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Renault Scenic 2003 Review

Stephanie bought her Scenic just over 11 years ago and although it hasn't been entirely trouble free it’s been pretty darn good.

I’ve always been bewildered by motorists who upgrade their cars every couple of years. It must be a matter of different priorities and naturally, if I had an employer insisting I get a new company car that often, I’d be up for it. But when it’s my hard-earned, it doesn’t added up. I bought my Renault Scenic just over 11 years ago and although it hasn’t been entirely trouble free it’s been pretty darn good.

I chose it because it was roomy but short, therefore easy to park, and you can lock the car but leave the hatch window open so the dog doesn’t boil. Hardly any cars have that. All the secret compartments — for hiding your iPod, wallet, gold bars etc — I’ve never bothered with because they’re a bit awkward.

I have frequently turned it into a mini-van by flattening the seats to accommodate big pieces of furniture. You can actually take the seats out but that would’ve required reading the manual and flexing some muscle, I imagine.

Parts are expensive and slow to come from France and I have had to pay the price of having the shock absorbers replaced twice (damn those suburban speed humps). A dicky rear passenger window that wouldn’t stay up cost about $600 to fix. The electric side mirrors were clipped once by a bus and once in a carpark by a concrete pillar.

Yes, I do occasionally fantasise about a new car but find it hard to justify when mine still gets me around, the aircon’s still great and it still has six functioning airbags. The notion that you should replace your car “before it starts costing too much” just doesn’t resonate with me.

I’ve briefed my mechanic to keep the old girl going for as long as possible. She’s not looking too glamorous but we’re at about 220,000km and she’s rarely been washed. Scenics with better bodywork and half the kilometres sell for about $2000 and a trade-in would be half that. I’m sticking with her.


Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

Dynamique 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,190 – 4,950 2003 Renault Scenic 2003 Dynamique Pricing and Specs
Expression 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,970 – 4,620 2003 Renault Scenic 2003 Expression Pricing and Specs
Privilege 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $4,510 – 6,600 2003 Renault Scenic 2003 Privilege Pricing and Specs
RX4 Privilege (4x4) 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $2,640 – 4,180 2003 Renault Scenic 2003 RX4 Privilege (4x4) Pricing and Specs