The Original Magic Seats... The Renualt Grand Scenic
First impressions, the car does feel much bigger than it really is, thanks to that added space, forward of the steering wheel, but the Grand Scenic is really a compact car to begin with. The split A pillar does help with frontal visibility and the short overhangs also makes easy work of turning the car around tight space, including U-turning with a 11.29m turn circle, similar to Citroen’s Grand C4 Picsasso.
The workhorse of a 1.5 common rail turbo diesel engine, which is a carryover from the previous car, sits far back in the engine bay, giving the front a little more crumple area if the inevitable really does happen. As a plus, this provides the car with slightly better balancing (we think). While maximum torque of 260Nm (20Nm more than before) does show up at 1,750 rpm, the Grand Scenic does not feel lazy at all, and would be comfortable even under a full load. There is also enough insulation to prevent excessive diesel engine chatter from entering the cabin.
Mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic, the rapid coupling of the gear changes help to negate any of the power loss which would be evident with a conventional auto, and thus keeping the spooled up turbocharger in optimum boost. The lazy 13.2 seconds the Grand Scenic takes to reach 100km/h does however hide how nimble the compact MPV really is when on the run.
While it is not built for extremely harsh driving, we loved how the Grand Scenic cruised around the bends. Incorporating a little bit of safety into the drive, traction control, and electronic stability control are standard, like most other cars, and blind spot assist is also standard to help with lane changing.
The drawback from the large 20” rims did however show up when navigating rougher terrain, as the thin tyres did not like potholes and bumps. I know, they do however look good.
The 25Km/L combined mileage that the car can provide you does make it attractive, especially if you are the sort who would clock the miles. The 20” rims although a joy to behold, do not help with bumpy terrain. But as a driver, you will get more pleasure driving the Grand Scenic, versus its Japanese counterparts. But if it is a continental car that you wish for, there is the Volkswagen Touran.