Climbing into the Grand Scenic (and that unassuming 40mm of extra ground clearance will have made it a slight step up for some), the difference between old and new is immediately apparent – not just for the new layout, but also for a cabin architecture clearly intended to better bridge the gap left in Renault’s right-hand drive markets by the departed Espace.
Certainly the far-flung A-pillars and the massive expanse of dashboard in front of you do bring to mind the bigger MPV, and even if you’re not in a position to reminisce, the Scenic’s cockpit feels more resoundingly MPV-like than that of its immediate predecessor.
It also seems larger up front than its mostly modest dimensional increases suggest it is.
The back seats make the car’s compact stature a little more apparent. There’s a decent amount of space in the second row (which slides, of course), enough to convince you that sitting three children abreast would be quite feasible.
Lift up the third row from the boot floor – an action that is easy to do – and you’ll soon note that being child-sized is pretty much essential if you’re a passenger looking to travel back there, not only for the inevitable shortage of leg room, but also for the relative closeness of the Scenic’s tapering roofline.