1998 Renault Scenic 1.6e Century 1.6 8v
Unreliable low budget MPV. Practical and comfy headache
This car was brought from Germany. As a safe measure, the timing belt and the water pump were immediately replaced.
Unfortunately a head gasket problem was not detected when vehicle was purchased. The car had also a new head gasket. This problem caused engine oil to slowly mix with the liquid in the cooling circuit.
Constant velocity joint (long one) was replaced since it was quite noisy when curving. Silent blocks replaced - quite cheap.
The real problem with this car is the electrics. Faulty cabin light (after cleaning), boot light, sunroof and front right electrical window.
Second key had to be made and it's only available at dealer. They asked 200€ (circa 800 PLN) for a new one! Outrageous.
Heater makes noise when air recycling is not selected. It's a problem known in this car. The Renault 19 had similar problem. The cost to repair it is expensive.
Water leakage. This is solved by cleaning the sunroof ducts. It is a real pain, since it floods the compartments under the passenger's feet.
Rear shock absorber broken. With the quality of Polish roads, it's not a surprise. Around 40€ (100€ both sides).
This car is everything about versatility. The cabin allows different layouts, and offers plenty of leg room.
Comfort is fair for a 11 year old Renault. Seats are remarkably comfy, and the velour is durable. Ideal for cold countries such as Poland. Fascia has an exquisite green shade, making an interesting blend with the body colour (Bleau Monaco).
Steering is relatively light, and the suspension system allows plenty of body roll. Brakes are just sufficient.
Engine is the old 1.6 8V with electronic injection. Has a good 3rd gear, but is not very quick. Around 14 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. This engine is thirsty - around 9 litres/100km in city traffic and up to 11 litres/100km during the peak of the cold season. Cold starts are perfect. Even with -28 it started without problems. The engine runs smoothly and is very silent. Gear box is OK.
The driving position is high in spite of the regulations, and definitely this car is not made for the enthusiast. It's a real family vehicle.
Kids seems to appreciate the tables behind the front seats. Once in a while, I feel in my back when they start playing with them.
Child restraint seats fit quite well in spite of the difficulties to buckle the seatbelts - there is little room for your fingers. However there is always room for somebody in the middle. The floor is flat, making it very comfy for a 3rd passenger, which has a 3 point seatbelt available in the roof.
Double sunroof allows light inside of the cabin.
Sound system (Philips RDS radio) is average, and the speakers too. Rear ones are actually lousy. The satellite command for the radio is quite practical.
Visibility is excellent, and the windows are quite large. This is a little strange when you pass from a sedan or estate car to a MPV. However, it's just a question of getting used to it.
This is one of the first Scenics to be built (actually it's a Megane Scenic). It was the beginning of a new era in the automotive industry. This car has its flaws, but for 2000€ there are no miracles.
Very important for Renault owners is to find a good Renault service or mechanic. This will make the difference.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd April, 2011
I had one of these and liked it very much - it was comfortable on long journeys and kept its value while we had it (our daughter needed it more than we did!). I would have another if I ever needed a vehicle of this type again. I have owned many Renaults over the years (right back to the Renault 4) and have had few complaints about any of them.
Update May 2011.
Overheating again. Engine block is cracked and needs replacement. Used engine will be around 500€.
Head gasket is a common problem with the 1st Megane and Megane Scenic engines type K7M. The one fitted in my Scenic is the K7M A702 with aluminium oil sump.
Seems that previous owner didn't give a damn to the engine maintenance causing this fault - lack of oil? Head gasket problem not fixed for a long period?
Till now this car has been a money pit. :(
Update. Considering to buy a Mazda Premacy or a Hyundai Trajet. Got tired of unreliable European cars.
This Renault is total rubbish. Never had such an unreliable car, beats by far some 128 Sport Coupe I used to have. With the difference that the Fiat was fun to drive and had better handling...
Lost account of the little things this car had replaced. Again problems with head gasket. Engine fails here and there (coil pack), heater is not properly warming up, heater regulator knob not functioning properly, passenger electrical window dead, radiator replaced, clicking sound in the heater system - as a patch you have to unplug some cable, with the consequent loss of recycling mode.