There’s very little danger of the Renault Scenic XMod being labeled chic – but then again, it’s a rugged crossover – the type of car that rarely makes it onto the ‘most stylish’ lists.
However, don’t let outward appearances put you off what is otherwise a very good family car.
Once you get past the tall, boxy exterior, inside you’re introduced to a hardwearing but luxurious cabin.
The upholstery in the top of the range XMod Bose model I was driving looked great – striped cloth with a leather trim.
The cabin in this crossover vehicle is spacious with comfortable and high up seats giving great visibility all round. Leg and head room are decent, both back and front.
Each of the three rear seats can be moved backwards and forwards independently. They flip over to create extra luggage space in the already large boot.
There’s no transmission tunnel running through the centre of the car either, meaning three adults, even tall ones, can fit comfortably in the back.
The Renault Scenic XMod also comes with a spare wheel.
One issue I have with this car is the tailgate – I found it very heavy and hard to close.
However, an area where the XMod excels is in its child-friendliness.
The rear of the cabin is very child-focused – with pull down trays on the seat backs and storage space for the likes of crayons and colouring books.
Beverage storage lets it down though – the bottle holders in the door bins aren’t really designed for the regular 50cl water bottles and there was a distinct lack of cupholders. The one we found was too shallow to securely hold a takeaway coffee cup.
Access to the Renault Scenic XMod is via a keycard and the model we were driving had a push button start.
Staying in the cockpit, I loved the large centred and hooded digital instrument panel, which had a nice big speed readout.
The cruise control and speed limiter switches were also well placed, at the bottom of the centre console.
These were the only remote controls housed on the steering wheel, with the audio controls on a stalk off the steering column.
Infotainment was provided for in the form of a radio/CD unit. The model I was driving also had a SatNav.
A USB port was well placed on the radio unit. However, the 12 volt was less successful – a flick cover meant it couldn’t be used with my USB converter. The Bose sound system was brilliant.
What it lacks in exterior looks, the Renault Scenic XMod makes up for in drivability.
I loved being behind the wheel of the 1.5 dCi 110 six speed manual test car.
Our route took us on city streets, country roads and on the motorway and the XMod was excellent on all surfaces, handling beautifully for such a tall car.
Gear changes were lovely and smooth, with great acceleration when you needed it.
Stop and start technology, which automatically cuts the engine when the car is stopped in traffic, was also handy for city driving.
Overall, I really liked this car. While it’s not the prettiest to look at, inside and on the road it’s a little gem.
Two trim levels are available in Ireland, Dynamique and Bose, with a choice of one petrol and three diesel engines.
Prices for the Renault Scenic XMod start from €26,090 for the 1.2 TCe 115 (petrol), with prices for the Bose model I was driving starting from €29,390.
Engine: 1.5 dCi 110bhp (diesel)
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 12.5 seconds
Maximum Speed: 180kph
CO2 emissions: 105g/km
Combined fuel economy: 4.1l/100km
Annual road tax: €190
Renault Scenic gets crossed