Scenic route appeals

THE South African multipurpose vehicle market has never been dominated by the Germans as the sport utility vehicle and the C-segments are.

THE South African multipurpose vehicle market has never been dominated by the Germans as the sport utility vehicle and the C-segments are.

The MPV market is where Renault is hoping to win a few hearts with its new Scenic and Grand Scenic models.

The launch, which took place last week, started in Johannesburg and the drive took us to Parys in Free State.

Launched alongside the Scenic range were the Megane coupé and hatchback.

All four models are pleasing and refreshing to look at.

The new Scenic and Grand Scenic looks nothing like the outgoing models. They both have poise and class, something Renault has struggled to come up with before.

It would be unfair to ignore what the French car maker has done to the Scenic range design. The rears of the Scenic and Grand Scenic are very attractive.

The Scenic heralds a fresh approach to the Renault MPV design. Using compact forms, taut lines, distinctive rear lights and sporty front-end looks derived from the new Megane.

The Scenic was launched with the 1,6-litre 16-valve petrol and 1,9 dCi turbo-diesel found in the outgoing model.

Although this diesel engine has been around for a while, it did not sound tired. Producing 83kW of power and 151Nm of torque, the 1,6 did not do badly on the open road.

All engines are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

The 1,9dci has peak power of 96kW, while torque is at 300Nm. This torque really works well for the Scenic. It did very well in this regard.

The Megane coupé and hatchback were impressive in appearance. Like most coupés, the Megane coupe is also an emotional car that is expected to appeal to people who buy with their emotions.

On the other hand, the Megane hatchback is expected to be at home in a family setting.

Both cars are lovely to look at.

Because the Megane coupé has the Alfa Romeo Brera feel, I think the French looked to the Italians for inspiration.

The Scenic range is equipped with a dazzling array of high-tech features, including a customised colour dashboard-mounted screen, Bluetooth connectivity, the integrated Carminat TomTom navigation system on Dynamique models and an audible rear parking sensor.

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