New Renault Scenic E-Tech to beat Tesla Model Y on price

The new all-electric Renault Scenic focuses on family practicality and sustainability, while offering a range of up to 385 miles

Renault CEO Luca de Meo has announced pricing for the all-new Scenic E-Tech electric family car will start from around €40,000 (about £35,000), undercutting other big-selling electric SUVs like the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4 and BYD Atto 3. 

The sharply-styled Renault Scenic E-Tech sits on the same bespoke electric-car platform as the Nissan Ariya. It’s the next addition to the brand’s growing EV line-up that currently includes the striking-looking Megane E-Tech hatchback, while the long-awaited Renault 5 will arrive next year, the new Renault 4 in 2025 and sub-£17,000 Renault Twingo in 2026.

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The Renault Scenic E-Tech will go on sale in 2024, with UK prices to be finally confirmed closer to its launch. Techno and the recently introduced Esprit Alpine trims will be available at launch, with the latter adding items such as the bigger 20-inch wheels, upgraded upholstery and a Harman Kardon audio system.

New Renault Scenic design

Drawing on Renault’s new design language, previewed back in 2022 with the Scenic Vision concept car, the Scenic E-Tech blends SUV-derived elements, such as black wheel arch surrounds, while harking back to the monobox style pioneered by the Espace and the original Megane Scenic from the late 1990s. 

The Scenic E-Tech’s lengthy 2.78-metre wheelbase and flat roof help to increase interior space, a USP Renault feels will help to attract customers away from rivals such as the VW ID.4, while there’s also a focus on sustainability with 24 per cent of its materials coming from recycling streams.

“The new Scenic is designed for families and their needs; to travel freely, safely and more responsibly. To reduce its environmental impact, the Scenic has also eliminated all use of leather, paving the way for more sustainable mobility,” commented Agneta Dahlgren, Design Projects Director.

The chunky-looking exterior, penned by chief designer Gilles Vidal, looks purposeful enough, accentuated by its wheel-at-each-corner layout and short overhangs at both the front and rear.

At almost 4.5 metres long, the Scenic is shorter than its VW ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 competitors, while it stands just 1.57 metres tall which should help it to cut through the air a little easier than some other rivals.

Renault claims aerodynamic performance was a central concern in the design process of the Scenic E-Tech, and to help maximise efficiency it includes features such as air curtains under the daytime running lights to help improve air flow, a sculptured rear spoiler, flush door handles and specially designed door mirrors, while lightweight, aluminium forged wheels in either 19-or 20-inch sizes also play their part. 

Interior, technology and practicality

Inside, perceived quality is good and befitting of Renault’s aspirations for a new-generation of electrified models. The roomy cabin will certainly appeal to busy families, and the (mostly renewable) materials used across the regular touch points have a premium feel. 

Plenty of leg and knee room in the rear adds to overall practicality, while the completely flat floor means taller occupants are well served and will find the Scenic a comfortable place in which to travel.

The driver enjoys an SUV-like raised driving position, with an angled centre console for a cocoon-like feel, but it’s the Scenic E-Tech’s OpenR digital cockpit that takes centre stage, comprising a colour 12.3-inch driver’s display and a 12-inch portrait-style infotainment screen. The system offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and comes with more than 50 apps including Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music and Waze, to help plan your journey and access different media while on the move. 

Renault’s focus on providing ‘home-like’ levels of comfort is further demonstrated by its Solarbay panoramic glass roof, which can opacify and clarify the glass one segment at a time. The driver and passengers can choose any of four roof settings: all light, all opaque, light at the front and opaque at the back, and the reverse. It’s more practical than a standard sunroof screen too, as it usefully frees up 30mm of headroom.

Rear passengers also benefit from what the manufacturer describes as the Scenic’s “ingenious” rear armrest. The jury’s out on just how much ingenuity is involved here, but what the armrest does do is bring together 3.6 litres of storage space, two drink holders, fold-out stands to be able to watch screens more comfortably, and two USB-C outlets – it’s a neat all-in-one solution for those travelling in the back seats.

But, perhaps what defines any worthy family car are its space and storage options, and the Scenic E-Tech comes up trumps in this important area. Its 545-litre boot offers more carrying capacity than the VW ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5, while folding the rear seats unlocks a useful 1,670 litres. A ski hatch is included, too, which makes transporting longer items that bit easier.

Renault claims the Scenic E-Tech is best in class for its additional storage areas dotted around the cabin, all of which add up to an extra 38.7 litres. These include a sizeable glove compartment, deep door bins, a huge compartment under the front armrest and ample storage space under the centre screen, including a wireless charging port for smartphones. 

Range, battery and charging

Two battery options are available for the Scenic, either 60kWh or 87kWh of usable capacity, offering around 260 miles and 385 miles of range, respectively. Buyers can choose from a 168bhp, or 217bhp single-motor powertrain, while further dual-motor and 4×4 models have been hinted at for the future.

Another positive aspect for drivers who make more frequent longer journeys is that the Scenic’s rapid charging ability should enable a top-up from 15 to 80 per cent in around 30 minutes, while an AC three-phase charging system supplying up to 22 kW is also included.

Renault has thoughtfully added a heat pump as standard which helps to maximise overall range. The E-Tech’s system uses Google Maps to automatically start pre-conditioning the battery when the car is nearing the charging points selected in the app, which means that the battery is then at an ideal temperature on arrival, so you can charge it faster and more efficiently.

On the road, the driver can choose from four levels of regenerative braking, adjusting the system using two paddles behind the steering wheel to best suit the conditions.

Safety hasn’t been forgotten, either, with the Scenic E-Tech featuring more than 30 driver assistance systems and on-board safety features, while the firm has even collaborated with french musician Jean-Michel Jarre to develop VSPs – Vehicle Sounds for Pedestrians, to warn people that the car is approaching when it is moving at less than 18mph.

Click here for all the latest on the reborn Renault Espace…

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