New

Renault Grand Scenic Bose Edition

BY Joel Tam

It's not a new car, but the BOSE Edition of the Grand Scenic does add some new features to make the French MPV that bit more compelling.

As a full-sized MPV, the Grand Scenic is a rather good buy. Comfortable, spacious and nicely styled (although I'd take the bubble-box styling of the third generation Espace anytime), the French MPV has been doing well locally with more than 70% of Renault sales attributed to this model.

Now with some added features, you'll get an even more complete MPV with the new BOSE Edition. For you lazy folks who want all the info now-now, here are the additional stuff you get.

A 11-speaker BOSE system with a subwoofer courtesy of the Massachusetts-based audio company come as standard. The package also adds LED head lights, electric front seats, head-up display, massage seats for the driver and passenger and drivings modes that range from ECO to SPORTS and individual settings. All that for around $10,000 more.

The sound system itself suggests that the extra dough is worth it. If you like your music loud, bassy yet crystal clear, this premium system has all the works. As a personal fan of the BOSE brand, I've always loved how they manage to balance strong bass and good mix of the middle and high frequencies to deliver a sweet punchy sound.

The system in the Grand Scenic is no different. Regardless of the kind of music - we tried grungy rock music with heavy guitars, bassy hip hop tracks and tuneful Jazz pieces - the system passed with flying colours.

This helps make for a very nice cabin to be in as you enjoy the performance of the audio system. Not that the Renault's cabin is a bad place. The hard plasticky surfaces do feel a tad cheap, compared to their European competitors, but they serve the purpose of a hardy MPV very well.

The fully digital infotainment system allows you control the air-conditioning system, audio settings, massage seats. You can even fold down seats from the touchscreen, although there is a panel at the rear where you can fold the second and third row of seats via a set of buttons. No more physical lifting and folding to make more space.

Another cool feature, is not really a feature. The car has got lots of creative compartments. The movable centre console is deep and spacious and the floor has multiple hidden spaces too. Yup, you read correctly - the floor! Flip the floor mats and you'll find cubby spaces, each large enough to fit a pair of small-sized shoes.

Take the Grand Scenic out of the roads and you'll find that the 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine powering it is sufficient at best. Torquey enough to fulfil its duties, but not exactly a pavement burner. With 110 bhp and 260 Nm, 100 km/h takes more than 13 seconds from standstill, which is okay. We dread to find out what that's like with a full load of seven adults.

Visibility is great though, so placing it on the road is not a problem at all. Ride comfort is acceptable and the car feels fairly planted in the corners. Truth be told, I've felt more confidence in previous Renaults (even the Kadjar SUV exhibited better handling qualities). Perhaps the narrow 20-inch wheels had a part to play in this.

While they look awesome from the side, their narrow width caused quite a lot of tyre screech in tight corners - coupled with the suspension set up, it did cause quite a bit of body roll as well.

All that said, outright performance is not exactly what most MPV drivers will be looking for, so the Grand Scenic's capabilities are enough. The fact that Renault decided to name this variant the BOSE Edition and not the 'Premium' or 'Exclusive' version shows that their focus is really on the audio upgrade that comes with the car.

In this area, the car does superbly well. So like we said earlier, if you like your music pumping loud, go for this and party like a boss - or should we say BOSE!