Renault Scenic II is another car that contributed to Renault’s fabulous reputation for reliability. Renault Scenic II, that fan who comes to the game just for the violence.
Launched in 2003 on the Megane II platform, the Renault Scenic II was intended to be a civilized version of the Espace, which is essentially a van with windows. It just jumped quickly off the Megane production line and onto the Lagune II line, otherwise, I can’t explain how you can have a car so poor in reliability. Like in the Harry Potter movies, the Renault Scenic II and Laguna II are always getting into trouble.
Why would you buy a Renault Scenic II?
I would. Why would you buy one? There are a couple of answers, which go something like this:
- Price. In this MPV segment, the market is dominated by the VW Touran, which comes with some astronomical prices. Then there’s the Ford Focus C Max, and if you want to go even lower in the price range you can find the Renault Scenic II. If you want to go even lower, you have already entered the scooter and bike section.
- The Renault Grand Scenic is one of the cheapest 7-seaters, beating the dubious VW Sharan or Ford Galaxy (a Ford-badged Sharan).
- Even though it’s a car full of issues on the electric side, on the mechanical side it’s a relatively reliable car. If you’re not too picky and want something that will take you and your whole family on a road trip, a Scenic can be a good choice especially when you consider the purchase price and maintenance price.
- However, before I praise the Scenic for what it is, I’ll get to the action and give my verdict at the end.
Renault Scenic II Engines
- 1.4 MPI of 98 horsepower – The infamous 1.4 “Tear the tarmac” was a legendary engine on the first generation, Logan, being of reliability worthy of Deauxma movies. However, if you’re going to load up the Scenic with 5 people and family luggage, this car will have a hard time carrying all the weight.
- 1.6 16v of 115 horsepower – A well-balanced engine that you often see in combination with LPG. By far the most reliable engine for the Renault Scenic II, it just needs the coil packs replaced occasionally, as with any naturally aspirated petrol.
- 2.0 16v of 136 horsepower – Marginally more powerful than the 1.6 and lacking the torque of a diesel, this middle child has no place in this world. Sort of like the 1.8 MPI from the VW Golf IV.
- 2.0 Turbo of 163 horsepower – Aha. Ahahaha. If you want to see your kids delivering the contents of their last meal straight on the windows, upholstery, and possibly you, get this engine.
- 1.5 dCi of 80 horsepower – The legendary K9K is unfortunately not so legendary on the Renault Scenic II. As we’ve discussed many times about this engine, versions that have less than 90 hp have serious injector issues.
- 1.9 dCi of 100 and 120 horsepower – The infamous M9R that occasionally leaks bolts through the engine also comes on the Renault Scenic II. Fortunately, the problem occurs at higher mileages and the Scenic is a privately bought car so you won’t see astral mileage.
Renault Scenic II General Issues
- Diesel engines have issues with the EGR valve which tends to get stuck open. On top of this, the timing valve needs to change every 4 years or 50,000 km.
- Door locks tend to refuse to work and be welcoming to anyone, but absolutely anyone.
- Being a very high-tech French car, expect a lot of issues on the electronics side. Make sure everything works, so you can enjoy a few days before something breaks again. The special prize goes to dashboard instruments that commit group seppuku and you don’t know how fast you’re going, how much fuel you’ve got left, or how much water is left in the engine. Details.
- The brakes, especially the rear ones, rust more than a Moldovan drinking water for the first time in 40 years. Not to say that we don’t wash with water, let alone drink it.
- Shamelessness and snobbery are paid for, and for those two snobs who bought Renault Scenic II with an electric parking brake, an expensive dedication is given because the motor can only be replaced, not reconditioned. And they change often. And it doesn’t cost like a Passat B6, where a couple of bottles of brandy and a pack of cigarettes will get the job done.
- Going down the snobbery route, electric windows aren’t any more eager to work either. If you needed a knob because you’re too slick for a crank.
Renault Scenic II Verdict
One of the cheapest family cars you can buy. Yes, it’s not the most reliable car, but if you go for the basic equipment and avoid complicated stuff like an electric parking brake, automatic gearbox and also don’t have a problem with everything not working at once because it’s a cheap 15-20-year-old car, then you have an absolutely decent family car. And if you’re looking for the 7-seater version, it’s really hard to beat this car for the money. In fact, the 5-seater version I don’t know if I particularly recommend it because there’s the Focus C Max. But for the 7-seat version, it’s the best car in its price range.