From March 2010 issue

List price when tested: £22,045
Kerbweight: 1703kg*
85% match: NOT LEGAL
Max towing weight: 1300kg
Towball limit: 75kg
30-60mph: 12.8seconds
30-0mph: 10.7m
*Includes 75kg for the driver so differs from Renault’s published kerbweight

INSIDE THE Renault Grand Scénic there’s a really good towcar trying to get out.

When we took the Renault to the test track and put it through our usual lane-change, hill start and acceleration and braking tests it performed very well. Then again, it should have done, as it was towing a van with a Mass in Running Order of just 1132kg.

Why such a light van? Well, our choice was restricted by the 1300kg towing limit. That’s disappointingly low for a car which can carry seven, and rules out many mid-sized vans. It also means an 85% match, the maximum weight of van usually recommended for safe and stable towing, isn’t legal.

Stable tug, refined engine

If your tourer is light enough for the Grand Scénic to be on your shortlist, you’ll find it’s a stable tug and the refined 2.0-litre diesel has enough pulling power to cope with any legal match. The Renault comfortably held the 60mph towing up motorway inclines, even in top gear.

Unhitch the van and the Renault feels surprisingly agile for an MPV, with light but precise steering. The ride is a little unsettled, though.

You can tell that Renault was one of the first to start making MPVs, with lots of storage dotted around the cabin for all the clutter that families tend to accumulate. As a seven-seater the boot is tiny, but fold the rear two seats into the floor and there’s plenty of luggage room if you only need to carry five.

Renault dealers tend to be generous with their discounts, according to research by What Car? magazine. It’s worth haggling hard to offset the Grand Scénic’s disappointing resale values.

We say
Towing: 2/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 4/5
Buying & owning: 3/5

Verdict: 3/5 – A good MPV, undermined as a towcar by a low towing limit.

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