06 March 2009

Geneva show: Renault Scenic

It may be a bit straight-laced, but this is one of the most important cars of the year. Really, it is.

Renault Scenic

They may not have been the most exciting cars launched at the Geneva show – in fact, they’re down there at the backgammon marathon end of the interest scale – but we thought we’d give you a few details on the new Scenic and Grand Scenic, the new generation of Renault’s MPV-things.

Yes, they’re dull, but they’re important. Really, they are. They’ll sell by the bucketload (well, at least relative to everything else in the market at the moment).

The guys at Renault accept that the new Scenics – which are based on the new Megane architecture – aren’t as sexy as, say, the Citroen Picassos or the Ford S-Max. but say that the Scenic will be the most car-like drive in its class, as it shares much of its chassis set-up with its hatch cousin.

It should be properly practical, too – Renault says that there is a massive 92 litres of cubby-hole storage in the Grand Scenic (which could be truly awful news if you’re the sort of person who, say, tends to forget where you’ve put your passport for safekeeping), including four underfloor compartments.

As you’d expect, there are loads of engines – three petrols, including a range-topping 138bhp two-litre effort, and six diesels: 1.5- and 1.9-litre turbodiesels in three states of tune each. Phew.

There’s a bit of new tech, too: the Scenics get telly-style TFT (thin film transistor) digital display panels, providing clear read-outs and adapting automatically to lighting conditions.

The Grand Scenic goes on sale in the UK this May, with the five-seater Scenic following in July.

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