Every half-term holiday, my wife and I take the kids for a fun-packed day out. Luckily weíve invested in an annual Merlin pass, so from their list of theme parks, aquariums and attractions, we decided to head to Thorpe Park for the first adventure. From home itís a sizeable 150-mile round trip, with the M25 ëcar parkí somewhat less thrilling than the white knuckle rides we hoped to sample. Still, at least we have our Renault Scenic ëBumblebeeí, much to the delight of our son Jenson.
Once aboard, the task of entering the destination was just as easy as always, thanks to the intuitive TomTom system Iíve praised in previous reports. According to its Live Traffic route, the journey should take one hour and 35 minutes, but alas, as we got closer to our destination, the ETA suddenly began to shoot up as traffic ground to a halt somewhere ahead. For the first time since driving the Scenic, it flashed up a message asking if we would like to switch to an alternative route, an option I certainly wasnít going to pass up. With a sizeable 25-minute saving predicted, it took us off the M25 and onto smaller roads. Unfortunately, a lot of other motoristís devices must have come up with the same solution, because progress was incredibly slow.
Still, the extra hour added to our trip could have been a lot worse had we not been in the appealing surroundings of the Scenic, with Apple CarPlay to keep our favourite music playing. The picnic tables in the back are perfect for the kids to put their tablets on, and with two charging ports, they also wonít run out of juice. You shouldnít need to stop for fuel either, because the Scenic is quite economical, managing around 46mpg on my urban commute and 52mpg during our trip to Surrey, despite how much stop and start traffic we faced.
During a long trip, you really notice how comfortable and supportive the front seats are, with larger headrests than most cars Iíve driven. The large side windows and panoramic sunroof make it really bright and fresh inside. As night fell, and a relaxing journey home was in order, I noticed the mood lighting around the centre console and front doors that really adds some upmarket flair to the cabin. You can change the colour ñ although the option is buried rather deep in the touchscreenís menus ñ and along with the LED interior lights, they make the Scenic feel that bit more special.
Sleeping kids and quiet music did reveal one minor niggle though, because the Scenic does seem to generate quite a bit of wind noise around its A-pillars and door mirrors. While the combination of the black roof, yellow paintwork and 20-inch alloy wheels looks really good, the ride can be quite firm, and I canít help but think smaller 17 or 18-inch items would improve how the Scenic drives, even if it wouldnít look quite as striking.
Date arrived 19th July 2017
Fuel economy 62.8mpg (combined) 48.3mpg (on test)
Good interior lights – The LEDs light up the cabin nicely.
Less wind noise and smaller alloy wheels could make the Scenic even more relaxing to drive.