Presentation of Renault Scenic RX4


The world premiere of the five-door all-wheel drive minivan "Renault Scenic RX4" took place at the IV Russian International Auto Show in August 1999. Sales will begin in May 2000. The machine is equipped with a gasoline 16-valve engine with a displacement of 2 liters, a mechanical five-speed gearbox, four-wheel drive transmission. In the second half of this year there will be a modification with a 1.9 liter diesel engine with a capacity of 105 liters. with.


"Renault Scenic RX4" for us is not just another novelty. At the aforementioned Russian Motor Show, the French car received a special prize from the magazine “Driving”, so there is probably no need to explain why we were looking forward to the opportunity to try the Renault on the go. And so she appeared, yes what! Africa, dusty roads Morocco, desert.


Before we get to know the new Renault in action, we will solve one puzzle: what is the RX4 Scenic - a car, a jeep, a minivan or something else?

The great American inventors again confused everyone: on a par with traditional 4x4 cars, that is, jeeps, they got SUVs, which we already wrote about. Recall: the abbreviation SUV (from Sport Utility Vehicles) means “general-purpose sports car”. And if simpler and to the point - cars for those who like to travel, play sports, in a word, actively relax. If you want, these are ennobled jeeps with comfortable salons. Overseas drivers liked these vehicles and not only for reasons of practicality. According to statistics, all-wheel drive SUVs spend more than 80% of their time in ordinary city tours.

Gradually, fashion spread to Europe, where, however, gigantomania is not affected and not used to littering with money. Local SJV has found its own characteristics. By the standards of the Old World, Toyota RAV-4, Honda HR-V and the like correspond to this definition. "Scene RX4" stands out from this series. This is a kind of symbiosis of the SUV and a compact car with a one-volume body (minivan), designed for all roads and off-road. Of course, to a limited extent - avid jeepers, admirers of the "Hammers" and tracked vehicles, as they say in such cases, are asked not to worry. But lovers of minivans, station wagons and touring 4x4 (SUV) should take a closer look at the new product: all-wheel drive "Scenic" may interest motorists with a wide variety of tastes and passions. In any case, marketers at Renault are sure of this.


Although the RX4 does not hide its relationship with other models of the Scenic minivan, one glance is enough to understand that this is by no means an asphalt sissy. The sides of the car are covered with plastic panels to the waist - they protect the thresholds and doors from impacts of stones. These hinged elements are joined with powerful bumpers, the upper edges of which reach the level of the door handles. The engine crankcase is also protected from contact with the road. But that is not all. The vehicle’s ground clearance is increased to 210 mm, and the full-size spare tire is brought out - it rests in a plastic casing on the rear door. By the way, the door itself, unlike the front-wheel-drive Renault Scenic models, does not open upward, but sideways. Tires - "Michelin HRS" with a dimension of 215/65 R16 with a tread adapted for both tracks and country roads.

At the same time, the “RX4 Scene” has many attributes of a passenger car itself - large and seemingly vulnerable block headlights, an elegant transformer lounge with leather seats, and a roomy trunk. Of course, a radio, air conditioning, an on-board computer, a mini-refrigerator for drinks, and also servos of everything and everything, a lot of drawers and shelves for small things in the most unexpected places of the cabin. And all this is elegant in French, using it is convenient and pleasant.

But the RX4 Scene engine at first provokes conflicting feelings. On the one hand - a branched four-wheel drive transmission with viscous coupling, subframes, reinforced suspension. On the other - a sharp 16-klapannik with pronounced "tops". Peak torque at 3800 rpm. Such features are more likely the fate of the king of asphalt than a conqueror of impassability, which is more suitable for high gravity and elasticity. So, is a universal car doomed to lose to narrow specialists?


As it turned out - almost none. The French seem to have managed to find the right compromise. On the highway "Scenic RX4" - a purebred passenger car. Fast, dynamic, easy to drive. Slow reactions, rolls, buildup, and just the feeling of heaviness inherent in all-terrain vehicles, you do not find. In the behavior of the machine, one can say, front-wheel features dominate. What is not surprising - the viscous coupling transmits torque to the rear wheels only when the front wheels begin to slip, and on dry asphalt this happens quite rarely.

But here we go down to the dirt paths strewn with viscous sand. Yes, the Renault Scenic RX4 is still not a jeep. Sometimes the engine thrust is clearly not enough, but it’s still possible to adapt to the assault of obstacles, and quite complex ones. The tactics of action are Nivovskaya. Instead of a tedious “file” at low speed, the lion's share of the insidious sections are passed from acceleration, trying to maintain high engine speeds. The principle of "more gas - less holes" is still not always applicable. Sometimes it happens to crawl off-road (on sand, for example) at low speed. In this case, a high-speed motor has to be constantly “tightened up” so as not to stall. The wheels, of course, "dig the earth." An ordinary front-wheel drive car would burrow right there. But the “Renault” barely front wheels fall into the axle boxes - pick up the rear. It's enough. A spectacular syringe of dust from under all four tires - and the minivan literally “floats out” onto the road.

True, it’s better not to abuse such tricks - it’s worth mocking a car only when absolutely necessary. After all, in essence, the Renault Scenic RX4, although a beast, is affectionate and gentle.

It is probably impossible to construct a universal car from all points of view. But you cannot forbid striving for ideal. The French managed to create a very diverse and distinctive car. She can do a lot. Become the only one in the family - please. Supplement your existing fleet - no problem. To transport passengers and cargo on a variety of roads - as much as you want: a spacious single-volume body allows for redevelopment of the cabin and trunk. The only thing you should not expect from the Renault Scenic RX4 is the dumping price. For good equipment, alas, you have to pay well.

Renault Scenic RX4