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Renault Scenic Models

Renault's version system for their cars (the Scenic is no exception) has always seemed a little like smoke and mirrors, but to simplify it slightly, here's an overview. All of the cars below are available in a range of engine sizes and types, which I've listed briefly below. In my opinion, the turbo-diesel is the best bet in each model range, with the best of power and economy.

In general, the Scenic is obviously heavier than its saloon brother, the Megane, and you'll be loading it up with all sorts of temporary and permanent clobber, not to mention the weight of up to five people. So the more powerful the engine you go for, the better. You won't regret it. But you'll have to balance that against what you can afford, what's available and what equipment level you need. Read on...

Mark I1997 to 1999 Megane Scenic

Essentially, three models. The RN (few features, not even some of the storage compartments, avoid this model), the RT (all the core Scenic features) and the RXE (CD player, air-con, electric everything). This, the Mark I Scenic can be distinguished by its elegant and more 'pointed' bonnet.

Length: 4134mm, Width: 1719mm, Height: 1600mm
Engine options: 1.6e, 1.6 eAuto, 2.0, 2.0 Proactive, 1.9dTi
Max. fuel economy (extra-urban, dTi engine): 55.4mpg, Real world economy for my own 1.6e Petrol version was 28mpg at worst, short urban cycle in winter, 38mpg at best, long runs in summer.

Mark II1999 to 2003 Scenic

The Phase II Scenic, distinguished by a snub nose and larger front light clusters, had higher specifications throughout the range and better road handling. Models initially included the 16V (few features, avoid), the RT, Alize, Sport and Sport Alize, the RXE and the Monaco (all of these had the core Scenic features, though the RT and the Sport lacked air-conditioning). In 2001, they renamed most models. Authentique, Expression, Dynamique, Privilege, etc., plus a 4 by 4 model was launched, the RX4.

Length: 4134mm, Width: 1719mm, Height: 1600mm
Engine options: 1.4, 1.6, 1.6 Auto, 1.9dTi, 1.9dTi Auto, 2.0, 2.0 Auto
Max. fuel economy (extra-urban, dTi engine): 57.6mpg, Real world economy for my own 1.9dTi is 30mpg at worst, short urban cycle in winter, 48mpg at best, long, fast runs in summer.

2004 Scenic 22003-2009 Scenic 2 ('New Scenic' & 'Grand Scenic')

Essentially, it's a complete makeover, with (futuristic?) angular styling and far greater computer control throughout (a good thing or a bad thing? Watch this space)...

There's a 'Grand Scenic', too, with an extra two seats that fold away into the floor of the boot (see photo below specs), though these are really only suitable for children because of the lack of leg room.

Length: 4259mm, Width: 1810mm, Height: 1620mm (Standard)
Length: 4493mm, Width: 1810mm, Height: 1636mm (Grand Scenic)
Engine options: 1.4 98, 1.6 VVT 115, 1.6 VVT 115 Auto, 2.0 VVT 136, 2.0 VVT 136 Auto, 2.0 VVT 165, dCi 100, 1.9 dCi 120
Max. fuel economy (extra-urban, dCi 80 engine): 64.2mpg. Real world economy for my own 1.4 petrol is 29mpg at worst, short urban cycle in winter, 49mpg at best, long, fast runs in summer. Pro tip: keep the tyres pumped up to the max for motorway trips.

Extra seats in Grand Scenic

Scenic 32009-present Scenic 3 (again including Grand Scenic)

A toning down of the angular design features of the Scenic 2, the Scenic 3 returns to the original design cues, but slightly larger and with even higher electronic aids and gadgets inside. You can get full glossy brochures for the Scenic 3 at your local Renault dealer, of course.

Length: 4344mm, Width: 1845mm, Height: 1678mm (Standard)
Length: 4493mm, Width: 1810mm, Height: 1636mm (Grand Scenic)
Engine options: 1.4 98, 1.6 VVT 115, 1.6 VVT 115 Auto, 2.0 VVT 136, 2.0 VVT 136 Auto, 2.0 VVT 165, dCi 100, 1.9 dCi 120
Max. fuel economy (extra-urban, dCi 80 engine): 64.2mpg.

Scenic III (2009 to present)

What to look for

When looking over a used model, whether on a dealer forecourt or buying privately, look for the following (don't just assume that they're present because it's a Scenic):

Twin sunroofs, storage tray under front seats, long storage tray under rear seats, air conditioning, rear 12V power point, rear door pockets, twin underfloor storage compartments in rear floor.

Models of models(!)

Renault are very good at creating collectable 1:43 scale miniatures of their cars, and the Scenic is no exception. Click on the thumbnails below to see my models of the original, Mark II Scenic and Scenic 2, coincidentally in the exact same colours as the cars I've owned!

Mark I Scenic model Mark II Scenic model Scenic 2 model