2004 Renault Grand Scenic Privilege 1.9DCi from UK and Ireland


A very comfortable, versatile and overall good performer


Battery was flat whilst parked at airport after returning from a week away.

General Comments:

Bodywork quite flimsy, but has held together so far.

Replacing the headlight bulbs is extremely difficult. Really needs a visit to the local garage for this.

The interior is light and airy with plenty of gadgets.

The extra loading space with this Grand Scenic is great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2007

2004 Renault Grand Scenic Expression (+ Comfort Pack) 1.5 dCi (100 PS) from UK and Ireland


Potentially excellent, but not a complete people carrier


New car, but delivered with:

Stains to interior;

Rubber stop fell off under folding rear seat;

Small dent on rear door;

Some broken trim;

Uneven panel fit and bump strips don't line up accurately;

Some rattles;

Brakes have long travel before any bite;

Brake squeal;

Automatic handbrake sometimes doesn't release at the first attempt.

Driver's seat already showing some wear (frizzing of cloth).

General Comments:

Overall car is pretty good though build quality lets it down. In retrospect I would have chosen the 1.9 dCi with 6-speed gearbox. Dynamique trim offers better value than Expression (adds alarm, alloys, leather wheel and gear lever for £500 on list price). The 5-star NCAP (crash safety) rating is reassuring. Be careful which options you chose as in some cases you will not be able to have a spare wheel fitted (£100 option). Taken altogether the design is a compromise and does not really do the job of a full-sized people carrier. If this is what you need look elsewhere.

Engine: smooth and quiet for a diesel; pulls well between 1,800 and 3,500 rpm. Lacks initial punch though and higher rpm achieves little except more noise. Averaged 51.9 mpg on a return journey from UK to Spain via Channel Ports despite 2 adults and 4 children plus holiday luggage on board.

Gearbox: well-placed lever; light if long-ish movements. Well-placed ratios though 6-speed would be better on motorways.

Steering: light and reasonably good feel. A touch low-geared and plastic wheel is uncomfortable on long journeys.

Handling: Safe if uninvolving. A trace of top-heaviness when pushing harder. Grips well.

Brakes: Though light, powerful and well-balanced the initial travel is long leading to jerkiness when they finally bite. The automatic handbrake is a slight pain as it doesn't always release the first time you try to pull away.

Comfort: Well padded generously sized seats with good legroom. However, folding seats in boot proved cramped and uncomfortable over long distances, even for a 7-year old. Generally quiet unless engine worked hard. Some wind noise at speed. Optional sun-roof makes tremendous wind noise except at low speeds.

Storage: Excellent provision with large air-conditioned glove-box, 4 capacious door pockets, 4 under-floor compartments, drawers under the front seats and side pockets in the boot. I couldn't find anywhere to store a warning triangle though. Boot is large 5-up, reasonable 6-up, and better than the competition (Zafira, Touran, etc) 7-up.

Electronics: There are lots of these (on-board computer, hands-free card - no keys needed -, automatic lights and wipers) and so far they all work perfectly. Although the wipers do need a fairly well spotted screen before they operate.

Warranty: Note 3rd year of cover is from UK dealer network (no good if you are in Europe) and breakdown cover excludes "non-warranty" incidents such as punctures, running out of fuel or losing the keys. You may need to upgrade or take out additional cover for peace of mind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th August, 2004

18th Jan 2005, 11:34

Actually an update of my previous review at 6 months/9,600 miles.

Initial impressions have been borne out. Car is mainly very good on motorway, but can feel clumsy and a little underpowered around town. Potholes, humps and road repairs can catch out the usually smooth suspension. Fuel consumption remains in the low 50s overall. Oil consumption very low, less than a litre used to date despite running in. Top speed so far is 111 mph with a little more to come I think.

Surprisingly, turned out to be sensitive to side winds. The strong side winds usually to be found on the AP7 and A9 (Catalonian coast route from Spain to France) buffeted the car very noticeably. Combined with the uncomfortably hard steering wheel this left my hands beginning to blister. Admittedly I did drive 800 miles that day without any discomfort from the driver's seat. Highish build is presumably to blame.

Faults developed: rattle from under car (exhaust?) when switching on or off. Brakes can still stick on at times (it feels like a front wheel as well as occasional handbrake problem). This can make pulling out of junctions tricky at times as car can nearly stall. On the other hand, brakes are superb at speed, powerful light and progressive). No time to take it back to the dealer yet and not sure they will know how to fix it. Heater fan developed a ticking noise, but cured itself.

Seat trim seems to wear quickly and snag easily.

Rear pair of seats seem to have got smaller - or have my children grown? They really only suit the under sevens because of lack of legroom. Storage space excellent and practical.

All electronics continue to function well. Keyless entry is great. The rain sensing wipers don't always get it right though, sometimes scraping a nearly dry screen, at other times leaving it briefly flooded.

Controls for headlamp levelling and panel rheostat badly positioned, low down out of sight and easily confused.

My four year old discovered how to take off the electronic handbrake manually (I haven't!). Thankfully he was sitting on my lap and not alone in the front of the car at the time.