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2013 Renault Scenic and Scenic XMOD mix the rough with the smooth

There’s a new Renault Scenic! OK, so that’s not exactly news you shold publicly rejoice about, but those among you with families may raise half an eyebrow when we tell you the 2013 version is more attractive than ever. What’s more, it comes in a rugged, crossover-inspired XMOD version. 

The XMOD offers a rugged twist on the Scenic formula.
The XMOD offers a rugged twist on the Scenic formula.

The new Scenic has a new front end with sharper, pointier headlights, a bigger Renault logo set into a deep bonnet vent, and lower air intakes with LED daytime running lights that make it look as if it was built sometime this century – a significant change over the previous car.

The Renault Scenic XMOD is an even bigger departure. Inspired by the semi-offroad-looking Nissan Qashqais and Dacia Dusters of this world, it features a more rugged appearance, ditching body coloured panels for black plastic front and rear bumpers, matching roof bars and padded side skirts and wing mirrors. It’s no Range Rover, but it’ll hide scuffs a little better if you’re prone to the odd low speed car park prang.

The Renault Scenic XMOD isn’t designed for off roading, but it won’t leave you stranded if you find yourself on a wet hillock. It’s the first car to feature Renault’s ‘Grip Xtend’ traction control system. This lets the driver choose from three modes; ‘road’, ‘loose ground’ and ‘expert. The first optimises the car for everyday driving, the second reduces your chances of skidding around on rocks or dirt, while the latter leaves does most of the braking while the driver gets on with applying the throttle.

The standard Scenic looks a fair bit sleeker than before, with new LED day-running lights.

More useful, perhaps, is the fact the Scenic XMOD comes with year round ‘mud and snow tyres’. These feature specific tread patterns that aid the evacuation of mud, snow and sand – great for when the Waitrose car park gets a bit damp.

The Scenic and Scenic XMOD are available with a choice of five engines; three petrol and two diesel. Renault says the most noteworthy of these is the new 1.2-litre TCe 130 stop & start, which is said to be 15 per cent more efficient than the previous TCe 130 lump. That said, it won’t be boggling many minds with claimed 44.1mpg combined economy. You’ll get far greater returns from the 1.5 dCi 110 stop & start, which manages 68.9mpg.

Order books are now open for the new Renault Scenic and Scenic XMOD. Prices for the five-seat models start from £19,115, while the seven-seater goes from £20,355.

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