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First drive: Renault Scenic

Date: 17 April 2024   |   Author: Martyn Collins

The Scenic badge is back on a Renault, but it's morphed into an EV family crossover.
Standard equipment:
19in 'streamline' alloy wheels, front and rear full LED lights, electric flush door handles, flush roof bars, shark fin antenna, power folding door mirrors , logo puddle lights, 12.3in driver information display and 12in OpenR multimedia screen, automatic air-conditioning, a frameless electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, rear-view camera, front and rear park assist, heated front seats and steering wheel, paddle shifters for regenerative braking, automatic wipers, multi-sense with ambient lighting, reelectric boot opening, intelligent contextual adaptive cruise control, traffic and speed sign recognition, driver attention alert, distance warning alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane centering, active emergency braking system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot warning.
Electric: 167hp, 215hp
Equipment grades:
Techno, Esprit Alpine, Iconic
Single-speed auto

It seems like all the noise at Renault now,is about reinventing iconic old models. You can't fail to have seen the excitement around the re-introduction of the 5 in EV form, with Renault 4 and Twingo models incoming, and now we have the Scenic. 

The MPV market is dead. As such, the new Scenic is being sold as a crossover, although Renault is still keen to mention its new family car's roominess and practicality as key selling points. 

It also struck a chord with Car of the Year judges, as the Scenic was announced as the 2024 winner, up against the BMW 5 Series, Kia EV9, and Volvo EX30! 

Outside, from the front, the Scenic is quite distinctive, starting with the large new logo and the unusual triangular driving lights under the high-set LED adaptive headlights. Around the lights, there are lots of small diamonds, almost forming a grille on the tall front air dam.   

At 4.47m long, 1.86m wide, and 1.57m high, it's the new Scenic's dimensions that are the talking point at the side. 

At the rear, like the front, there are high-set lights which spread across the boot, which Renault tell us are supposed to make the Scenic look wider. Then, there's a chunkier rear air dam, with noticeable diffuser. 

Inside, if you liked the Megane E-Tech, or the Austral's design, you're going to get on with the Scenic. The dashboard is made up of a vertical 12.3in touchscreen that controls most things, although we're pleased that there's a small bank of buttons to control the air-conditioning. The screen itself, which runs Google software along with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto functionality, is generally easy to use. Although there are too many stalks (gear selector, indicators, and audio controls) in one place, in our opinion. 

This Renault's driving position is comfortable and the seats supportive but move to the rear seat and the space is even more impressive. There's room for three, but it's better for two, with the clever centre arm rest folded down with space for phones and tablets. 

Cleverest interior feature must be the SolarBay roof, fitted to top models, which has clever glazing, that can be changed from clear to opaque at the touch of a button, or by voice command. It gives welcome extra light in this Renault's interior. 

Then there is the 545-litre boot, which is deep, and practically-shaped - but has a high loading lip. The boot can be extended by 40:20:40 split/fold rear seat.

Other disappointments revolve around the hard and shiny plastics around the interior, and the fact that despite the height, having the glass roof does eat into the Scenic's rear headroom. 

Like the Megane, the Scenic is built on the CMF-EV platform - which is also shared with the Nissan Ariya. The Renault is powered by a single, front axle-mounted electric motor, which has 167hp and 215 miles range in the Comfort range version, or 215hp, and 379 miles range in the Long Range version that we drove. Cleverer, is that Renault claims pre-conditioning of the battery takes place automatically, just as the Scenic nears a scheduled charging point. As a result, it claims the equivalent of 209 miles can be added in just 30 minutes, at up to 150kW for the Long Range version. The Scenic also has a standard heat pump.

Our Iconic range-topper, with its claimed 8.4 second 0-62mph acceleration, seemed faster than the figures suggest, and it certainly felt more able than the Peugeot E-3008. There are also four driving modes, which basically change the steering and accelerator feel. Plus, three regenerative braking modes - although the Scenic can't quite demonstrate one-pedal driving, although it's close. Despite the 20in wheels, we were impressed by this Renault's confident and comfortable ride, although the steering ratio is too fast. 

The Scenic is a useful addition to the crossover market, that's decent to drive, with good range.

Renault Scenic E-Tech 160kW Iconic 

P11D: £45,440

Residual value: 52% 

Depreciation: £21,615

Fuel: £3,869

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,483

Cost per mile: 46.6p

Range: 379 miles

CO2 (BIK %): 0/km (2%)

BIK 20/40% a month: £15/£30

Luggage capacity: 545 litres

Battery size/power: 97kWh/215hp


  • Attractive design inside and out
  • Impressive interior space and stowage
  • Easy to use tech
  • Interior fit and finish not as impressive as the styling
  • Overkeen steering
  • Tidy rather than involving drive