Publication date: 14 March 2024
Renault Scenic

Renault Scenic

A new generation for a new generation

Review - The Scenic formed the core of Renault's offering in the past. The mid-sized family car was extremely successful thanks to its balance between innovation, functionality and price. However, gradually the model became less and less innovative and eventually the spacious vehicle disappeared from the range. But now the Scenic is back! This new generation even targets a whole new generation...

Improvements can be made in small or big steps. When an existing concept and technology are developed further, the result is an improved and yet familiar product. This allows a manufacturer to retain existing customers. When a new concept and new technology are chosen, the result is no longer an improved but a better product. With the new Scenic, Renault targets the modern family looking for equally modern transport.

Renault Scenic

And so every part has been rethought! Thus, the Scenic is not a pure SUV or MPV, but a car that combines the best of many forms. From an SUV, the Scenic has the high, sturdy nose and the long bonnet. However, it lacks the extra ground clearance or wheel arch space of an SUV. The rest of the bodywork has the basic shapes of a hatchback, but enlarged. In doing so, Renault deliberately does not join the never-ending race to keep offering a bigger model than the other. At 447 cm long, the Scenic is of average size for a car of its kind.


The Scenic is only available as an electric car and therefore the advantages that technology offers could be made the most of. Yet, it did not opt for a short bonnet in order to achieve a larger cabin. In fact, Renault argues that things can be done differently. According to Renault, the wheelbase and the position of the wheels in relation to the pedals determine the interior space. This is why the Scenic's wheels are on the extreme corners. Also very different: the Scenic is less tall than an SUV and does not force passengers to sit upright to make use of that height. Instead, the Scenic driver sits slightly lower, like in a traditional hatchback. That has the advantage of making the Scenic lower, which makes a car more fuel-efficient and quieter.

Renault Scenic
Renault Scenic

Despite the relatively low build, head and legroom in the front are good. In fact, space in the rear is so good that the Scenic can rival family cars that are a size bigger! The rear passengers have an armrest that can also serve as a cup holder or tablet holder. Because all the electronics are gathered under the bonnet, the boot is also ample. As a result, there is no second storage space under the bonnet. Another pity: the button to unlock the tailgate sits very low, which poses the risk of dirty hands when pressing it.


The generous interior space is also due to the special sunroof. The traditional panoramic roof with rails and a sunshade has been replaced by an electronic panel that can be transparent or darkened at the push of a button. This has the advantage of taking up less space (4 mm instead of the usual 3 cm headroom) and being lighter (3 kg instead of the usual 7 kg). During the test drive, however, it was noticable that this is less effective than an old-fashioned roller blind, as bright sunlight can still shine into the eyes.

Renault Scenic

The dashboard is dominated by two displays that form a whole. The infotainment system (audio, communication and navigation) is based on Android Mobile. As the car exchanges data with Android, Google Maps can automatically plan charging stops if the battery charge is not sufficient to reach the entered destination (note: this only works with Google Maps, not with other built-in navigation apps such as Waze). Those who do not wish to use Google's Android for privacy or other reasons can turn it off and use their own smartphone as the car's brain via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The optional audio system from Harman Kardon sounds reasonably well, but this manufacturer has proven itself capable of more in other cars. Still, Harman Kardon has been perceived as a big improvement over Bose, which Renault has partnered with until now. Renault sticks to one thing: operating the audio system with a lever on the right behind the steering wheel. With that, there are now three (!) levers on the right behind the steering wheel, which causes confusion in practice (e.g. turning on windscreen wipers instead of reversing). Couldn't that audio control be moved to the left?

Good to know: Renault is increasingly succeeding in using more recycled raw materials and also making the car more recyclable. With the Scenic, the manufacturer is taking this one step further, with 24% of its raw materials coming from used materials.

Renault Scenic

Electric car: in theory

The Scenic offers a choice of two electric powertrains. The base version has a 60 kWh capacity battery, a 125 kW electric motor and a maximum charging rate of 130 kW. The top version has an 87 kWh battery, delivers 160 kW of motor power and charges at up to 150 kW.

Because all the electronics are gathered under the bonnet, the charging connection is also at the front of the car. Therefore, the driver is almost forced to park nose first. Unfortunately, that means a larger turning circle when parking and less visibility when pulling out. Very clever: the battery has a special connection for a fire hose, which extinguishes any battery fire within 10 minutes.

Electric car: practice

For this test, we went with the version with the strongest motor and the battery with the largest capacity. Under favourable weather conditions and with a moderate driving style, this accounted for consumption of 17.6 kWh per 100 km and an actual range of 603 km (factory specification: 625 km). This consumption is average, while the range is very large for a car in this segment.

Renault Scenic

Because the Scenic is meant to be a family car, the response to the throttle is less vicious than some other electric cars. Nevertheless, the performance of the 220 hp / 300 Nm electric motor is still good. In fact, compared to similar petrol-powered cars, the Scenic E-Tech is far superior in terms of smoothness and performance. Energy recuperation can be done in four steps, making it almost always possible to drive with one pedal. Of course, the electric Scenic does its work in silence.

Driving behaviour

The Scenic shares the platform and chassis technology with the Renault Megane E-Tech. Yet the Scenic is more than just a tall Megane. In fact, the platform has been lengthened and widened for the Scenic. This not only provides more interior space, but also a different weight distribution. In addition, the suspension has been modified to give the Scenic its own character.

Compared to the Megane E-Tech, that character is grand and stately.Compared to electric SUVs, the Megane is sporty and dynamic thanks to its lower build and lower centre of gravity. From the very first moment, the Scenic gives a more confident feel than an SUV, and not unfairly so. Roadholding is excellent, which ensures above-average safety. Together with the quietness of the electric powertrain, the Scenic really drives like a car of a new generation.

Renault Scenic


Many manufacturers are innovating in small steps to avoid alienating themselves from customers. Moreover, not everyone (or everywhere) is ready for all-electric driving. For them, Renault offers the Austral, Rafale and Espace. For a new generation of families, Renault is introducing the new Scenic!

The innovation starts with the concept. Renault does not choose to offer the largest car of its kind. Because the Scenic is only available as an electric car, a lot of space could be saved. The interior space is comparable to that of a larger family car! At the same time, the reduced exterior dimensions make the Scenic more economical and agile. The Scenic therefore manages to distinguish itself positively not only from conventional family cars, but also from other electric cars.

The equipment is modern and the electric drive ensures good performance, a high degree of comfort and low running costs. The added value is therefore not just in its looks or technology, but rather in its unique combination. This makes the Scenic a new generation of family cars for families of a new generation.

  • Large range
  • Very spacious, also in the rear
  • Favourable handling thanks to relatively low construction
  • Dirty hands due to low unlocking of tailgate
  • Electronic sunroof does not dim sufficiently
  • Many levers on steering wheel cause confusion