On Christmas Eve we made the journey to collect Rosie, the latest addition to the Wright household. We werenít exactly sure how an excitable eight-week-old Labradoodle puppy would fare during the 50-mile trip home in the Scenic, but happily she was very well behaved. Weíll be testing to see if the French MPV is ëdog friendlyí over the coming months, and I was relieved the interior remained unstained, unchewed and intact on our first drive together.
Weíve certainly been looking forward to Rosieís arrival, anticipating lots of family trips out to country parks for walks, even in the cold wintry weather. Once all her injections were sorted, we strapped ourselves and Rosie into the Scenic, using her own seatbelt and headed off. And she seems to have enjoyed her subsequent outings in the family-sized Renault, so hereís hoping the first trip was no fluke. Thereís certainly plenty of space in the back seats for her, and as well as looking nice, the half-leather seats are also easy to wipe clean if she does have muddy paws.
Spending winter with the Renault has confirmed one major gripe, though, and thatís with the lack of physical heater controls. Instead of using a simple knob or buttons, you have to press a small fan symbol on the R-link infotainment systemís touchscreen display, and then adjust the heating in increments by prodding at plus and minus symbols. Not only does this take far longer, but because you canít physically feel the controls, you need to take your eyes off the road and look at the screen. Once you do make an adjustment, it seems to take a long time to get any heat into the cabin, which isnít ideal when making mostly short trips in freezing weather.
The infotainment system itself looks rather nice, with a large screen occupying a sizable portion of the dashboard, but unless you dim its brightness via the setup menu, it does tend to over-illuminate the cabin at night. Itís also rather complicated, and after five months, I still donít feel completely familiar with all the menus and sub menus, with lots of screens to negotiate when making changes.
Previously, the back bench has mostly been home to my kids, but the Christmas holidays also saw me give a lift to a few friends on a trip to the local cinema. The occupants were rather tall, and there were some complaints that it was rather tight in the back. As Iím vertically challenged, I havenít noticed that so far during ownership, but itís worth noting that the rear headroom isnít quite as generous as its big sister, the Grand Scenic.
Fewer and shorter trips over the festive season means the fuel economy has remained fairly static, hovering around the 46mpg mark when driving around town and commuting. A recent 80-mile round trip to a shopping village did show what can be achieved on a longer jaunt though, with the trip computer reading a much more impressive 55mpg.
Date arrived 19th July 2017
Fuel economy 62.8mpg (combined) 46.3mpg (on test)
The Bose audio upgrade is a bargain for £500 – we love the quality sound.
Renault’s touchscreen controls are too fiddly to use while driving.