Renault Megane Scenic Estate 1997 - 1999

Renault Megane Scenic Estate 1997 - 1999

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Good space in the cabin and boot
  • Extremely versatile

Cons:

  • Fewer seats than some rival people carriers
  • Reliability issues

Overview

The Scenic was the car that started boom in the compact people carrier market with its roomy interior and versatile layout. It easily seats five and comes with a big enough boot to fit all of their luggage in as well. The back seats are set on runners enabling you to increase the boot space if needed as well as being able to fold them flat or even remove them completely. The driving position is also good and comfortable. The Scenic isn’t the best car on the road though with its soft suspension and terrible body roll in the corners.

Exterior and Interior

The Scenic comes with a good size interior being able to seat four adults easily, although the fifth passenger might be a slight squeeze as the middle rear seat is too narrow to seat most adults comfortably. It also comes with a good sized boot that is able to fit in all the occupants’ luggage with ease. The upright seating position is very comfortable even on long journeys with all the passenger seats being well padded and the drivers seat coming with lumbar support for that little bit of extra comfort on longer journeys. The dash and central console look well made and durable with the designed being straightforward and easy to use. The Scenic is incredibly versatile with the option of sliding the back seats forwards and back to increase the boot or leg room as well as folding them flat. They can even be removed completely to get the best setup for passenger and luggage layout. There is additional storage dotted throughout the cabin in the form of door pockets, cubby holes and a glove box.

Performance and Economy

The small 1.4-litre with its 95bhp about sufficient enough to pull the Scenic along fully loaded, but the other petrol engines are better. The 1.6-litre is a good all-rounder, it isn’t much slower than the two bigger engines going from 0-60mph in 10.8 seconds, achieves 38mpg and is more than powerful enough. The 1.8-litre is slightly quicker at 10 seconds flat from 0-60mph but only manages 36mpg. The largest of the petrol engines the 2.0-litre doesn’t really compare to the two smaller engines as its slower than the 1.8-litre at 10.3 seconds from 0-60mph and only manages 33mpg. The three 1.9-litre diesel engines are all powerful, with even the 80bhp model being able to easily tow, although the two dTi engines do struggle a little when it comes to over taking. The 1.9-litre dCi is the best diesel engine available with its 105bhp enabling it to go from 0-60mph in just over 12 seconds, making it the fastest diesel available and it achieves an impressive 47mpg.

Like to Drive

The Scenic is good to drive with the upright and high driving position giving good all round visibility and making it easy to park. The handling is ok as long as you want to drive the Scenic as a family car. If you try to drive it fast you will find the handling struggles with a lot of body roll in the corners. The ride is fairly smooth, even on rougher roads although wind and road noise is evident at all speeds.

Faults and Repairs

The Scenic is a fairly reliable, but there have been a few problems with the engines. There have been some faults with the gearbox feeling sloppy which means it will need new bushes, broken wiper motors and the trim rattles. The good news is that most of the repairs will be cheap as are replacement parts. However, main dealer hourly rates are expensive so try and find an independent specialist.