Road Test: Renault Scenic XMOD Dynamique TomTom ENERGY dCi 110 S/S
Sector: Crossover Price: £21,095 Fuel: 62.8mpg CO2: 105g/km
Unless you need the additional space of the seven-seat model, the Scenic XMOD might just have become Renault’s most appealing MPV.
Renault has combined crossover and MPV before, but, unlike the Scenic RX4, there’s no four-wheel drive system this time. However, unlike the Captur, there is an advanced traction control system and mud and snow tyres included for low-grip surfaces. Most importantly, though, it has the protective body cladding and raised ride height buyers want from a crossover.
The more you look into it, the more it impresses. Opting into the XMOD doesn’t add anything to the price of a five-seat Scenic, it’s not less fuel efficient and CAP has given the cross-breed a higher residual value than its traditional MPV sibling. At 32% against 30% in this trim level, it’s almost a no-brainer even for drivers who never touch the Grip Xtend dial.
There’s a real best-of-both-worlds appeal to the XMOD. Traditional crossovers can’t match the flexibility of its MPV-derived interior, which includes three rear seats which not only fold flat but also tumble forwards and can be removed altogether to increase the load space. Aside from the Peugeot 3008 – which has a similar system to the XMOD’s – there are no two-wheel drive crossovers with anything to rival the Grip Xtend system.
Ultimately this isn’t a car for tackling extreme off-road courses, mostly due to the lower ride height, but switching between its three modes means the versatile Renault shouldn’t have any problems with unpredictable British winter weather. In this case, that doesn’t mean lugging a four-wheel drive system around for the rest of the year.
Gripes are few and far between. Ride quality is a little rough and though the latest version of the 108bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine is quiet, economical and pulls well, long gearing means driving in third gear in town to avoid labouring. Renault’s excellent R-Link infotainment system is also now in the Scenic range, but operated by a joystick rather than the usual touch screen and a little clunkier as a result.
But both are things drivers would quickly get used to. Renault expects almost one in five Scenic customers to opt into the XMOD, and if anything perhaps it’s a little reserved for what deserves to be a popular addition to the proven MPV.
With styling closer to the segment’s ever-popular crossovers than a traditional MPV, but with the five-seat Scenic’s practicality and more traction than most drivers will ever need, the XMOD shapes up to be a real asset to the range for those who don’t need seven seats.