The din generated under acceleration is exacerbated by wider shortcomings in the Grand Scenic’s rolling refinement.

This is a car that rides with a slightly clumsy sense of determination rather than discernibly well.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Ride feels brittle over transmission bumps and jostles its body via the loaded outside rear wheel

Perhaps that was inevitable on such large wheels, although the car’s dynamic character feels recognisably ‘Renault’ at the same time. It is nonetheless a hospitable and athletic-feeling car.

The primary ride, bolstered by the vague feeling of stiffness emanating from each corner, is firm but essentially well managed.

Admirable structural integrity contributes to a sense of nonchalant agility in the Scenic’s change of direction, making it seem likeably spry and agile through its moderately quick steering in a way not guaranteed by many of its MPV rivals.

However, it doesn’t take a significant bump to expose a fair amount of unwanted brittleness in the chassis.

For a big car with 20in wheels and a rear torsion beam, the Scenic’s inability to filter out jolts is unsurprising no matter what claims Renault makes for those tall tyre sidewalls.

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The car’s jangly comfort around town seems forgiveable in isolation, but were you to drive the Scenic back to back with a Touran or even a C4 Picasso, the deficit in refinement would be obvious.

Ultimately, the Scenic’s final missing layer of dynamic sophistication feeds into the idea that, while it’s fairly easy to live with, it clearly isn’t as restful or comfortable as it might have been. And while some of that is the necessary compromise of living with the larger alloys crucial to the car’s appearance, the concession remains difficult to accept in any case.

The Scenic is surprisingly tolerant of press-on driving. Sturdy spring settings and passably weighted steering are at the core of this — the former reducing sloppiness in the body control, the latter generating enough confidence to make the available grip seem adequate.

That said, closer to the limit the steering’s initial heft never matures into the kind of progressive resistance that might be called feedback, and that makes the inevitable understeer more difficult to gauge than it might otherwise have been.

Moreover, a limited ability to smooth away insignificant bumps leads to the kind of body jostle that doesn’t occur in the better-damped Volkswagen Touran.

Nevertheless, while it may not generate quite the same degree of driver confidence, the Scenic is likely to live up to most drivers’ expectations of a seven-seat MPV.

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