It only seems like a few weeks since Christmas, but the half term holidays from school are already here. Normally the wet and cold weather would stop play, but with my wife turning 40 and a good friend hitting 50 in the same week, we decided to plan a family week away in the countryside.
With all the luggage piled up on the drive, there was a distinct possibility that it might not all fit in the Scenic ñ it looked more like a trailer load than a bootful. Opening the 572-litre boot, though, I remembered the Scenic has a false floor, and I removed the shelf to make more space. Lots of smaller items fitted neatly in the newly remembered space, leaving room for bulky suitcases to sit snugly above them. Storage cubby holes dotted around the cabin were even put to good use, with valuables and odds and ends filling the glovebox and even the space under the front passenger seat.
I entered the postcode into the navigation system ñ one of my favourite pieces of kit ñ and we embarked on the 220-mile drive to Somerset. Unfortunately this meant joining the M25 car park, but luck was on our side and traffic did keep flowing. As we carried on along the M4 and then the M5, we were making good progress, at least until the system took us off the motorway about 20 miles from our destination. I suspected that A-roads would probably be the most direct route, but soon we were on minor roads that could only really be described as country tracks. Our friend who was a few miles behind had a TomTom portable device, and found himself on exactly the same route. A few days later, we headed out on a trip to Wookey Hole, passing close to Taunton on a fairly new road, when the Scenicís navigation system suddenly told us we were driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Oddly, our friendís TomTom made no such announcements, which was a surprise, as Iíd have expected the Scenicís built-in device to be bang up-to-date.
Minor navigation niggles aside, the Scenic didnít miss a beat on the whole holiday. It was a longer journey than weíre used to, but the Renault was very comfortable and the interior felt spacious, airy and practical. The USB charging points were perfect for the children in the back, keeping their portable devices topped up, while the airline-style tables were ideal to rest them on. Meanwhile, the Bose speakers continue to impress the adults in the car with our favourite holiday music, making the miles whizz by. Dark country lanes showed off just how bright the LED headlights are, as well as how handy automatically adjusting high beam assist is. Considering we filled the Scenic with luggage, a 53mpg fuel economy figure for the motorway stretch was very good indeed, only dropping to around 48mpg after local driving on narrower, country lanes.
Date arrived 19th July 2017
Fuel economy 62.8mpg (combined) 46.7mpg (on test)
The hidden space under the boot floor made all the difference for a family holiday.
Despite the Scenic being almost brand new, the maps on the navigation system already seem to be out of date.