Renault has given the Scenic a rugged makeover, we find out if the new Xmod is a case of style over substance.
What is it? Renault’s new Xmod promises the space and practicality of an MPV with the brawny good looks of an off roader.
Who is it aimed at? If you’re in denial about needing an MPV and hope no-one will notice if you ever decide to buy one then the Xmod is for you. Underneath this beefier version of the five-seat Renault Scenic lurks a decent MPV.
Styling? The chunky bumpers, roof rails and alloys give the Xmod rugged looks and enough distinctive road presence to turn heads at the school gates.
Under the Bonnet? Our test car was powered by a punchy 1.5 diesel engine. There is also an option of a 1.6 litre diesel or a three petrol options a 1.6 litres and two 1.2 litre options.
What about inside? Climb inside and it is comfortable and spacious. Families will love the cubby holes and storage options within the cabin where there are more than 40 interesting places to put things while the trays on the seat back and the three individual seats will stop the kids from grumbling. All the virtues of an MPV such as versatility and flexibility of seats and generous boot are here. The standard boot is a very decent 472 litres that can be extended to a van-like 1,870 litres with the rear seats removed completely.
On the Road? Behind the wheel the Xmod feels like a car designed more for the school run than performance but it is good to drive, with a comfortable ride and on rural back roads it avoids that terrible wallowing that can affect some MPVs. On the motorway it cruises with little wind, road or engine noise intruding into the cabin. The gearbox is smooth and it feels stable and well plant at speed. It also comes equipped with mud and snow tyres as standard and a system known as ‘Extended Grip’, so while its no off roader it will help you grip the road even in difficult driving conditions.
And Safety? With five star safety rating from the Euro NCAP 5 star car the Xmod is brimming with family friendly safety features including six airbags, electronically assisted braking and stability contol, hill start and Isofix child safety points on all three rear seats.
Options? Two trims are available Expression and Dynamic TomTom. Equpment levers are good on the Xmod and the entry level Expression+ gets 16-inch ‘Tundra’ alloys or ‘Frontier’ design wheels with Grip Xtend and mud and snow tyres and Hill Start Assist. Dynamique TomTom adds dual zone climate control, auto lights and wipers and Carminat TomTom ‘Live’ satellite navigation.
Economy? With the high costs of motoring fuel efficiency is a key factor when it comes to family cars and the Xmod does not disappoint. Official figures from Renault are 68.9 mpg and during our test drive we achieved reasonably close to this. Add to this low CO2 emissions of just 105g/km.
Verdict? Renault has sold over 4 million Scenics so you’d expect them to be pretty good at building MPV’s by now, and they are. While the Xmod doesn’t bring anything really new to the MPV Party and it comes with a slightly higher price tag than the regular Scenic it does offer a more stylish alternative to a conventional MPV without sacrificing any of the practicality.
Why you’ll buy one? Styling; Practical; Spacious
Why you won’t? Price; Limited off road ability
Nissan Qashqai – priced from £17,595
Skoda Yeti – priced from £16,600
Peugeot 3008 – priced from £16,645
Renault Scenic Xmod BOSE 1.5 dCi 110 S&S
Engine: 1461cc, 1.5 dCi 110
Max speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 12.5 seconds
Emissions : 105 g/km
Model price range: £17,995 – £22,100
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 68.9 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up(down) : 437 litres (1870)
Car Seats: 3 Isofix fittings in the rear
Wheelbase: 2704 mm
For more information check out Renault.co.uk
12th February, 2014