8 November 2013

Road Test: Renault Xmod

I really enjoy driving big, chunky cars like the New Renault Scenic Xmod, a new crossover model from the French carmaker based on the Scenic MPV, writes Trish Whelan.

It keeps the key features which made Scenic so popular with MPV buyers - five same-size seats, 55 litres of boot space which extends to 1,870 litres with rear seats folded. You'll also find 71 litres of extra stowage space around the cabin.

The review car's wine colour showed off its lines to perfection. A steeply raked windscreen and smallish A-pillars. Silver roof rails as well as chrome strips along the base. Robust side protection mouldings, front and rear skid plates, special alloys and privacy glass all play their visual part, as do the mud and snow tyres.

I was very taken by the high quality of the interior. Depending on the version, the Xmod includes a BOSE sound system with eight speakers. There's also a TomTom satellite navigation system. Other features are dual zone climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, remote audio controls, Bluetooth and MP3 compatibility.

Other nice features are the flat-bottomed steering wheel - white stitched - part leather upholstery, and a driver's seat height adjustment. Seats are independent, folding and removable to allow you many different seating configurations. The leather look is repeated on the door's trim. Those in the back can use the pull up plastic tables on the backs of the front seats.

Main instruments are in the large screen with the navigation high up in the centre of the dash, just below eye level. You can also have your current speed shown in large white numbers on the trip computer. Some Eco tree leaves appear in front of the car icon on the screen when you are driving at the best fuel economy.

There's a good sized glovebox and generous door bins front and back. Good head and leg room in the rear are other pluses. The tailgate opens up high, and there's a spare wheel below the cargo floor.

Two editions offered are Dynamique and BOSE.

Three engines are a pair of diesels with start/stop outputting 110hp and 130hp, and a 115hp petrol. My review car is the 110hp 1.5 diesel with a slick 6-speed manual gearbox. This engine is quiet and does its work efficiently. While the official consumption rating is 4.1 L/100kms, my time with the car returned 6.4 L/100kms. It's in Band A3 of 190 a year in road tax. The petrol TCe 115 is a lot thirstier with C02 emissions of 140g/km so is in Band B2 of €280.

Xmod is the first Renault to feature the Extended Grip system, for difficult driving conditions like mud, sand and fresh snow. A rotary control on the dash manages things in 'Expert', 'Road', or 'Loose Ground'.

A good family car that will get you there through thick and thin.

A 5-year unlimited mileage warranty is standard. Finance from €299 per month is available from Renault Finance. Prices are from €26,090-€31,190.