Reviews > Car Reviews > Renault > Renault Scenic (1999-04) Road Test

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Renault Scenic (1999-04)

Overall Rating

3 stars

You either get ScÚnic or you don't. Only a five-seater, with prices and abilities closer to family estate models than to fully-fledged MPVs, it's nevertheless likeable, practical and safe.

  • More space than conventional hatchbacks
  • Raised seats give excellent vision
  • Good value and generous equipment
  • Only five seats; Zafira is more flexible
  • Older generation 1997-99 cars roll badly
  • Some irritating faults on older cars
Road Test

ScÚnic is the archetypal midi-MPV: hatchback-based (sharing Megane's running gear), with five seats, a tall body and a high cabin floor. It's these last two attributes that differentiate it. The bright, lofty cabin gives the driver an excellent view; passengers like it, too. Seating is upright but comfortable, with good leg- and headroom. Removable rear seats allow greater load flexibility than a conventional estate. But that's it in terms of unique advantages. A high centre of gravity means the body rolls and it doesn't corner crisply. Although it's easy to drive, Scenic is less responsive than Megane. Revisions in mid-1999 addressed these areas; 1999-2003 cars drive better and also have livelier 16-valve petrol engines. Of the original cars, 1.6e and 1.9 dT are adequate if you're not in a hurry; the dTi is quicker and more economical. Best choices in the post-1999 line-up are 1.6 16v and 1.9 dCi.

Need To Know

NCAP: 4 (revised 1999 model)

Best Models: 1.6 16v; 1.9 dCi; 2.0 16v

Worst Models: 1.6e; 1.9 dTi 80

Replacement: by current generation Scenic from mid-2003

Renault Scenic (1999-04)
Star Ratings


3 stars


3 stars

Quality & Reliability

3 stars


3 stars


4 stars

Running Costs

4 stars

Value for Money

4 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

3 stars
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