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2016 Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic – old vs new compared

Renault has revealed the fourth-generation Scenic MPV. The original was one of the founding models back in 1996 but the current trend for 4×4-inspired crossovers has resulted in a new design direction for the 2016 model.

The outgoing car was praised for its practicality, style and comfort compared to rivals including the Citroen C4 Picasso and Vauxhall Zafira. Is the new model any better? We take a look at what it offers over its forebear.

Until the new version goes on sale, dealers will offer progressively bigger discounts on the outgoing model. Put the Renault Scenic or the Renault Grand Scenic in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you get.

Renault Scenic old vs new – styling

The outgoing Scenic was first shown in 2009 but the new model takes many styling cues from the rest of Renault’s current lineup, particularly the SUV-inspired Captur and Kadjar. Up front, a bold grille features the large diamond-shaped Renault logo at its centre and sweeps gently upwards into the new headlights – LED-powered on the more expensive versions.

Down the flanks, the old Scenic is van-like in its appearance, the new model looks very much like a scaled-up version of the Captur. A set of huge 20-inch alloy wheels help to balance the proportions while, at the rear, the old vertically stacked lights are replaced by shapely horizontally mounted units.

Like the previous model, a larger seven-seat Grand Scenic will also be available. The old version was stretched by just over 20cm in length – 7cm of which between the front and rear axles – in order to accommodate an extra pair of seats.

In general, the new car has grown in every dimension – including height and ground clearance to reflect its new SUV-inspired image. Below, we’ve compared the larger Grand Scenic against its predecessor.

New Renault Grand Scenic dimensions (vs old model)
Height  1,660mm (+15mm)
Length 4,634mm (+75)
Ground clearance 160mm (+30mm)
Width 1,865mm (+20mm)
Wheelbase 2,804mm (+35mm)
Boot capacity 718 litres (+40 litres)

Renault Scenic old vs new – interior

From the early images we have of the 2016 Scenic’s cabin, it’s clear to see that quality has taken a massive leap forward over the outgoing model. The dashboard design takes inspiration from both the latest Megane featuring soft-touch plastics throughout and a centre console that features a vertical tablet-inspired infotainment screen. Measuring 8.7 inches, it displays bold icons that make scrolling through menus easy.

Of course, no MPV would be much use if it wasn’t roomy inside. The old model scored very well on the practicality front, with three individual seats in the back, and cubby holes dotted all over the place.

The new model looks set to make the Scenic more practical than ever, though. Although it does without the individual rear chairs, the sculpted three-seat bench can fold flat into the floor when not needed. Boot capacity has increased slightly from 555 to 575 litres, while there’s even more storage space in the cabin – the glovebox swallows 11.5 litres of trinkets, while the bin between the front seats holds 13.

Renault Scenic old vs new – driving

The outgoing Scenic was praised for a smooth ride and above average refinement for the class. While improved materials and a stronger chassis should improve the latter, whether or not the fitment of 20-inch alloy wheels will affect the comfort levels remains to be seen.

The responsiveness of the throttle and, in the case of automatic models, the speed of gearshifts, can be controlled by the driver via the Drive Mode Selector. Five different modes – Neutral, Sport, Comfort, Perso(nal) and Eco – each subtly alter the Scenic’s characteristics according to mood and conditions.

Renault Scenic old vs new – engines

The latest Scenic is set to make use of a range of petrol and diesel engines, some of which are upgraded versions of the ones found on the outgoing model.

Petrol options come in the form of a pair of 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engines, producing either 113hp or 128hp but the diesels are set to be the big sellers in the range. The 1.5-litre unit in the current Scenic is carried over and should return a similar 68.9mpg fuel consumption figure. The 128hp 1.6-litre’s extra torque – 236lb ft from only 1,750rpm – will come in very handy when carrying seven in the Grand Scenic. A more powerful version of the same unit, which wasn’t available in the old model, produces 157hp.

Later in the Scenic’s life, a hybrid model is expected to join the range. A small electric motor is paired with the 1.5-litre diesel to improve response at low engine speeds, while the added acceleration it offers reduces demand on the diesel unit, improving fuel consumption in the process.

The engines are paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox or dual-clutch automatic, depending on model. Unusually among current hybrids, the Scenic diesel/electric is set to feature a manual.

Renault Scenic old vs new – value for money

Prices are around £20,000 for the outgoing Scenic so we don’t expect the new model to stray too far from that figure. Top spec models – thanks to more generous equipment levels and more powerful engines – are likely to climb beyond the current car’s upper limit of £24,215 for a diesel seven-seater.

We also expect Renault’s impeccable safety reputation to be upheld on the new car. The old model received the full five-star rating in the hands of Euro NCAP and, thanks to the addition of Lane Keep Assist, Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection and Tiredness Detection, the new model is almost certain to fare even better.

Save money on your new Renault Scenic

Before the new version goes on sale, dealers will offer progressively bigger discounts on the outgoing model. Put the Renault Scenic or the Renault Grand Scenic in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you get. For more options, visit our car chooser to narrow down your search.

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