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Renault Scenic 2005 review: snapshot

The not quite a hatch, not quite a people mover, is extremely well equipped, with a speed limiter standard equipment on all models.

It's not something we normally see outside a Benz and comes as a real boon for speed camera-shy city drivers. Dial in the speed and it won't exceed the limit unless you tromp the accelerator.

It's cars like the Scenic II that redefine where the family sedan is headed.

Scenic II is priced from $29,990. Add $2200 for automatic transmission.

  • Scenic II sits on the same platform as the Megane II hatch and sedan and shares much of the same componentry, including of course the engine. Style-wise it gets the controversial French bustle but it is not as pronounced as in the hatch.
  • The car seats five with individually moulded seats for the rear three passengers instead of the normal bench seat. The centre rear seat is slightly smaller than the other two.
  • The 2.0-litre, variable valve equipped four cylinder engine delivers 98kW of power at 5500rpm and 191Nm of torque at 3750rpm. Not the most powerful or torquiest of engines around but works well in combination with the transmission. Good fuel economy too.
  • Transmission is a choice of either six-speed manual gearbox or four-speed "pro-active" tipshift style automatic. Our test car was fitted with the standard manual change mounted high on the dash within easy reach. It is smooth and intuitive and delivers the best performance the engine has to offer.
  • The Scenic is a gadget lover's dream, with a digital speedometer and lots of switches to twiddle. It all takes a bit of getting used to, but once you work it out the car is user friendly. Kids will love the underfloor hidey holes.
  • Scenic II scores a full five star safety rating. Safety features include dual front and side airbags, curtain airbags and front and rear seatbelt pretensioners. ABS brakes with elec- tronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist are also standard.
  • Fuel economy is good at an average of 9.6L/100km from the 60-litre tank. And like the old one, it prefers premium but runs happily on standard unleaded.
  • You don't get alloy wheels with either of the lower grade models. Standard model also misses out on climate controlled airconditioning, rear power windows, an automatic parking brake, and a mirror for communicating with rear passengers and a few other little things – but that's about it.
  • There's always a catch and in this case be warned that any colour apart from white attracts a premium of $650.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

Dynamique 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $2,900 – 4,950 2005 Renault Scenic 2005 Dynamique Pricing and Specs
Expression 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,900 – 4,950 2005 Renault Scenic 2005 Expression Pricing and Specs
II Authentique 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,800 – 6,160 2005 Renault Scenic 2005 II Authentique Pricing and Specs
II Dynamique 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $4,200 – 6,820 2005 Renault Scenic 2005 II Dynamique Pricing and Specs