Renault Scenic gets SUV look to help maintain minivan lead
RENNES, France -- Renault has updated its Scenic minivan with SUV styling in a bid to maintain the automaker's lead in Europe's medium minivan segment.
The French company will debut the Scenic XMOD at the Geneva auto show on March 5. Renault says the XMOD combines styling cues of a crossover with those of a minivan with raised ground clearance, chunkier bumpers and wheelarch cladding, and chrome-finish roof bars.
Sales in Europe's medium minivan segment fell 7.8 percent to 711,570 units lst year, according to JATO Dynamics, as increasing numbers of buyers opted for crossover-styled cars. Renault's Scenic and Grand Scenic led the pack but sales for all top 5 medium minivans fell. See chart below.
The seven-seat Grand Scenic minivan will not get crossover styling and a face-lifted version will be unveiled in Geneva. Renault is also unveiling the Captur, a subcompact crossover in Geneva.
Renault also seeks to attract more customers by equipping the Scenic XMOD with technologies previously reserved for its high-end models.
The interior will feature the touch-screen R-Link system, which offers a range of available downloadable infotainment applications, and a TFT (thin film transistor) digital display Interior options include a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum-capped pedals, and leather and Alcantara upholstery.
The Scenic XMOD will be the first Renault model to have an Extended Grip system, which offers enhanced traction control for driving in snow, mud, sand and other difficult driving conditions. In addition to Extended Grip, a rotary control positioned on the centre console allows the driver to select Road mode, for normal driving conditions, and Loose Ground mode, for optimal braking and engine torque control.
Renault says the Scenic XMOD offers a large trunk capacity of 555 liters and 71 liters of storage space in the cabin.
The Scenic XMOD will be available with three engine options.
Renault will build the model in Douai, France, where it produces its current Scenic range and Megane compact car.
The Scenic XMOD will go on sale shortly after its Geneva debut.
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