Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0
  • Large display replaces traditional instruments
  • Multimedia package a little slow to operate
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto initially

The swanky new dashboard houses a new console featuring a seven-inch or, for swankier models, a biggest-in-class 8.7-inch touchscreen to control Renault’s R-Link 2 multimedia system. Though it shoulders aside the central air vents in somewhat cavalier fashion, we like the portrait-orientation of the screen. This allows you to see further up the road ahead on the map, and less of areas you’re not about to drive through.

The vast wealth of menus available can be a little baffling to navigate and occasionally slow in response, but the screen looks good and works well enough once learned. What isn’t yet available, and won’t be until a few months after the November launch, is either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Renault will introduce these systems simultaneously across its range, and says it had no intention of delaying the Grand Scenic’s arrival in the interests of providing the features to the initial wave of buyers. Nor will a retro-fit be offered to those who bought one of the early build versions.

This, in the context of every single rival manufacturer harping on for years now about the importance of such connectivity in every new offering, is somewhat baffling, even if the number of app-fixated youngsters who actually want a seven-seater MPV is small.

All analogue dials here are electronically created, and because Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker considers them ineffective, there’s no central speedometer either. Instead, there’s a faux analogue TFT panel in the space usually occupied by an instrument binnacle, which works well enough.

Flasgship Signature Nav versions also feature a segment-first colour head-up display, the white content of which all but disappears if you sport polarising sunglasses.

  • Front seats are the most comfortable
  • Middle-row is more cramped than rivals
  • Rearmost chairs for children only

While the Renault Grand Scenic is blessed with comfortable front seats, the essentially fine driving position won’t suit those who like to sit low behind the helm, due to the need to raise the seat as high as possible in order to position the car effectively for low-speed manoeuvres.

There doesn’t appear to be as much space in the second row as the Grand Scenic’s predecessor either. You no longer get three individual seats (they now fold 60:40) and shoulder room suffers as a result.

Slid all the way back, the middle row seats offer merely adequate legroom which falls slightly below the class leaders. They also feel somewhat upright and compact for long-haul adult occupancy, especially if you bring the third row into play, which is, frankly, unoccupiable by anyone but supple contortionists unless you steal knee room back from the second tier.