From £37,4958

After falling out of favour as a pure MPV, Renault's Scenic has been reinvented as an electric family crossover

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What’s that? You thought the MPV was dead? Yeah, us too. But it seems there’s hope for those who’ve been yearning for a modern family mover that isn’t a high-riding SUV, because life has been breathed back into the class with an all-new, all-electric Renault Scenic E-Tech

Well, sort of, anyway. The fifth-generation Scenic hasn’t entirely avoided SUV-itis and is (predictably) billed as a crossover, even though Renault is also very quick to point to roominess and functionality as its chief selling points. 

Renault’s “new form of family vehicle” couldn’t have got off to a better start too, because it was recently crowned Car of the Year by a panel of expert, independent judges, beating rivals such as the Kia EV9, Volvo EX30 and BMW 5 Series to win the coveted award. 

The range at a glance

Techno E-tech Electric comfort range 168bhp £37,495
Techno e-Tech Electric long Range 215bhp £40,995
EsPrit ALpine E-Tech Electric Long Range 215bhp £43,495
Iconic E-tech electric Long Range 215bhp £45,495

Four versions of the Scenic are available. The entry-level Techno E-Tech Electric Comfort Range pairs a smaller, 60kWh battery with a 168bhp front-mounted electric motor. It comes as standard with 19in wheels, a 12.3in digital instrument cluster, 12.0in infotainment screen and Google-based voice assistant. 

Techno E-Tech Electric Long Range and above are fitted with the larger, 87kWh battery and more powerful, 215bhp electric motor. 

The mid-level Esprit Alpine adds larger, 20in wheels, sports seats and blue accents and stitching, taking inspiration from the Alpine brand.

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On the top-of-the-line Iconic, you get a Harman Kardon sound system, Solarbay opacifying panoramic sunroof, a 360deg camera and smartview digital mirror. Two-tone paint is a £1250 option. 


renault scenic e tech review 2024 02 rear tracking

That’s all well and good, but a walk around the outside leaves questions as to whether the swoopy window line and fairly narrow rear screen can really bode brilliantly for the airiness and visibility that you might want of something claimed to be a family specialist, even if it leaves no doubt as to the modern, SUV-ish style traits.

Is there more than a dash of Peugeot-like styling to that front end? Hmm. Well, these things are always subjective. Regardless, the Scenic looks fresh and modern, and the Renault badges on the front and back are certainly big enough that you won’t mistake who makes it. 

Based on the same CMF-EV platform as the Nissan Ariya and Renault Mégane E-Tech, both also electric crossovers, the Scenic gets a single permanent magnet motor on the front axle, which delivers 167bhp in the Comfort Range version or 215bhp in the Long Range that we’re testing here. There’s no dual-motor, four-wheel-drive model planned. 

The batteries are 60kWh and 87kWh nickel-manganese-cobalt packs that are good for WLTP combined ranges of 267 and 388 miles respectively. Their LG-sourced cells are said to achieve 6% better energy density than in the Mégane, which itself was launched as recently as the beginning of 2022. 

It’s notable that a heat pump is standard, while charging maxes out at a very competitive 150kW. The 22kW AC option will be useful for those with regular access to a faster, three-phase AC charger. 


renault scenic e tech review 2024 09 dash

So is the Renault Scenic E-Tech really MPV-like inside?

Its 545-litre boot capacity is certainly promising. You open the tailgate to a really deep, squared-off load space that’s complete with a few bag hooks, a 12V charger and cable storage under the floor. The problem is that the floor is a long way down from the load lip, and the 40/20/40-split rear seats leave a big step up when folded down. So while there’s plenty of space in the boot, it’s mostly in the depth. 

Having a huge drop over a not terribly low lip means persuading dogs to steeplechase into a dark well, and it’s back-crippling stuff having to heft a heavy buggy up, over and down, rather than just sliding it onto a flush floor. However, Renault offers a variable boot floor as an option in the UK to solve this issue. 

There’s endless leg room in the back of the Scenic – more than in the new Peugeot e-3008 – and even if you get the panoramic glass roof (which has smart glazing, allowing its opacity to be changed at the touch of a button), a couple of six-footers will be very comfortable. The middle seat squab is wide and the central passenger benefits from the lack of a transmission tunnel, so three kids will be reasonably happy together across the rear bench. 

However, while the three-way seat split is more useful than the 60/40 split of many rivals and the centre armrest has a cunning hidden phone stand and two charging ports, the seats don’t slide or recline, and you can mount only two child seats to them. For true family practicality, we would have wanted more seat versatility – ideally three individually adjustable seats with three sets of Isofix points in proper MPV fashion. Sadly, such ultimate practicality seems to be reserved for van-based cars nowadays.

Sliding into the front seat doesn’t do anything to shake the increasing suspicion that the Scenic is in fact a plush, large hatchback with nothing MPV about it – just like most of the family crossovers in this class. That's chiefly because the visibility to the rear is poor, and even forwards visibility is middling at best, as the chunky side mirrors often obscure your view at junctions. 

This sounds like we’re on a massive downer on the Scenic, but that’s not the case. The lack of versatility is a big disappointment, following Renault’s noises about this car’s family usefulness being such a big selling point, but if you take the Scenic for the straightforward, roomy electric crossover that it evidently is, it’s a strong contender. For a start, the materials used inside are lovely. Our high-spec Iconic test car was particularly nice, with light, part-leatherette upholstery and grey textile inserts. Some 80% of those materials are from recycled sources too. 

The dashboard is very similar to that in the Renault Austral, so the 12.0in touchscreen is your window to just about everything, but there’s also a slim row of physical air conditioning buttons just below it, which makes us very happy. The screen has in-built Google software, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it’s one of the better ones in the class. There’s a useful shortcut button to the home page permanently visible at the top of the screen, and having all the familiarity and usability of Google Maps is great. 

Sometimes, these really huge, portrait-oriented screens are actually harder to use on the move than those smaller screens that have a ledge on which to steady your hand, but the large icons and reasonably straightforward layout of this Renault system make it pretty easy to get along with. 

Which perhaps can’t be said about the array of stalks coming out of the right-hand side of the steering column, where you will find the gear selector, the indicators, and a chunky growth of buttons below that again for the audio. It’s a lot of protruding controls to be fumbling around with in a small area. 


renault scenic e tech review 2024 17 front cornering

You get the same 'Multi Sense' driving modes here as in the Mégane E-Tech, meaning that you can cycle through Personal, Comfort, Eco and Sport to alter the steering weight and accelerator response (as well as the interior ambient lighting and climate settings).

Our 87kWh Iconic test car rode on big (20in) wheels and Michelin Primacy tyres and felt more than fast enough for everyday driving. The 7.9sec 0-62mph time is hardly noteworthy, but the Scenic feels urgent enough when you want it and appropriately smooth, punchy and intuitive the rest of the time.

The Scenic’s speed limit warning sounds are like submarine sonar – an echoing two-tone ping. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to turn off.

Renault now gives you three strengths of regenerative braking to choose from (just as in the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, which will be among the Scenic’s key rivals), or you can turn it off entirely to coast freely. Even the heaviest doesn’t quite afford one-pedal driving, but it’s close to it, and having easy control of the various settings means that you can use them almost as gears for deceleration, should you want to. 

Otherwise, braking response is a touch inconsistent at times in harder use, but overall the Scenic will ease you through the daily muddle very nicely.


renault scenic e tech review 2024 18 rear tracking

There are no adaptive dampers on the Scenic E-Tech, and nor are they an option. But that’s fine because the car's damping is well tuned and generally cushy, and the body control is tidy. You do notice the Scenic’s heft keeling over in sharper direction changes, but it’s never overly dramatic or jarring and doesn't detract from the general sense of this being a relaxed and unflappable car. 

The steering is light in all of the modes other than Sport, when it weights up noticeably. The easy responses in the less overt settings feel more natural even if you’re hustling along, and while there’s plenty of front-end grip to make use of, the Scenic isn’t a car that offers much entertainment. 

Rather, there’s satisfaction to be found in the confident progress it makes. On fast, flowing, smooth roads, the Scenic is composed and there is a good level of accuracy to the steering. If there is a niggle, it’s that the steering can feel a touch quick off the dead-ahead, especially at speed, but that’s far from a deal breaker.

Comfort and isolation

At slower speeds and on more untidy back roads, there is a little more jostle to the Scenic's ride, but it is never unsettled and doesn't crash over potholes or more severe road imperfections. 

The Scenic's cabin in relatively hushed and in general it keeps road roar to a minimum. At motorway speeds, wind noise becomes more noticeable. 



renault scenic e tech review 2024 01 front tracking

The Techno Comfort Range with the 60kWh battery starts from £37,495, while its 87kWh sibling costs £40,995. The mid-level Esprit Alpine costs from £43,495, with the range-topping Iconic priced from £45,495. 

This puts the lower-rung models into the same territory as the Skoda Enyaq, while the higher-spec versions are slightly cheaper than Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5. 

Renault's finance deals are competitive, though: the range-topping Iconic, for example, costs from just over £400 per month, with a £10,000 deposit on a 48-month lease. The entry-level Techno is nearer to £365 per month. And consdering the 87kWh Scenic has a real-world range of around 330 miles, it will be a tempting choice for those looking to make the switch to an EV.

Real-world range is improved thanks to the Scenic's strong efficiency figures. On a 126-mile test route, which included a mix of town, rural and motorway driving, our Iconic test car achieved an average efficency of 3.5mpkWh. That's just 0.2mpkWh less than the consumption quoted by Renault. 


renault scenic e tech review 2024 19 front tracking

The Renault Scenic E-Tech seems a solid midfielder in this increasingly crowded class of family electric cars. It doesn’t break any new ground, especially not with its conventional seating and practicality. Even so, if you ignore Renault’s noises about “family solutions”, it’s just as useful as rivals, and its tech, interior finish and roominess are really great.

It deserves to be a popular choice.

Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips
Title: Staff Writer

Sam has been part of the Autocar team since 2021 and is often tasked with writing new car stories and more recently conducting first drive reviews.

Most of his time is spent leading sister-title Move Electric, which covers the entire spectrum of electric vehicles, from cars to boats – and even trucks. He is an expert in electric cars, new car news, microbility and classic cars. 

Sam graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2021 with a BA in Journalism. In his final year he produced an in-depth feature on the automotive industry’s transition to electric cars and interviewed a number of leading experts to assess our readiness for the impending ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars.