The Grand Scenic | Part Three

Rearward visibility in Grand Scénic is identical to that of New Scénic even though the vehicle is longer, thanks to the installation of a bigger rear quarter window which improves the lateral field of vision, notably for urban driving and during parking manoeuvres.

Grand Scénic benefits from the care devoted to the acoustic and thermal comfort of New Scénic, with an exceptionally low noise level of 71dB for a standard set at 74dB. Wind noise and powertrain noise have been reduced to the same extent as in New Scénic, often quoted as the benchmark.

Driving pleasure worthy of a saloon

Identical to that of New Scénic, the lengthened driving position and the steering wheel set more vertically, at 58.6°, contribute to driving pleasure. The dashboard-mounted gear lever and the short-stroke controls beneath the steering wheel also contribute to "saloon-style" driving pleasure.

Even so, the driver retains the benefit of the MPV's dominant position and superior visibility, because the eye-line height above the road surface remains the same as in the original Scénic.

Grand Scénic uses the front and rear suspension of New Scénic and inherits the same qualities of handling and roadholding to provide efficient and safe dynamic behaviour. The use of large-diameter anti-roll bars, and the width of the track, ensures exemplary control of roll angles.

The increased wheelbase by comparison with New Scénic further improves the vehicle’s behaviour in fast cornering. Tyre choice for Grand Scénic is generous. The 16-inch wheels are equipped with 205/60 or 205/55 tyres according to engine, while the standard 17-inch tyre is 205/55.

The braking system of Grand Scénic includes four discs with generous dimensions. The ventilated front discs are 300mm in diameter and 24mm thick, and the plain rear discs are 274mm in diameter and 11mm thick. As in New Scénic, the 11-inch servo unit allows a maximum pressure of 115 bar to be achieved in the circuit. The variable-assistance electric power steering is quick and precise. The steering parameters, which are different from those of New Scénic, take into account the particular features of the vehicle such as the front-to-rear weight distribution.

A high level of safety

Grand Scénic provides first-rate active safety. It carries over all the driving aid systems found in New Scénic: latest-generation ABS with Emergency Brake Assist, ESP with understeer control, ASR traction control and MSR control of engine torque on the overrun. Grand Scénic is also equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system. To ensure optimum passive safety, the structure of Grand Scénic is reactive in the event of an impact. It includes a number of strengthened areas with programmed deformation. Protection of the third-row occupants is ensured by a sub-frame attached to the rear structure and by strengthening of the rear longerons.

The Grand Scénic safety system includes up to six airbags including two adaptive front airbags. The restraint systems of the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection, with three-point safety belts for all seven seats, ensure coupling to the seat and ideal occupant protection.

Grand Scénic will go on sale in the UK in Spring 2004.

Published 20 September 2003 Melanie Carter

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