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Monday, July 07, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Renault SCENIC 1.6 & 2.0 16v RXE

BEFORE THE REVIEW, Feast your eyes on these Photos of Renault Scenic:

MY REVIEW: The Renault Scenic’s on sale in Malaysia from 1997 till 2003. The 1st version between 1997 till 1999 was 90hp 1.6 8v SOHC MPI model with Manual or Auto Transmission and DUAL AIRBAGS But no ABS. The position of the gear lever is upright and the steering position is angled 130 degree upright (think Van driving position). The engine’s crying for more power, and refinement’s not there.

In end-1999, Quasar Carriage (the previous Renault distributor) brought in an Updated Version with 1.6 AND 2.0i 16v SOHC MPI engine. The 1.6 model now has 107hp while the 2.0i model has 140hp. The driving position especially steering location has changed to normal car like type. The Scenic now has 4 (Yes 4!) Airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist , Better trim, Optional TWIN Sliding GLASS SUNROOF (at RM9,000 more, which explained why Sunroofed Model’s EXTREMELY RARE TO FIND).

I found one metallic red 2001 model facelifted Scenic 1.6RXE up for sale @ RM34,800 at a dealer lot. I climbed in the car. It has 16 storage compartments, 5 of which’s under the seat (3 below the floor), 4 at the top, 5 in front and 2 at both corner of the boot area. Also, there’s cooling box for 2 drinks. The rear seats are 3 individual removable type with 3 point seatbelts and 3 height adjustable headrests. It is also foldable and slidable (forward/backward). It also have aircraft type foldable “tray” behind the front seats. Light grey trim brightens the cabin. (see picture 2).

What a pity it DOES NOT HAVE TWIN SUNROOF. I was not allowed to test drive the car, so again, like my previous few reviews, I dished up FOUR Owner’s review on RENAULT SCENIC.

2) – For Pictures of Renault Scenic
3) Whatcar? UK Magazine June 1997. For Performance specification and extract of review.

Ref source 1,
OWNER’s REVIEW 1: Scenic RXE 1.6i 16V
by 137699 - Rating: (4 of 5 possible stars)

Advantages Hugely Practical, Good Drivers Car, Cheap to maintain
Disadvantages No option for 7 seats, Early models have lower build quality, Not the best ergonomics

I have recently bought this car for my wife.

The Scenic won hands down - mainly as we didn't need a 7 seater, five good seats was what we were looking for, so that we can put the child seat in the back, and then still seat two adults along side it, in comfort.

So we bought a 2nd-hand one privately - a later shape 1999/V reg with 62,000 miles and full service history for £7000. We decided to pay for the slightly higher mileage, to get the later shape model, which seems to withstand day to day wear and tear much better.

The RXE model is extremely well equipped. It has power steering, electric windows front & rear, electric mirrors, electric twin sunroofs, driver & passenger airbags, ABS, CD player, fuel computer & air conditioning. The only thing it misses is alloy wheels. The interior has a nice cloth design, and is remarkably roomy and airy.

The dashboard has been modified from the standard megane model, and whilst it works reasonably well in the scenic, one or two of the switches aren't the easiest to find when watching the road ahead. It is a shame that the ergonomics were overlooked a little, as it detracts from what is otherwise an extremely well sorted car.

On the practicality side - this car is unsurpassed. All the rear seats slide forward s/backwards, fold down and if necessary can be removed - this was invaluable on a recent trip to Ikea, when the scenic basically became a small van for the day! With the seats in, the boot is cavenous (much bigger than the 7 seater MPVs), remove them, and you could fit a tall fridge/freezer in the boot, and still have loads of space. On top of this, there are extremely useful stowage facilities under the rear carpets, under the rear seats, by the rear seatbelts, and in the side walls of the boot. There are fold down tables for rear passengers, and there are an absolute wealth of accessories available from Renault, including fridges, dog-guards, etc - although these are not cheap, and some can be purchased 2nd-hand. A 2nd cigar socket in the back can be used for powering laptops, dvd players, or one of the electrical accessories.

The seats are extremely comfortable, especially on long journeys, and the drive is surprisingly positive - plenty of feedback through the steering wheel, and good cornering capabilites from a low centre of gravity. This is good praise for me - I'm more used to driving Escort Cosworths & Clio Williams. The 1.6i 16v engine is lively, and whilst it won't set any land speed records, it will comfortably beat the metros and micras away from the lights. In hindsight, I'd have preferred to go for a 2.0i model.

The fuel economy is very good for a car of this size - it returns 34mpg typically. They are simplicity itself to service, and I don't think that this car will need to see a Renault dealer again, as we have a reliable local garage who is more than capable of working on what are rather basic components for this day and age. Which is a good thing - as that means it is easy and cheap to maintain!

If you're buying one, I'd strongly consider going for a later shape version (i.e. 1999 on) as it is clear that the build quality came on leaps and bounds in that facelift. Check carefully for body damage, many people can't handle the fact that these cars are so big, and are easily bumped in the car parks. Also, children getting in/out of the back seats can scuff the door sills, and damage the internals. Look at the front of the car- the early one's especially pick up stone chips very easily which can soon turn to rust. If you can afford it, get electric sunroofs, and air conditioning, as models without these features are very hard to sell on later.

If you do buy one, I think you'll be very pleased with it - a fantastically comfortable & practical car, which is good to drive, performs well, and is reliable & great to look at.

OWNER’S REVIEW 2: Dear Scenic: an End of Term Report
by zero - written on 06.03.01 - Rating: (5 of 5 possible stars)

Advantages practicality, reliability, value for money
Disadvantages None

Dear Scenic,

I remember when I was young, like you, being told that there are two kinds of report: those that are embarrassing to give (for poor performance) and those that are embarrassing to receive (for good performance). This, my dear Scenic, is one of the latter, you’ll be pleased to hear.

We bought you almost three years ago – my, how time flies! Now, as you prepare for your first MOT-level exam, it is time for my report to you.

Your aptitude for school work became obvious immediately. From the start, you have ferried our children and neighbours to and from school, with all their school stuff and without complaint.

Of course, school work isn’t everything, is it, eh… you have a decent spread of extracurricular activities. Commuting, motorway-speed cruises the length of the country and so on, all have been fine, even with all your amazing range of storage and cubby holes filled up. We’ve really enjoyed finding new places to stow things in you actually – it’s nearly as much fun as trying to remember what is where when it comes to unpacking! And your rear seats adjust and can be removed easily; they are not too heavy at all (but do watch your own weight as you get older!). Your stereo with steering-column remote controls helped make long journeys with kids calm too, especially once we found out how to control the sound levels at front and back separately.

Driving you has been better than we expected. The much-feared body roll turned out to be not bad at all in the end, though I think you probably encouraged us to tone down our driving style a bit, didn’t you… not that your 2 litre engine lacks power, no, not at all, in fact you accelerate quite impressively when ligh tly-loaded. Maybe its something to do with the high driving position?

And talking about driving position, I was particularly pleased with the excellent visibility you provided. From the driver’s seat it seems at first that there is a bad blind spot, making it impossible to tell if you are being overtaken. But on second look, I found that your electrically-adjustable convex door mirrors are curved precisely right, so there is absolutely no blind spot between the central rear view mirror and the door mirrors. Full marks for design. And, also on the safety front, congratulations on being considerate to others – the middle seat belt at the back is a proper lap and diagonal one, very cleverly fitted in, not the simple lap-only belt some lesser cars tolerate.
You have an exemplary attendance record, never letting us down when we needed you, and always keen to get started. The only blot was when you refused to shut one of your two sun roofs on that rainy Saturday in your first week with us, embarrassing us in front of friends. Anyway, it was a common problem in those days with young Scenics, and I think it has been fixed by Renault. You’ve certainly not suffered that problem since.

On the subject of problems though, do remember to be easy on your brake discs. I still don’t understand what happened to the first set. Do look after the new ones, they are quite pricey.

Other than that, you have been trouble-free. No mechanical problems at all, and no complaint about the quality of the insides – other than a couple of minor squeaks. An exemplary young car. But do remember not to flaunt your features too much (air conditioning, in-dash radio/CD, electric sunroofs, twin airbags, adjustable headlight level, and so on).

Is there anything you can do to improve, you ask… well, I have always wished we could turn the front seats round to face backwards, since you ask. Some MPV cars can do that, you know, so why can’t you? But apart from that, difficult to improve on your design unless you junk the whole concept, I suppose.

Will I give you a good reference? Of course, of course. But there isn’t too much point, as so many of our friends already have a Scenic of their own. You can join the second-hand market full of confidence.

So, good luck with your MOT-level. I am confident you will pass. Knowing you as I do, you probably don’t even need to revise!

Owner report 3:
The Ultimate Family Car
by Medusa - written on 29.06.00 - Rating: (5 of 5 possible stars)

Advantages Luxurious comfort and easy to drive
Disadvantages Pedals close together

If you have children and want a comfortable, "child friendly" car, I'd recommend the new Renault Scenic. With two children, both under 3 years old, it has everything they could want.. including a multi cd player. The air conditioning, compete with re-cycle is fabulous.. in-car entertainment is changeable on a stalk arm.. you can change the position of the steering wheel, to suit your height/seating position, boot space is very large and kiddies car seats fit easily into the rear. From a safety point of view, you're high up... above a normal saloon/compact vehicle and there are airbags in the front and at the side of both forward seats. There are "nice to haves" like rear drop down trays (similar to airline seats) and a rear power point.. to plug in an extra mobile phone etc. A cool box in the front of the car, working in conjunction with the air-conditioning, can keep baby's milk/kiddies drinks chilled.

All in all, a fabulous car for any family but be warned.. having moved from a small Peugeot (205) to the Scenic, my first experience of driving it was scar.. don't be put off by a test drive, you soon become used to the extra size of this vehicle.

OWNER’s Review 4: Renault Scenic 2.0RXE (A)

Comfortably riding 140hp's
by Geoff C - written on 25.07.03 - Rating: (5 of 5 possible stars)

Advantages Comfort, Fleaxability, Space
Disadvantages None
This is my first Scenic. Bought second hand. I have several friends who own various different versions. Originally I intended to get a Diesel, for the economy, but somehow ended up with the 16V 2.0 140BHP version!!
However, the economy doesn't seem to be a worry. I'm impressed to say the least!. Ok - if you have a heavy right foot you'll have to pay for it. A trip from Croydon to West Wittering for the day returned 41.5MPG going. On the return I tried the AC and was suprised to get ...41.5MPG ! - I reckon it could do better on a long run - but also it could do worse if you constantly break the national speed limit!!
I think the AC will reduce the economy on full fan in town.Talking of which, I watched the computer closely for the first few days and local trips return around 28 MPG - heavy traffic drops it down to 26, heavy right foot as well makes it worse. But evening short journeys to friends or less busy local driving and it creeps up towards 33 MPG
Enough about the economy.

I'm sure you will have read reviews for other Scenics - so I will round this off.
This one is very brisk when pushed. It handles well. (Slightly stiffer suspension I believe?) It is comfortable - like the others. I like the driving position, though I opt for the lowest seating position otherwise the handbrake and gears are a bit of a reach. Mine's also got the six CD changer - that's nice to have. No complaints yet.
As others have said in reveiws - this is a well thought out design, very flexable with lots of usefull places to put stuff.
Service intervals are quite wide appart - I suggest changing the oil far more often than they recomend - and always use a good oil (check API rating).
I would recomend this car to anyone who needs a roomy flexable car that isn't too large on the outside. This one replaces an Astra and is parked on a limited width hard standing and it fits beautifully.
by Geoff C on 26.07.2003 at 03:47

Further to my review, and for the benefit of those who have already
added their comments' I would like to point out the following observations
and comments.
The Scenic also has a more flexable rear seat arrangement than Zafira (appart from not having 7 seats - but they are bringing out a 7 seater Scenic!) Any rear seat can be folded, tipped up, or completely removed. If you remove the centre seat - then the outer two can be moved inwards. Under each seat is a cubby hole flap for stuff (in addition to the 2 cubby holes under the passengers feet). Just behind the passengers there are two holes at the edge of the parcel shelf which will nicely accept 2 litre water bottles.
Inside the passenger area there is generally more air and space than a Zafira.
I also looked at the Citroen Picasso - which some people may also like, obviously I prefered the Scenic.
This is a deceptive vehicle. It feels, at first, quite big and wide - but it isn't!
It's hardly bigger than my old Astra (mk3). It's about an inch longer if at all.
It goes through gaps well, if you look directly at the front you can see it's not
so wide. It's just bigger inside!

SPECIFICATIONS: Renault Scenic 1.6RXE 16v and 2.0RXE 16v (in bracket)

Engine: FWD. Petrol 4 cylinder in line 1598cc (1998cc), SOHC 16v Multi-point Injection (MPI) with bore/ stroke of 80.5 x 79.5mm (83 x 82.7mm) and compression ratio 10:1 (9.8:1)

Max Power: 107hp@5750rpm (140hp@5500rpm)
Max Torque: 148Nm@3800rpm (188Nm@3750rpm)

Gearbox: 4 speed auto transmission with gear ratio of:
1) 2.710, 2) 1.550, 3) 1.000, 4) 0.680 rev. gear 3.780. Final Ratio: 4.110 (2.0RXE same)

Front suspension: Independent McPherson struts and coil-springs, dampers, anti-roll bar. Rear suspension: Trailing Arms, twin transverse torsion bars, damper and coil springs.. (2.0RXE same)

Wheels/tyres: 14” alloy/185/65R14 (15” alloy/205/55R15)
Brakes: Ventilated discs/solid discs with ABS EBD and Brake assist (2.0RXE same)

Length: 4130mm, Width: 1700mm, Height: 1600mm, Wheelbase: 2580mm.
Front and rear track: 1450mm and 1470mm
Ground clearance: 145mm. Weight: 1250kg (1320kgs)
Fuel tank cap: 60L Fuel consumption: 34mpg combined – 1.6RXE, (2.0RXE 26-41mpg)

Top Speed: 185km/h, (200km/h)
0-100km/h: 12.8 secs (Renault Claimed). (10.7 secs) (2.0RXE Tested by Whatcar? UK Magazine)

PRICE: RM110,000 when new for 1.6RXE and RM129,000 when new for 2.0RXE. Excluding Optional TWIN SLIDING GLASS SUNROOF – extra RM9,000). TODAY, a 2001 1.6RXE model is yours for RM33,000. And 2001 2.0RXE is yours for around 45,000. As at Feb 22 2007.

FROM 2003 Onwards, RENAULT changed Distributor, from Quasar Carriage to "TAN CHONG". Yes, the TAN CHONG from NISSAN. They also Assembled Renault (the Kangoo). Aftersales service now back by them with 24 hrs emergency assistance. I don't know about the efficiency and parts prices but I heard (from an Espace Owner) that it's quite reasonable maintaining a Renault nowadays. GOOD LUCK SEARCHING for a used SCENIC. IF you FOUND a TWIN SUNROOFED UNIT, GRAB IT! As it's EXTREMELY RARE...

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