Since its inception in 1996, the Renault Scenic set the ball rolling for the compact MPV market in Western Europe and has been the best-seller every year since then. Even the arrival of innumerable rivals in recent years has failed to dislodge the car from the top of the sales charts, so to ensure its continued appeal, Renault has revised the Scenic II range. Seeking to build on the success of the current two model range, it has raised the bar still further in this hotly contested sector with the addition of a third model – a new five-seater Grand Scenic – offering unprecedented luggage space in this class, in the stretched version which previously only came with seven seats.

The Renault Scenic’s trademark virtues of innovative design, on-board refinement, style and versatility are taken to a whole new level with the New Scenic 2006 range, starting with the new flagship 2.0 dCi 150hp engine which has recently appeared to considerable acclaim on the Megane, Laguna and Espace ranges, plus the first diesel automatic for Scenic II – the 1.9 dCi 130 FAP Auto (particulate filter).

The revisions to the New Scenic 2006 ranges take the form of a number of styling changes, a choice of new body colours, enhanced interior finish quality, more durable and modern interior materials and an extensive list of new options guaranteeing unrivalled comfort and driving pleasure.

New Scenic’s exterior design is a direct evolution of that of Scenic II, while its lines have been modernised by a number of styling changes.

The front sports a new grille with a characteristic pronounced "V" in keeping with that featured on all recently introduced Renaults. The front and rear bumpers have been redesigned and the lower bumper air intake is wider and the foglamps have been relocated further toward the outside of the car. The new, more modern headlamp design is enhanced by an elliptical halogen module while the rear lights employ light emitting diodes (LEDs) on all versions.

Two new wheel trim designs and four new styles of aluminium alloy wheel are available according to equipment level. With the integral paint option, the bumper and door strips are body coloured, while the air intakes come with chrome surrounds. New Scenic is available in a range of five new body colours: Twilight Blue, Extreme Blue, Ice Blue, Topaz Grey and Java Green.

The contemporary feel to the New Scenic 2006 range continues on the inside where the interiors have evolved in terms of durability and finish quality of interior parts, thanks notably to the use of new materials.

The launch of the new five-seat Grand Scenic underlines Renault’s commitment to meet the needs of all its customers. With a bigger boot compared with that of seven-seat Grand Scenic, this new five-seat version boasts unrivalled stowage space in the compact MPV segment.

In addition to seven-seat Grand Scenic’s existing 104 litres of cabin stowage space, the room underneath the floor usually given over to the third row of seats is freed up to serve as stowage space under the boot mat and the floor has also been lowered, providing 32 extra litres. The unrivalled boot space offers a minimum of 501 litres with the rear seats in their standard setting and a cavernous 1,928 litres with the rear seats removed. As with Scenic, five-seat Grand Scenic rear passengers benefit from the presence of under-seat drawers.

The extensive range of engine and gearboxes for Scenic is expanded still further with the new 2006 range. Beginning with the introduction of the quiet and powerful class-leading 2.0 dCi 150 on the most popular versions , other changes include a new six-speed gearbox replacement for the current five-speed on the 1.6 petrol engine and the introduction of a pro-active automatic version of the 1.9 dCi 130 FAP across all bodystyles on certain trim levels. The two-litre turbo petrol engine will no longer be available.

New Scenic and five- and seven-seat Grand Scenic can be ordered with a comprehensive choice of four diesel engines – all equipped with common rail technology – and three 16-valve petrol engines. The cubic capacity of the diesel engines ranges from 1.5 to 2.0 litres and boast a power output of between 86 to 150hp. The 1.9-litre diesel is also equipped with a periodic regeneration particulate filter (FAP). The four petrol engines, which extend from 1.4 to 2.0 litres, deliver between 100 and 136hp.

The transmission range is equally extensive and features two five- or six-speed manual gearboxes plus two automatic ‘pro-active’ transmissions. The latter, known as the AJ0 transmission, is a new six-speed gearbox developed within the framework of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. All these powertrains combine driving pleasure with environmental friendliness thanks to CO2 emissions that are amongst the lowest in this class. For example, the dCi 106 6-speed offers some of the greenest credentials in its class, with CO2 emissions of 144 grams per kilometre and an impressive 52.3 miles per gallon on a combined cycle.

In terms of comfort and handling, New Scenic and five- and seven-seat Grand Scenic benefit from the same quality of steering and suspension that forged the reputation of their predecessors, while evolutions to the electric power steering system, as seen on New Megane 2006, ensure even greater feedback from the road.

The serene driving environment of a Scenic is also enhanced still further with the introduction of greater cabin, engine and drivetrain soundproofing.

The improvements to the New Scenic 2006 range extend beyond just the car’s styling and engines, as is evident from the long list of new options available, including: MP3 radio-CD compatibility, extra tinted windows, fixed panoramic sunroof, front passenger seat height adjustment, and front and rear parking sensors.

Elsewhere, other features also help to enhance the ease-of-use and pleasure of day-to-day motoring in New Scenic 2006, such as automatic parking brake, rain and light sensors and cruise control with speed limiter.

New Scenic provides a very high standard of active and passive safety thanks to a range of driver aids, such as ABS, Emergency Brake Assist and ESP electronic trajectory correction which help avoid risk situations, correct trajectory in emergency situations and protect occupants in the case of impact.

New Scenic’s passive safety features are the fruit of Renault’s third-generation System for Restraint and Protection which previously enabled Scenic II to obtain a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. The ‘Sleep Safe’ headrest, designed to protect the head and neck of 6-10 year old children in the event of impact, is also available as a factory-fit option for the first time.

More than one million Scenic IIs have been produced at Renault’s Douai factory in northern France (up to the end of May 2006) since its launch less than three years ago in 2003. The production of the millionth Scenic II coincides with the tenth anniversary of the introduction in 1996 of the original Scenic, the car which created the compact MPV segment.

With an average share of 19 per cent, the model has topped the Western European compact MPV market ever since its launch. The launch of Scenic II in 2003 marked a key step in Renault’s profitable growth strategy. Today, Scenic accounts for 50 per cent of all Megane range sales in Western Europe.

New Scenic has a two-fold mission: to maintain Renault’s lead in the compact MPV segment in Western Europe and to contribute to the brand’s growth throughout the rest of the world.

Built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance C platform, New Scenic is produced in Renault’s Douai factory in northern France.

It’s a busy time at Renault. Not content with implementing the initial stages of the company’s significant growth plan, Renault Commitment 2009, the launch of New Scenic 2006 represents the final piece of the jigsaw in the renewal programme of the entire Renault
car range in just 15 months. The first new Renault to arrive was revised Laguna which was launched in UK showrooms in March 2005 and has since been joined by the arrival of: New Clio, Kangoo 2006, Megane 2006, Modus 2007 and Espace 2006.

Full UK equipment, pricing, technical and trim level details will be available nearer launch.