Global debut of new seven- and five-seat Grand Scénic
20″ wheels standard – does France have potholes too?
Diesel, petrol, diesel/hybrid power for Scenic’s big brother
PARIS, France – Back in March 2016 Carman’s Corner brought you the new Renault Scenic. Now here’s its big brother – the 24cm-longer Grand Scenic with a choice of five or seven seats.
It’s Generation 4 of the French family carrier that was initially launched 20 years earlier – back then dubbed “a compact multi-purpose vehicle”. Now everybody’s doing it, even with all-wheel drive and all-terrain capability.
Is nothing sacred?
It’s essentially the same vehicle but its extra length, Renault says, has increased the boot volume by 222 litres to 718 litres – the images contained herein show what can be carried… the new model has a longer wheelbase then its predecessor.
Renault says the Grand Scenic now has chromed or grey metal accessories, sculpted forms/body sides and a distinctive belt line towards the rear “which combine to produce a fluid, elegant silhouette”. Just as does baby brother; they also share 20″ wheels and “a two-tone livery and harmonious interior trim underline the model’s modern personality”.
The Scenic really is a family car though if you insist on seven, instead of the usual five, seats you’ll cut severely into boot space. There is, however, a (Renault’s capitals and missing hyphen) One Touch Folding Seat which means the split unit will fold automatically to create a flat floor and make loading easier.
Renault hasn’t been mean with driving aids: the Grand Scenic comes with automatic emergency braking that even works when faced with a jaywalker as well as (depending on model) Multisense experience, multimedia tablet with 22cm display and a full-colour head-up windscreen data display.
This fourth generation can be specified with Renault’s Hybrid Assist electrified diesel engine – tech hardly dreamed about when the first Scenic was launched.
The vertical form of the Grand Scenic’s permanently-lit 3D-effect rear lights distinguish the model from the shorter version (its tail-light cluster is horizontal). The unopenable glass roof has no cross-member.
Higher models add matte-finish aluminium roof rails and a grey diffuser by the rear bumper.
The standard large wheels carry narrower tyres with a sidewall height of 107mm to, Renault says, “ensure a level of ride comfort among the market’s very best”.
There’s an ‘Easy Life’ sliding console between the front seats which allows the driver to customise the cabin layout at will: in the forward position, Renault explains, it tucks beneath the portrait-format info display to form a single unit, creating a sedan cockpit feel for the driver despite the high seating position.
SLIDING CONSOLE REMODELS CABIN
In its rearmost position the front passenger area becomes open-plan; upper models add power seat-adjustment and bum-warmers.
The front of the sliding console has illuminated stowage area protected by a sliding cover and an integrated armrest beneath which lurk two USB ports, SD card slot, audio jack and a 12V power supply (depending on equipment level).
Rear passengers get the same gear, plus their own storage space, sunblnds and (optional) folding tables to which tablets of various sizes can be attached.
Like the shorter Scenic, the Le Grand comes with lane-keeping up to 160km/h, fatigue detection, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, reversing camera, auto lights and wipers, parking radar and blind-spot coverage.
Each type of engine – petrol, diesel and hybrid – uses either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch auto box. The retractable colour head-up display presents speed, navigation, and driving aids.
EVERYBODY GETS ‘EXCEPTIONAL, IMMERSIVE’ AUDIO
The new Scenic is available with Bose audio, its output tailored to the car’s cabin shape through as many as 13 speakers.
“This combination,” Renault avers, “allows all occupants of the vehicle to enjoy an exceptional, immersive audio experience.”
The cars will be in European showrooms before the end of the year. SA can expect them earlyish in 2017.