All the way back in 1984, I remember one of my favourite films was Gremlins. During the festive season, these little creatures seem to have attacked the Scenicís inner core. The first evidence was the appearance of an orange spanner on the dashboard, which has now disappeared. Sadly, this has been replaced by an intermittent message saying ëCamera Radar No Visibilityí. Itís risen its head a few times, but disappears when the car is switched off, and only seems to flash up early in the morning when the temperatures are biting. It has the potential to be quite a concerning fault, as the autonomous emergency braking system is unlikely to work without the forward facing radar. It also disables one of my favourite systems, the Scenicís excellent adaptive cruise control, which I use every day during my commute to work. Thereís a stretch of average speed cameras on my route, so itís very handy to set the correct speed and avoid any unintentional speeding tickets. It looks like Iíll need to book the Scenic into my local Renault dealership for a health check.
During the winter months, Iíve also noticed that the heater is a little inadequate ñ you really need to set the blower on full heat to warm up the cabin. This isnít just an issue while the engine builds up some heat, but even when itís up to temperature.
Adding to the Christmassy lights on the Scenicís dashboard, was a handy message to check tyre pressures, courtesy of the on-board monitoring system. I hooked up my 12-volt air compressor I keep in the boot, and indeed the tyre pressures were a little on the low side. After inflating them all to the correct pressures, and then resetting the Scenicís memory, the message disappeared from the dashboard. Itís a great safety feature, particularly as it can be hard to tell when a low-profile tyre is underinflated, just by looking at it.
My wife sometimes drives the Scenic at weekends, and on the drive home from a shopping trip in Kent, she passed comment: ìthis Renault engine is really good!î Normally I struggle to get any kind of feedback or view on the cars that Iím driving, but she added ìWhen you put your foot down in any gear, it feels faster than my Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCiî.
And this mirrors my experience, especially with more miles on the clock, with the engine a real gem. Itís punchy in any gear, great around town, and impressively refined for a small four-cylinder powerplant. Average fuel economy has been a respectable 53mpg this month, which isnít bad considering it spends a lot of time in the urban sprawl, with only a few longer trips. The only downside is the six-speed gearbox, which feels a bit sloppy. Volkswagenís MPVs have much slicker manual gearboxes and our Ford Kugaís gearbox feels a lot more precise, with a slicker action.
Date arrived 19th July 2017
Fuel economy 62.8mpg (combined) 53.1mpg (on test)
The engine delivers plenty of punch around town and is good on the motorway, too.
The gearchange is a little on the sloppy side.