Car review
Renault Scenic
2.0 RXE Sport 16 Valve 2001

UK CAR.COM

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Interior Exterior
Scenic tested is a 2001 with 81,000 miles 1 owner and Renault service history.

 

The Scenic first appeared in the UK in May 1997 a new kid on the pensioners block, in petrol and diesel format all models were five seaters. The scenic has been an outstanding seller for Renault and has been face lifted since to hide a few of its ageing wrinkles.

The first impression one gets of this car, is the interior and the gadgets in the drivers view. 

It comes for starters with two small glove boxes, drinks chiller, switches for the stereo, window and sunroof controls lighting and much, much more, it takes some time just to get familiar with them. OK when you have owned one for a while, but quite a lot to take in for a test drive. This is one of those cars that are best driven after thorough examination of the handbook.

Engine types in petrol are 1600 1800 and 2000 cc being commonly used in the Megane and Laguna range. The 1.8 and 2.0 are the one's to have for me as the 1.6 can be a little shall we say pedestrian, its lack of top end and acceleration isnt a major problem, though its desire to be stirred along, requires a bit too much effort from those of us of Advancing years. 

In diesel format you get both power or at least usable torque with superb economy, but a higher price tag to buy, natch. 


As frog faced hunchbacks go, the appearance of this car is quite pleasant with modern embedded lighting, complete with fog lamps for that sporty appearance?? respectable alloy rims, two smart looking sunroofs and roof rails. 
A total hybrid 
"roof rails + two sunroofs + sport badge + alloys and fogs = MPV" or confused designer parts manager with out of date parts to get rid of maybe.


In general the Scenic is a compact and very stylish mpv. It's exterior is well presented with pearlescent finish on the paint and body mouldings which fit very well giving a well finished appearance. Most of the exterior is also colour coded from the factory. The sport model tested also has a heat resistant front screen which looks blue in colour. The dash is the same on all models but the sport is fitted with white clocks for the racing "MPV" enthusiast.

Sport has white clocks, they turn to grey when the lights are on.

and subtle sport badges, they still don't convince this car is a sports car. 

Seating is very good with good all round visibility the drivers area is very well arranged with good leg room excellent height considering there is a sunroof above you. 

 

 

Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter
Electric Mirrors
Electric Mirrors
Electric Windows front
Electric Windows front
Heated Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Steering Wheel
Multiplay CD
Multiplay CD
Radio Cass Remote
Radio Cass Remote
Radio Cassette
Radio Cassette
Sunroof (electric)
Sunroof (electric)
Trip Computer
Trip Computer
Trip Counter
Trip Counter

The Scenic RXE is close on top of Renaults range and the equipment standard is very good. Many fitted features are now standard on most saloon cars but I have to mention the on board fridge. I have seen cooled glove box's before in Vauxhall's but Renault have gone one better with a small fridge in the centre if the consul near to the floor. It works by opening a small vent which will cool three cans when the air con is switched on great for those rare hot summer days.
To accompany the fridge is the tables in the back which pull down front the seat in front similar the an aircraft but great for the children to put their chilled cans onto.

On board fridge?
cd-player.jpg

Standard also is the duke box with separate multi play CD system which is located under the passenger front seat. All of the system can be controlled by the stereo itself or the steering wheel remote system. Twin electric sunroofs electric windows front and rear are also fitted the rear window switches however are slightly awkward to access being low to the right hand side of the drivers area. it does require you to look for some time to be sure which one you are pressing, very hazardous. The front windows are great located on the drivers door pad and can be used by feel alone.

 

 

Engine BHP CC Fuel Inj.
4 Cylinder 16 Valve 140 1998 Yes
Cyl Camshafts Valves/cyl Compressor
4 Single 4 None
Top Speed 0 to 60 BHP per Tonne
113mph 9.2seconds 95
2000cc 16 valves multi point injection system producing 140bhp.

The general drive of the 2.0 is very great it performs very quickly and has and abundance of power for overtaking manoeuvres. Enough even to race from the lights. "it is badged as a Sport". The top speed is about 113 mph and it goes to sixty from standing in about 9.2 secs which is very respectable. The gear box is manual 5 speed which is easily used gear selections are smooth and easily found. The clutch is light and short in stroke the only thing I didn't like are the pedals are offset and very close together. A combination though which is extremely well balanced and useable.

Steer/Susp/Tech Features
Alloy Wheels
Alloy Wheels
Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Front Fog lamps fitted
Front Fog lamps fitted
Halogen Head Lights
Halogen Head Lights
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Independent Suspension
Independent Suspension
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Power Assisted Steering
Power Assisted Steering
Rev Counter
Rev Counter
Service Level Indicator
Service Level

The suspension is independent and braking is by disc all round with anti lock brakes fitted as standard. This little MPV handles itself very well at high speed when cornering if anything I found the suspension a little hard for general driving which did occasionally cause the dash to rattle slightly. Steering is excellent until pushed to far and the top heavy car will create steering similar to the earlier Renaults as far back even as the 5 model. But I guess you can hold front wheel drive as the culprit here and not Renault, I did drive this car very hard and did occasionally slip slide here and there. Not what it was designed for I know but tested it was.
The braking has a good feel and the large tyres do grip the road well controlling the scenic very well but again whilst travelling downhill very quickly on a country lane I did sense that I had pushed the braking to near its limit with a feeling that the pads and discs had reached there critical temperature rather quicker than I would have liked. This was also with no load and only one occupant. You would keep this car at low speeds if descending the French Alps with family in tow.

 

 

Safety/Security Features
Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Child Locks
Child Locks
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
Heated Front Windscreen
Heated Front Windscreen
High level brake Light
High level brake Light
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection
Three Rear 3 Point Seat Belts
Three Rear 3 Point Seat Belts
Visible Identification Number
Visible Identification Number

With so much emphasis now on crash test results Renault have reacted with exceptionally good standards in all of their ranges. The scenic is no exception with side impact bars in all of the doors air bags everywhere pre tensioned seat belts etc etc. The anti theft security key also assists you in keeping it. The stereo is only for Renault and therefore no use to any enterprising thief, the CD player is totally out of sight and very safe.
The rear seat belt set up is quite ingenious to fit three three point seat belts and still allow the rear sets to be remove conveniently the centre seat has its seat belt anchorage in the roof panel, It extends down and links across the occupants lap, retracting into the roof when not required. Good design easily used and safe.

 

General Features
12 V Accessory Power Point
12 V Accessory Power Point
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Mirrors
Colour Coded Mirrors
Digital Odometer
Digital Odometer
Exterior Side Mouldings
Exterior Side Mouldings
Heated Rear Window
Heated Rear Window
Rear Wash Wipe
Rear Wash Wipe
Tinted Windows

For all round usability and good driving the Scenic scores well it is comfy responsive and just useable. 
A small Espace with all the spec and not the price tag. It is easy to drive economical and service friendly. A small MPV i'm not sure how can it be with 5 seats?

By the fact you can remove the rear seating of course.

 

Boot area with load cover fitted.
Spare wheel is stored under the carpet.
More storage bins in the side panels.

 

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UK Car road test Renault Scenic