The Renault Scenic - the new space shuttle

February 28 2017

Space, the final frontier, as they used to say on Star Trek. If that really is the holy grail, then the new Renault Scenic really does have it nailed. It’s a big family car for a not so big budget, and with more than enough gadgets thrown in to make you feel like you really are piloting a space shuttle.

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Space, the final frontier, as they used to say on Star Trek.  If that really is the holy grail, then the new Renault Scenic really does have it nailed.  It’s a big family car for a not so big budget, and with more than enough gadgets thrown in to make you feel like you really are piloting a space shuttle.

As I listened to Nigel from City Motors explain the intricacies of the big touch screen system, I started to feel that I was in training for a NASA mission.  There seems to be nothing the system can’t do, even flatten the back seats at the press of a button.

This iPad sized touch screen is beautifully melded into the dashboard.  It can do everything you would expect with an intuitive simplicity that makes it a pleasure to use.  Mind you, by the time Nigel had got to the part where he said I could design the engine to suit me, I had decided there were some parts best left to a NASA engineer.

My kids and I had more fun changing the mood lighting around the car and on the dials with a quick press on the screen.  They were also impressed with the full length sun roof.  Look up on a cloudless night, and you really could feel like you were in space.

The Scenic is well thought out with some nice touches.  The central console slides back from snug on the dash to reveal drinks holders for the front seat passengers and a useful mini table at the back complete with usb ports and power points.  

The heads up display for the driver is another bonus, it even helpfully tells you if you are too close to the car in front - less than two seconds gap and the display turns red.  There is also a driver fatigue warning and active emergency braking.  Captain Kirk would be impressed.

The driver is also helped by all around sensors, and an impressive reversing camera, although the sensors went into a loud meltdown as I squeezed into the very narrow lane I live in.

With all this technology on offer, it seem to me that new drivers need an IT exam, not an old fashioned driving test.  The parking brake comes on and off automatically, so eliminating the terror of the hill start, and as for parallel parking, the model I drove kindly offered to park the car by the pavement, in bays and at an angle.

The drive is pleasing and the engine is more than powerful enough to cope with the space being filled with kids and luggage.

There are a few things that could be tweaked.  Space is the thing with the Scenic (even more so with the seven seater version), including a generous boot, but very tall drivers - and I’m talking the 6’7” basketball playing variety - might be a bit cramped up driving.  The gear stick could be a bit smoother and the voice control didn’t like my West Country burr, but we got on better as we got used to each other.

However, make no mistake, this is a perfect family car; well designed, good looking and a pleasure to drive.  There’s enough space inside to comfortably enjoy exploring the wide open spaces outside.

 

 

 

 

Richard was driving the Renault Scenic Dci 130 Dynamique S nav, £26,645 on the road.  The Renault Scenic range starts at £21,445 OTR

 

For more details, contact City Motors, 0117 9723030