Renault Scenic Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

The UK version has a 220bhp electric motor. That's enough, giving decent straight-line acceleration. From 0-62mph it's 8.4 seconds, and useful motorway thrust is available beyond that. It's front drive and the motor's low-rev torque is enough to overcome the Scenic's slightly weak traction even in the dry if you come out of a small roundabout with too much pedal.

The steering is pretty quick straight off the middle, and could do with a little extra weight just in those first few degrees – it's easy to zig-zag a little until you're used to it. Choosing the heavier steering weight map does help. More so than in the related Megane.

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Anyway, the Scenic feels more light and nimble than any other large family EV. You don't get the sense you're causing a reluctant mass to change direction. It's fun and well-balanced, stringing corners together nicely, and even providing some realistic steering feel as the tyres run out of grip. Weight distribution is 50:50, again helping agility.

The brakes a well-regulated too, and you can choose your regeneration with paddles. Firm-ish springs mean you do feel bumps, especially at low speed, but the dampers keep things properly under control, and there's little tyre or wind roar.

What about the driver aids?

Adaptive cruise control with lane centring is standard on the top-spec Iconic trim, and so is blind-spot assist. Lane keeping, and auto-braking for vehicles and people, plus various overspeed warnings are fitted to all Scenics as the law mandates. Like BMW sensibly used to have (but no longer does) there's a physical button on the dash which you press to access custom assist settings. That means you can cut the systems that are unhelpful in twisty roads, like the ones that nudge the wheel or beep at you when you come across something parked at the side of the road, but turn the assistance back on again for city centres or motorways.

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Highlights from the range

the cheapest

160kW Iconic 87kWh Long Range 5dr Auto
  • 0-62
  • CO20
  • BHP214.6
  • MPG
  • Price£N/A

the greenest

160kW Iconic 87kWh Long Range 5dr Auto
  • 0-62
  • CO20
  • BHP214.6
  • MPG
  • Price£N/A
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