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
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
Quality & Reliability
Value for Money