Seán Creedon is asked to lower the volume while test driving the Renault Grand Scenic Bose edition…
A former colleague with whom I used to share driving duties around the country used to joke that I was obsessed with the quality of radios in cars. Maybe it’s my age, but I appreciate simple things on the dash, like a decent-sized button to scroll up and down the wavelengths. I remember the bygone, pre-‘in car radio’ days, when I had to undertake long car journeys and brought along my own transistor!
You can imagine my surprise, therefore, when I got to test the Renault Grand Scenic Bose version last week. The radio was good, but the sound system was really special, with a speaker in all four doors. Renault says that the Bose gives a unique acoustic experience, close to that of a live performance. And yes, I was asked to lower the volume on a few occasions.
When introduced in 1996, the Scenic was dubbed the first compact MPV. It was hugely popular and was named European Car of the Year for 1997. Over the past 16 years 20,000 Irish people have bought a Scenic.
In the time since, several other car companies have tried to emulate Renault’s Scenic success with the Nissan Qashqai probably the only MPV to come close. Now comes the Grand Scenic Bose, which is available in 1.6l diesel. This model has stop-start technology and Renault says that fuel consumption is improved by 20 per cent.
However, there is much more to this car than the sound system. I drove a white model, a colour that I’m told is becoming fashionable once again. It reminded me of holidays in the Canaries, where most of the taxis are white, and last week the weather in Ireland, for a few days at least, nearly matched that of the Canaries.
It’s a very long car and ideal for a family. There is no speedometer on the dash, but a digital speed counter, which should ensure you will stay within the speed limits. There are seven seats and if you have very young children they will love the two small seats at the back. When not in use, these two small seats fold down, providing you with the ‘boot’.
It’s a high motor, and reminds me of the massive Ford Galaxy. It would, I feel, be ideal for taking the family on that long-promised round Ireland trip, or for the more adventurous perhaps a drive to Britain or France via ferry. A double sun-roof and massive windscreen make the interior very bright, and there is ample head room.