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Renault Scénic E-Tech: a look back at the evolution of a French pioneer

It was only supposed to represent 20% of sales of the Mégane, ultimately it will sell as many as this one! The Renault Scénic, born in 1996, has stood the test of time, and above all fashion trends. Is the latest generation, now crossover and now electric, worthy of wearing this name?

Scenic. Funny name isn’t it? Although it is the literal translation of “scenic”, it is also and above all an acronym. The “Safety Concept Embodied In a New Innovative Car”, is a prototype which was presented for the first time in 1991 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. As its name suggests, it introduces surprising innovations, both in terms of comfort and occupant safety. Independent seats, sliding center console, child-friendly seat beltdrowsiness detector, ABS or even GPS: the SCENIC was ahead on many points at the time! Faced with the enthusiasm generated by the concept, Renault decides to market it in series…

1996: birth of the Mégane Scénic

But as there are reservations about the potential success of the model, Losange decides to rationalize costs. It incorporates as many elements as possible from the Méganebody panels, engines and even the dashboard. When it was presented in 1996, it was called Mégane Scénic.. Riding on the success of the Espace, Renault is reusing its winning formula. A single-volume body, a passenger compartment bathed in light, room for legs and head, storage everywhere! He was originally supposed to represent only 20% of Mégane sales. Ultimately, it will sell as many as the compact! Voted Car of the Year in 1997this first generation will sell 2 million copies and will definitively enter the Scénic name into posterity.

Scénic E-Tech: the name remains, the philosophy goes…

It will pave the way for many models, Citroën Xsara Picasso, Fiat Multipla, and Opel Zafira to name only its competitors of the time. But after four generations of successthe Scénic, once a wise compact minivan, did not survive crossover fever and SUV. It bowed out this year, but made its comeback for the start of the 2023 school year, in a brand new version. The name remains, the philosophy goes… The new Scénic is now a large electric crossover, equipped with a range of 620 kilometers. Aside from its giant trunk with a capacity of 545 liters, and its modular central armrest, we cannot say that this new version is as habitable and practical for families as its predecessor once was, born 27 years ago…

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