This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Renault Scenic (16-19) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Wide range of engines, from a just-about-adequate 1.4 to a swift 2.0. 1.6 and 1.8 petrol units give the best mix of power and about-town practicality. In performance terms, older 1.9 dT models are outclassed by the later 1.9 dTi and dCi. These diesel versions are less refined than their petrol sisters, but they cruise economically and are quick enough to allow easy overtaking.

Scenic’s link with Megane becomes clear on the road. The driving position is higher, giving good all-round visibility, but it’s also car-like, comfortable, and no more difficult to park than a small family car. Bodyroll is evident on pre-1999 cars; after that it’s kept more in check. Grip is adequate, but Scenic lacks composure when cornering fast. Ride is compliant on normal surfaces, although the unusual RX4 four-wheel drive version – with higher ground clearance, a split tailgate and chunky body mouldings – gives a harsher ride.