The unit includes a number of fuel-saving features including a new stop-start system, regenerative braking, a variable displacement oil pump, a double water jacket in the head (which improves cooling efficiency, allowing the use of a smaller water pump) and low-friction, F1-derived, UFLEX piston rings.
To give an idea of how much reducing consumption is an incremental task, the Energy dCi’s stop-start system reduces CO2 output by just three per cent and the new oil pump by just one per cent.
What’s it like?
The Scenic is the first Renault model to get the new engine and, arguably, its age (the Scenic III is a heavy make of the 2003 Scenic II) means the motor is not shown in its best light. Despite the claims made for the refinement, I found the Energy dCi unit was notably dieselly at tickover and at low speed with wide throttle openings.
However, once the car was rolling, mid-range torque delivery was smooth and seamless, engine noise was decently subdued and the six-speed ‘box was clean shifting. The stop-start works well, too, kicking in virtually as soon as the driver’s foot pressed the clutch pedal.
The Scenic, however, suffered from tyre noise and an occasionally unsettled ride on the roads around Chantilly, especially compared to the Megane I drove on the same route. Overall, the car’s dynamics cannot be described as more than humdrum. OK, it may be a family carrier but it might have been imbued with either a little spark or the sort of old-school loping and languid Frenchness that might particularly suit a car such as this.
Should I buy one?
This Scenic offers both generous space and a comprehensive specification. The cabin, especially upfront, is noticeably wide and spacious and elegantly styled. In this ‘Dynamique TomTom’ specification, there is not much more you could reasonable want (even the seat fabric is Teflon-coated), aside from the bizarre decision not to fit parking sensors as standard. Front and rear, Renault wants another £520. Ultimately, though, most drivers will conclude that Ford’s similarly priced C-Max Titanium is both fresher and sharper to drive.
Renault Scenic Dynamique Tom Tom dCi 130
Price: £20,900; Top speed 121mph; 0-62mph 10.3sec; Economy 64.2mpg (combined); Co2: 115g/km; Kerb weight: 1430kg; Engine type: four cyls, turbodiesel, 1598cc; Power: 128bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 236lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox: 6-speed manual