I’ve already mentioned in previous reports that the Scenic (affectionately known as ëBumblebeeí) is full of impressive technology. At the centre of this is an 8.7-inch portrait control panel that makes me feel more like captain of the USS Enterprise than an MPV driver. Almost every function is controlled via this single screen, so as you can imagine, thereís lots of menus. This month I stumbled across a new option for Lane Keeping Assist, so I decided an experiment was in order. Once switched on, a pair of vertical green lines appear on the dashboard, but start to move towards the white lines and one of the bars will turn red to indicate youíre veering to the left or right. Alongside this, you can also turn on a warning vibration that pulses through the steering wheel, and even alter the force of the rumbling sensation. If youíre lucky enough to also have the head-up display, as I am, this makes the warnings even easier to see, without distracting your attention away from the road. It all works well and has me glued to the middle of the lane.
I only have an eight-mile commute to work via the school run, so I donít often need to use the navigation system, but to experience what itís like in the hi-tech Renault, I decided to give it a go. The software is provided by TomTom, so itís easy to navigate through the menus, and should be familiar to most drivers that have previously experienced their systems. I also love the fact that you can turn off voice prompts with a simple prod of a button, because too many navigation systems make adjusting the volume or muting commands far too difficult. Select your destination and a variety of routes are displayed, but by far my favourite feature is a summary of the route ahead. This shows any problems and even a time of arrival, taking into account any roadworks, accidents and traffic ñ something thatís helped me on many occasions.
Not that I mind spending extra time in the Scenic, because Iíve found that its large windows and huge panoramic roof make it quite cheery inside. Even on dull and miserable days, the interior is flooded with light to brighten your mood. The only downside is that it also shows up fingerprints, which the Scenicís interior seems to attract like a magnet. Iím forever wiping smudges from the plastic trim and screen, so if you buy a Scenic make sure you also invest in a pack of microfibre cloths for the glovebox.
My only other complaint this month is the DAB radio reception. Readers of previous reports will know Iím a music lover, and Iím a particular fan of the station Kisstory, enjoying nothing more than blasting tunes through the Scenicís Bose speakers. Thatís all well and good, but recently things have been getting rudely interrupted by the dreaded ëSignal Lostí message. Itís a shame, because when it works the DAB sound reproduction is clear, crisp and deep, making it far better than FM. To get round it Iíve resorted to listening to the stationís iPhone app via Apple CarPlay, but I may need to investigate if the poor DAB signal is a fault with the car, or just poor reception in the area.
Date arrived 19th July 2017
Fuel economy 62.8mpg (combined) 46.0mpg (on test)
I love the airiness of the cabin afforded by the deep windows and large panoramic roof.
The crystal clear sound of the Bose speakers is awesome, but the DAB radio loses signal all too easily.