What is it?
It’s the most frugal entrant in Renault’s 2012 model year Grand Scenic people carrier range – the 1.5-litre dCi 110 Stop and Start.
It is also the only new seven-seater on sale in the UK that qualifies for a £20 tax disc. And for benefit-in-kind company car tax at less than 16 per cent. And for the government’s 100 per cent first-year ‘capital allowance’ tax relief scheme, which is increasingly important for fleet operators.
It’s a three-row, one-and-a-half tonne family car that, Renault claims, does almost 70mpg; the sort of car with which Renault should really have the seven-seater fleet car market all sewn up, surely?
What’s it like?
Marginally less exceptional away from the spec sheet and out in the real world – but convincing nonetheless. On a mixed urban and motorway route, our test car bettered 50mpg, making it frugal next to its peers; well short of Renault’s government economy claims, but the car wouldn’t be alone on that front.
The Grand Scenic suffered slightly with lazy low-rpm throttle response, but teamed with entirely adequate performance and such commendable economy, that’s a flaw that’s easy to forgive. Engine refinement is good, the car’s ride quiet, settled and absorptive. Driving with enough discipline to always be in the right gear is the only chore.