The Renault Grand Scenic is the seven-seater variant of the Scenic, a compact multi-purpose vehicle. The Scenic has quite a reputation in Europe because it is responsible for making the compact MPV popular in the market. The Grand Scenic though was only made available when the second- and third-generation models of the Scenic came out. The increase in space allowed the Grand Scenic to incorporate two additional child-sized seats where the enlarged luggage area is. The third-generation Scenic and Grand Scenic models were released in 2009, with most recent updates introduced in 2013.
Since it is a seven-seater variant, it is expected that the Renault Grand Scenic would be able to bring a lot of additional space. But more than just being bigger, the Grand Scenic makes good use of the added space, smartly including two chairs in the rear that can easily be folded into the boot when more luggage room is needed. Additionally, the middle row features seats that can be removed and individually slide. Boosted practicality is also a good selling point for the Grand Scenic.
Since the Grand Scenic is bigger, Renault was also able to use more dynamic visual profiling on the car, translating into a roofline that gently slopes towards the rear and a rising beltline facing the tail lights. Influence from Lauren van den Acker, Renault's design chief, are visible in the glossy grille and the larger logo.
Scenic models usually have just one trim level and this applies as well to the Renault Grand Scenic. It covers just the basics but does good job of that with 16-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, sat-nav, and dual-zone climate control. For a lot of people, the lone trim level suffices, but you can also take advantage of the Bose+ pack to include an upgraded sound system and an electrochromatic rear view mirror into the mix.
Inside, the Grand Scenic also boasts of an upgrade in material quality. Displays on the dash are easy to read and major dials are all digital. Front seats are adjustable and there's more than enough space between the centre and back rows to ride in comfort. A storage cubby also neatly sits inside the boot's opening for housing the luggage cover when it is not being used. Remove the centre seats and boot volume dramatically expands to 2,063 litres. With that much available space, the Grand Scenic is practically a small van.
It's a good thing that the Renault Grand Scenic offers a lot of space but it can be troublesome to use that space since the centre seats would have to be removed. This shouldn't be a problem really if they weren't so heavy. It would've been better if the seats can be completely folded into the floor like the rearmost seats.
In terms of performance, the Grand Scenic is modest. It is adequate at average speeds but happens to react slowly at times. If you are looking for a speedy ride, the Grand Scenic may disappoint at taking 13.5 seconds to reach 0 to 62mph. It does win you over though with decent efficiency over 50mpg.
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