First Drive

Renault Scala review, test drive and video

The Scala feels like a very well rounded package and its striking exterior design could win hearts too.

DETAILS
It rides and handles well and the spacious and practical interiors just add to the overall package.
4
photos

The new Renault Scala is basically the Nissan Sunny. It's a case of badge-engineering, just like the Pulse and Micra. And, like the Pulse, the Scala looks a lot more appealing than the Sunny thanks to the large, aggressive grille, stylish headlights and new alloy wheels. The rear bumper features a blacked-out section that mimics a diffuser, which helps reduce the car's visual bulk. When viewed in profile, the Scala is exactly the same as the Sunny, save for the attractive new alloys. Overall though, the Scala looks much more balanced and proportioned than its cousin from Nissan.

Engine options for the Scala are the 1.5-litre dCi motor and the 1.5-litre petrol. We drove the diesel model which produces a decent 84.8bhp and 20.4kgm of torque. On urban roads, it is quite good to drive. Half-throttle responses are good and once past the initial turbo-lag, the engine feels quite responsive. It's only when going uphill with a full load that the throttle lag becomes apparent and the Scala struggles to gather decent pace. The car feels best in the mid-range and you have adequate passing power on tap. However, on an open highway you will feel a slight shortage of power and find yourself constantly shifting gears to keep the motor on the boil. And, with power tapering off as early as 3800rpm, it's best to use the gears and keep the engine in the mid-range.
 
What is very impressive is the Scala’s ride quality. This saloon competently absorbs rough sections and bad roads, thanks to its pliant suspension and tyres. The suspension works silently but sound insulation is not that great and each time you hit a coarse patch you get a hollow humming sound from the wheel wells.
 
 
That said, the Scala remains a tidy handling car. Due to the soft suspension, there is some amount of body roll but the Renault is a very neat handler. The steering is really light and comfortable at city speeds and it offers decent feedback on the highway too.
 
The interiors are exactly the same as the Sunny’s and the oval and rounded theme is carried over. You get a round cluster of buttons on the central console, round vents and a round steering boss. The boot too is fairly generous and the seats fold down, but there’s no split.
 
The top-end RxZ model we drove comes loaded with features. You get keyless-go, climate control and electric folding mirrors. The top-of-the-line diesel model also comes with nice leather seats. The interior quality isn’t brilliant but it’s good enough for the class.
 
Renault is launching the petrol Scala only as base and middle variants while the diesel is available as middle and the top variants. Also on the cards is a CVT automatic transmission on the petrol-engined car.
 
The Scala feels like a very well rounded package and its striking exterior design could win hearts too. It rides and handles well and the spacious and practical interiors just add to the overall package. 
 

Renault Scala prices: (Ex-showroom, Delhi)

Petrol RxE:  Rs 6.99 lakh

Petrol RxL:  Rs 7.85 lakh

Diesel RxL:  Rs 8.69 lakh

Diesel RxZ:  Rs 9.57 lakh

 

Fact File

Price Range (in lakhs)*

Ex-showroom price Rs 6.5-9 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom, Delhi)

Engine

Fuel Diesel
Type 4 cylinder, 1461cc, SOHC, 8 valves
Power 84.8bhp at 3750rpm
Torque 20.4kgm at 2000rpm

Transmission

Gearbox 5-speed manual

Dimensions

Length 4425mm
Width 1695mm
Height 1505mm
Wheel base 2600mm
Boot volume 490 litres
Ground clearance 161mm

Chassis & Body

Weight 1080kg
Tyres 185/65 R15

Suspension

Front McPherson Strut
Rear Torsion Bar

Steering

Type Rack and pinion
Type of power assist Electric

Brakes

Front Ventilated Disc
Rear Drums

Economy

Tank size 41 litres
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Renault Scala review, test drive and video

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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 181 | September 2014

The Mercedes GLA-class, the Fiat Avventura and the Lamborghini Huracán – three exclusive India drives and so much more in our 15th anniversary issue: on stands now!
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