Driving the Scenic after stepping out of a standard saloon feels rather like you're driving a bus, in that you're perched quite high up with quite a flatly positioned steering wheel. Not that it's uncomfortable, but rather that it just feels like you're sitting up on a big, comfy ledge. You get used to this, though - and your added height above the ground does make the car easy to drive around town. It's a light and airy interior with plenty of glass around you.
The pedals were also rather irritating in that they seemed too close together. Aside from these things, though, the Scenic was a very comfortable car with plush feeling soft seats and a double electric sunroof - one in the front and another over the back seats. For a fairly large car it's also very easy and unintimidating to drive.
The engine always had the power you'd need in normal conditions, but felt laboured with a full load of passengers and luggage - but then I suppose that's to be expected! It was a bit noisy at speed, although even on long journeys it was still perfectly acceptable and comfortable to drive and ride in. It was a good smooth ride thanks to the soft suspension, although this means the Scenic tends to roll somewhat on corners.
Plenty of space of course - and obviously, being an MPV, you really could drive with five adults in comfort over a long distance without any problems. Plenty of headroom, too, even for 6ft plus adults. Take the added passengers away, and the Scenic gives you van like storage capability if you need it.
Be careful if you're using the car as a real workhorse, however. With such a high mileage and a couple of not-so-careful owners, the bodywork and trim on my car had seen better days. If you can find one that's been looked after, it is generally of a good quality, but just doesn't feel as solidly screwed together as German or Japanese cars. A bit of care and attention is required to keep it looking like new.
As I think is common with many Renaults, the car was mechanically reliable, but several little niggling things tended to go wrong - notably the air conditioning, which was fixed in preparation for a return trip to Italy a few years ago, only to pack up again on returning to England - still at least it was working when it was most needed!
Mechanically the car was very reliable, coping admirably with that trip to Italy for example, and other frequent long trips in the UK. The cambelt snapped just before it was due to be fixed, which even at 138,000 was the only time the car had actually got itself stuck. This was still worrying, however, considering it wasn't due to be changed for another couple of thousand miles.
Which brings me to say the Scenic is not a car for the home mechanic. Renault parts are annoyingly expensive and the engine bay is complex and cramped to work on.
My main advice would be to buy one that's really been looked after - a full service history (something my car didn't have) I'm sure is a big advantage, considering that anyone maintaining the car themselves would at least have faced quite a complicated challenge.
But overall the Scenic is a very good and capable car. It's a soft, comfortable MPV that's easy to drive, and at this age cheap to buy as well. Just find one that's been looked after.