The latest Scenic has become the first small MPV to gain five stars for occupant protection. It achieved this after Euro NCAP allowed a side impact re-test. Initial tests showed that the integrity of the door locks needed improving. The Scenic performed very well, scoring the maximum for safety in the side impact and losing just one point in the frontal impact. But the protection it gives to pedestrians is only average. Euro NCAP says the design of the bumper and the bonnet’s front edge need improving.
The frontal airbags inflate according to the severity of an accident. Sensors also allow the airbags to deploy according to the driver’s build/weight. What’s more, the lap belt and diagonal sections of the front belts have separate pre-tensioners. There has been much design effort to give the driver’s knees and upper legs maximum protection and padding protects his feet. Finally, the centre rear seat has a three point belt which is much safer than a lap-only belt.
The vehicle’s protection system includes a thorax side airbag and a head curtain airbag t0 protect front and rear occupants. The Scenic performed well, gaining full marks in Euro NCAP’s side and pole impact tests.
Renault warns against placing a rear-facing restraint opposite an airbag. However, there is an on/off switch for the passenger frontal airbag. This can be operated by hand and so poses a safety risk. Both restraints were Renault branded Kiddy Easyfix using ISOFIX mountings in the adult seats, which were well marked by fabric labels. The older child’s seat faced forward and was secured by a tether running over the seat and into the boot. The younger child’s seat faced rearwards and had a leg and strap for added support. The children’s heads were protected throughout. But impact forces fed through to the younger child’s neck were a little high.
There are a few points on the bonnet that protect but this was a disappointing performance for a newly designed model.