1997 Renault Scenic RT 1.6e from UK and Ireland


Fantastic design, build quality suspect


Roof aerial was faulty when bought, replaced by the dealer under warranty.

Non starter, due to a bad electrical connection on the starter motor, quite a common problem according to the AA man.

At 40,000 miles the car broke down, first sign was a rising temperature gauge followed by an engine cut out. The car was towed to the main dealer. Timing belt had broken due to a core plug (which had worked loose) being caught up in the timing pulleys. Luckily valves were not bent. Cylinder head needed machining due to distortion because of loss of coolant, which had caused overheating. Repair bill came to over £500.

General Comments:

The wife and kids like the car, it is an ideal car for a family with three young kids.

It's also a drivers car which I enjoy driving briskly when conditions and mood are right.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2001

3rd Jun 2003, 05:52

It's not meant to be a Fiesta or a Mondeo, but still drives very well and if driven properly can keep up with a surprising number of "better" cars. Mine (1.9Tdi) does not suffer unduly in side wind and I regularly drive at 90-95 on Motorways without any worry. I have driven the new turbo diesel Mondeo and agree it is a great car, but practically is cannot match the Scenic.

2nd Jan 2005, 16:11

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with the comment about it not being a drivers car. I've had my 1.6i 16v Scenic to 117 mph and it still felt pretty stable.

1997 Renault Scenic RXE 2.0 from Taiwan


Good family car, poor automatic gear box


Scenic is a good car for my family, but recently, D gear has no function, My dealer said the automatic gear box need to be changed, but Renault's dealer in Taiwan is changing during this period, I don't know who will tale responsibility.

It is said a new gear box cost $NT150000.

All the Scenics imported to Taiwan are 2.0 automatics, I heard many of them have automatic gear box problems. but most of them are under two years warranty.

General Comments:

Don't buy a Scenic with an automatic gear box, if you really want to, choose a manual gear box.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd March, 2001

1997 Renault Scenic diesel from Netherlands


BEWARE: back & neck breaker



General Comments:

If you care about your back and neck, don't buy this one. The driving position is the worst I know. I got (still existing) neck pains from the seats. They are clearly composed for small french men's bodies. Having said that I have to state that my small children and my wife are small and also suffered backpains, although less severe. The dealer told us he recommends this car to back pain sufferers. Shame on him.....

I don't understand why so few automotive journalists criticise manufacturers for the fact they fit their cars with bad-fitting seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd January, 2001

3rd Jan 2001, 07:47

Usually back pains are from too soft seats, go to the dealer and touch the seats on newer Scenics, if yours are abnormally soft you should get new seats for free from the dealer. Talk with them, the replaced my windshield because of a little stain on the black part, it amazed me how fast they took the decision and in 3 hours the new windshield was fitted! THANKS RENAULT!

1997 Renault Scenic RT 2.0 from Netherlands


Defect in paintwork on bonnet caused by bird droppings - resprayed for free under the warranty.

Creaking rear brakes - replaced under warranty.

Driver's electric window failed - replaced partially under warranty.

Power steering unit leaked - whole unit replaced partially under warranty.

Exhaust pipe leaking by the manifold.

Remote locking key failed - replaced for free outside warranty (this is apparently a known problem with infra red keys, they have now been replaced with FM transmitters).

General Comments:

This is one of the earlier models which I think has experienced teething troubles!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2000

29th Nov 2000, 16:11

Very complete and objective.

All the needed info is there (what's under warranty and what isn't).

Keep your car, it's one of the best designs ever, very comfortable and roomy, but it's not a dangerous 4x4.

8th May 2011, 16:48

I know it's 11 years since the last comment, which in fact makes it even more interesting...

My dad has one of these that he bought brand new in 1997.

So, what has gone wrong with it? Rear window wiper motor was not very good, so it was fixed the first month of ownership.

After that? A whole lot of nothing!

Last year he had to change the exhaust system and cat unit.

Except for oil changes and some brake parts, that's it for 14 years!

Can't really call that a bad car!

OK, this car is used in Spain where there is no such thing as road salt in the winters, but it still has kept up really nice. Until now it has ran about 145000 Km.

Interior materials are cheap, but it didn't cost like a Mercedes either, so we better forget about such complaints!

Overall, it's an extremely roomy and versatile car for its size. It has a very good gas mileage, and the 2.0 engine is powerful enough for any normal situation.

I don't like the positioning of the controls though (steering wheel like a bus, and the pedals are placed a little funny).