TEST - SCENIC KALEIDO 1,6 16V

As Renault 15 years ago came to the market with a quite new car conception - the Espace - and created a quite new category and class MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle), was it for some one a shock and motive for mockery too. This however slipped away as quickly as Espace has occurred his holders. His younger brother got quite better chances in this con text. But one thing they have common - full use of space and superiority in  their class.

 We have got a chance to test the Kaleido action model, which is distinct from the other in interior design conception and somewhat better utility. The model we have tested was equipped with a 16 valve 1,6 motor with a power output 80 kW (110 HP). This heart with fairly high specific output gives the car fairly dynamic qualities. We measured an acceleration 11,5 seconds from zero to hundred, that gives evidence of the fact that this single space family car ain't a sloth. The turning moment with a head value 148 Nm on 3,750 t.p.m. gives evidence of motor flexibility. The chassis is conformable to the rather high-duty motor, which, regardless of the fact that - compared with other passenger cars - the gravity centre of Scenic is substantially higher - Scenic Kaleido gives a traditionally French gliding run along with a very well directional stability. The directional track is held perfectly 

During the test we proved the top feasibility of the car and checked the directional stability to disclose his weak point. But Scenic kept  beyond expectation well. Only after coming out of the designed speed the car starts floating on the road surface, the drive becomes less confortable and steering calls for concentration indeed.

 

The brakes reply the vehicle dynamics and they were strengthened, compared with sooner produced versions. Renault reached so much as the brakes even during largest load don't lose their efficiency.

Great attention we've spent the interior, especially the use of free space inside of the cabin. Each seat in the cabin has a different colour , something I have in a car never seen before. On the first sight I've felt the combination of tasteful colours a little bit inconsistent, on the second sight I've said to me : "It's not a bad idea !", on the third one I began to like it very much. Just thanks to the seats, of which the  real seating surface is situated relatively high above the floor, the passenger gets an impression that he is travelling in a much larger car. Thanks to a higher seat there is not necessary so much space for the legs in horizontal plane. What depends profiling of the rear seats there is from our point of view one little rebuke. Thanks to a little bulge in the region of the shoulder blade passengers with height over 175 cm has to sit with shoulders stooped ahead. Arrangement variability of seats Scenic don't rank with it's greater brother. Rear seats are adjustable within 15 cm. This way the already large enough baggage space can be enlarged at all. Further on each of the rear seats can be adjusted separately. For instance by moving the middle seat forward and tilting it a side-table for diverse odds and ends arises. Even a drink compartment didn't the designer forgot. When only four persons are travelling, the middle seat can be taken out and both outer seats may be shifted a bit towards centre. Travellers will get this way much more space and comfort. The Scenic has casting off compartments enough. Not even that their situation is resourceful, it is a safety contribution too. Renault in advance warned against injury effected by free objects, which can occur serious injuries or even death. Compartments under the floor or behind the rear seats tilted against travel direction can be found for this reasons too. By the way - in compartments behind the rear  seats a Coke-two-litre-bottle can easily be stored, which is in this way any time at one's disposal. Travellers might appreciate this during hot summer days.

 Well-arranged luggage space is interesting too. Except necessary lockable compartments and high utilisation given by the flat bottom and side walls, also the feasibility of dividing into parts of luggage space by displacing of the side-shelve with carrying capacity 50 kg towards bottom should be mentioned. After that making use of both upper and lower part of luggage space is possible.

 

Renault's innovation is a change of central locking up remote control. Up to this time we were accustomed on remote control working on principle of digital signal transmission by infra-red rays from a transmitter located in the key. This system's advantage was the fact, that in difference to other systems the door-opening signal was not possible to be picked up by highwaymen which likely opened cars after  picking up radio codes transmitted by other systems. The optical signal transmission had a disadvantage - was working only on a short distance and during opening the door the transmitter had to be oriented towards the receiver. Nowadays, after solving the problem according to code receiving Renault started using a radio signal. After this alteration is it possible to open and close the car on free space even on about 50 m distance. Problems with unintentional opening of the car moving away from the car by accidental pressing the key in the pocket solved Renault by automatic locking. When during 30 seconds after lock releasing the car or luggage space was not opened, the vehicle will lock automatically and the safeguard device will be activated.

 During the Renault Scenic test we drived about 1,000 km in different conditions and with different load. We had been very satisfied by the reached fuel consumption. During a family tour we reached an average consumption 5,6 l/100 km, during a in-town and outside the town traffic 7,4 and during a striking manner drive and upper car limit drive on highway with average speed 151,2 km/h the consumption reached 10,1 l/100 km.

 Price of tested car : CZK 549,000.--

Consumption of fuel during the test   
Scenic Kaleido 1,6 16V
urban cycle 7,4 l/100Km
extra urban cycle
(respecting the rules
50, 90, 130 Km/h)
5,6 l/100Km
sportive ride 10,1 l/100Km

 

At the end there is a duty to determine a winner of this duel:
(max 5, min. 1 points)
Scenic Kaleido 1,6 16V
bodywork (design) 5
riding characteristics 3
brakes 4
engine 5
gearbox 4
consumption 4
luggage department 5
interior, control elements 4
price 3
total 37

((Text Viktor Kazda & foto Petr Havlicek)