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Seven-seater spice for Renault Scenic

Room to move: The third row seats in the Grand Scenic fold flat.

Revised Scenic line-up gains better quality and equipment

1 Feb 2007

RENAULT aims to inject some spice into its upgraded Scenic Phase II line-up with the addition of a seven-seater Grand Scenic.

But Renault Australia will have to wait until mid-year before the 96kW/300Nm 1.9 dCI turbo-diesels arrive in both models with either a six-speed manual or Renault’s Proactive four-speed sequential auto.

Renault Australia spokesman, Craig Smith, said that once the diesels landed, they had the potential to be the volume sellers in the lineup.

Currently only the van-based seven-seater Volkswagen Caddy offers a turbo-diesel in the under $55,000 MPV segment, as well as SsangYong's quirky Stavic.

In the meantime, the 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder Grand Scenic will battle the relatively obscure seven-seater brigade of the Toyota Avensis, Mitsubishi Grandis, Hyundai Trajet, Honda Odyssey and even the Kia Carens when it arrives later in the year.

The Grand Scenic adds 230mm overall length over the Scenic, with a 50mm longer wheelbase and 180mm longer rear overhang.

Like the five-seater, the Grand Scenic offers adaptable seating plus two independent seats in a third row, that individually fold into the floor.

These allow the five-seat layout to be converted into six or seven seats.

Along with the visual updates, all Scenics come with stability control with understeer control as standard, new interior trim and improved cabin quality.

All Scenics are powered by a 2.0-litre VVT engine developing 98kW at 5500rpm and 191Nm at 3750rpm. For enhanced flexibility, 90 per cent of maximum torque is available from 2000rpm. Renault will add a turbo-diesel Scenic later this year.

Renault’s managing director, Rudi Koenig, said the Grand Scenic would open up "an entirely new market segment for us".

"The Grand Scenic provides a European solution to the daily hassles young families face. It’s economical, fun to be in and very, very safe," he said.

The Phase II Scenic sports a new grille with a characteristic pronounced corporate "V" in keeping with the recently introduced Phase II Megane range.

The front and rear bumpers have been redesigned and there are new headlight and LED tail-light designs.

Inside Renault has lifted quality and improved interior trims with increased sound-deadening.

The electric power steering has been uprated by a "tube-in-tube" link and minor electronic re-calibrations, which ensure better steering feedback and isolation of road shock.

An electronic parking brake frees up the interior space for a sliding centre console between the front seats incorporating armrests, courtesy lights, 12-volt power point, cupholders and a 15-litre storage bin.

35 center imageRear seat occupants have airline-style trays, mounted on the rear of the front seats while parents can keep tabs on children in the back via a large roof mounted "child minder mirror".

All three-individual rear seats slide independently and can be operated with one hand in a single movement.

With all seven seats in use luggage space is 200 litres. In five-seater mode it is more than 600 litres.

The maximum load length, with the front passenger seat backrest folded flat, is 2.75m.

The Grand Scenic is only available in Dynamique specification only and also features 17-inch alloys and rear parking sensors as standard.

Apart from the ESP system, the Scenic uses ABS, complete with EBD and emergency brake assist ensures the maximum use is made of the car’s braking power. It also has a five-star Euro NCAP crash rating.

Like other Renaults, the hazard warning lights activate under heavy braking. Although, the Grand Scenic has not been tested by EuroNCAP, it is designed to the same standards as the five-seater and includes seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, dual front, side and curtain airbags as standard.

The five seater is available in two variants, six-speed manual Expression and four-speed automatic Dynamique.

The Expression offers stability program, dual front, side and curtain airbags, cruise control (with speed limiter), automatic headlamps and wipers, automatic park brake, electric mirrors and windows and 16-inch steel wheels.

The five-seat Dynamique gains upgraded audio system with a six-disc in-dash CD stereo, enhanced interior trim and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift, 16-inch alloys, body-coloured side mouldings and bumpers and chrome surrounds.

The Grand Scenic Dynamique is only available with a pro-active four speed transmission and also gains 17-inch alloys and rear parking sensors.

Renault Scenic pricing:
Expression $33,990
Dynamique $36,490
Grand Scenic Dynamique $39,990

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