(Click on any of these thumbnail images to see it full size)
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!