, he puts forward serious arguments for those who fear insufficient autonomy. At the very top of its range, an 87 kWh battery provides 620 km WLTP, better than many stars in the segment badged Tesla or Hyundai. On the other hand, the charging power of 150 kW (DC) does not work miracles, ensuring that 15 to 80% capacity is recovered in 38 minutes. A value which drops to 130 kW regarding the 60 kWh “battery” which, for its part, promises to cover 420 km WLTP. Unfortunately, with a base price which will probably be around €40,000, it will be difficult to convert the historic Scenic clientele accustomed to competitive prices. Finally, on the engine side, this fifth generation Scenic sees its power levels explode in comparison with the placid minivan. It offers 170 hp and 220 hp compared to 110 to 160 hp for the one it replaces.
This is probably the register which will cause the least regret, as the new OpenR Link digital environment outperforms the old model. Powered by Google, it offers top-notch performance supported by flawless ergonomics, the 4K quality touch screen being ideally within reach.
Finally, the new Scenic takes a giant step in this direction, increasing the number of biosourced or recycled materials, while it renounces coatings of animal origin. Quite the opposite of the previous model which, particularly in its Initial finish, largely upholstered its cabin in leather.
To sum up
Against all expectations, despite customers’ disenchantment with minivans, the Scenic is back in 2023. But its strategy promises to be highly disruptive. We take stock of what essentially distinguishes it from its predecessor.
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