Renault Scenic Conquest (2007): first official pictures

Published: 28 February 2007

Renault Scenic Conquest: the lowdown

Manufacturers just can't stop adding wannabe 4x4 styling cues to regular models at the moment. The latest car to get the soft-roader look is the Renault Scenic. The new Conquest, unveiled today, gets the full treatment: tough body cladding, 20mm higher ride height and suspension tweaks. Refreshingly, Renault is at pains to say the Scenic Conquest isn't designed to go anywhere near the rough stuff. It's front-wheel drive only - and, besides, Renault's new standalone SUV, previewed by the Koleos off-roader concept, arrives in 2008. Instead, the Conquest is supposed to offer the lofty driving position and style of 4x4s - but without the extra weight and economy disadvantages of proper mud-pluggers. It'll only be available as a Scenic, not in stretched-wheelbase Grand Scenic guise.

So it's just another faux-by-four?

Essentially yes. But Renault has fitted new dampers with a greater range of travel and smaller anti-roll bars, which together provide better comfort on rough roads or tracks; the ESP and traction control are also tweaked for better grip in slippery conditions. Renault is unusually honest about the body cladding, as well. It's not there to protect the bodywork from boulders on the Rubicon Trail this time; nope - the chunky rubbing strips are designed to prevent damage from city parking, apparently. Prices will range from £16,765 to £18,965 when sales start in June - that's about £550 more than a regular Scenic. Two diesel (1.5 and 1.9) and two petrol (1.6 and 2.0) engines will be available, putting out between 106bhp and 136bhp.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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