The Grand Scenic - which was previewed at Auto Africa just a month ago - comes in three different versions.
These is a 98.5 kW petrol 2-litre with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or 4-speed auto with sequential manual option, and an 88 kW 1.9-litre common rail turbo-diesel with a 6-speed manual.
The Grand Scenic is 180 mm longer than the standard Scenic, with 50 mm more in the wheelbase, and this allows for two extra seats to be included at the rear of the vehicle - but still with enough "buffer space" between thre back of the car and the rear seat occupants in the event of an accident.
The seats fold away completely (and individually) into the floor when not in use, and there's a full-size spare wheel.
Even with all the seats in place there's 200 litres of luggage space, with 605 litres with five seats in use, and a massive 1 920 with the rear seats flat and the centre seats removed.
And by flopping the front passenger backrest down you can carry loads up to 2.75 metres long inside the car.
There's also an additional 99 litres of stowage space scattered throughout the Grand Scenic.
As to be expected from Renault, the Grand Scenic comes with 5 Euro NCAP crash test stars, and it's packed with features.
We drove the car on a testing route in and around Franschhoek, and if anything the Grand Scenic impresses on the road even more than the regular Scenic.
It has extremely crisp turn-in, and those extra few cm on the wheelbase, plus the extra mass at the back, ensure it sticks firmly and comfortably to the tarmac.
Ride quality seems better, too, thanks to that longer wheelbase.
Grand Scenic 2.0 6-speed manual R210 000
Grand Scenic 2.0 4-speed auto R222 000
Grand Scenic 1.9 dCi diesel 6-speed R242 000
The Grand Scenic retains all the space-saving features of Scenic II, including a fascia-mounted gearshift and automatic parking brake..
A double floor allows the seat slides to be recessed, leaving more footroom for the occupants, while the three middle- and two rear seats have headrests that push down into the top of the seat backrest for enhanced rearward visibility when the rear seats are unoccupied.
The drawers under the middle seats are dispensed with to free up foot space for the rear seat passengers.
The front passenger seat can be folded down to form a flat, hard-surfaced table, as can the three middle seats.
This has the additional benefit of making it easier to load long objects without removing the seats. The middle seats can be slid individually forward or back for optimum positioning. Like Scenic II, an opening tailgate window is available on the Privilege.
Access to the third row of seats is achieved simply by swinging forward one of the outer seats in the middle row.
Access is enhanced thanks to a concealment mechanism for the latches at the back of the middle seats, while flip-out stays ensure that they can be held securely in place while folded forward.
The middle row of seats has been repositioned to provide sufficient legroom for rear seat occupants. As long as the middle seats are in their forward position, the two rear seats can comfortably accommodate two average-sized adults.
Roller sun blinds are fitted in the rear doors, while the air-conditioning system has a solar radiation sensor in addition to the usual air temperature sensors, for more precise regulation of interior temperature.
It also employs an electronically controlled variable capacity compressor to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The air-conditioned glove compartment is the largest in the compact MPV segment, at 12 litres.
Other technical innovations available either as options or standard equipment include optional bi-xenon headlights, which dynamically adapt beam height at low speeds and also maintain it automatically regardless of load or braking; electrically foldable exterior mirrors; (standard on Privilege) auto-dipping interior rearview mirror; and a cruise control/speed warning system (standard on the Privilege model).
The calibration of the electric variable assistance power steering differs from that of Scenic II, to take into account the change in weight distribution and centre of gravity.
In addition to ABS, Emergency Brake Assist with automatic hazard flasher activation is fitted. Renault's new generation electronic stability programme (ESP) with CSV understeer control and ASR traction control is available as an option on all models.
Grand Scenic is equipped with Renault's third-generation System for Restrain and Protection (SRP), which combines adaptive two-stage airbags with adaptive safety belts, 400daN dual load limiters and twin pretensioners for the front seats.
There are also two chest airbags built into the front seats for the front passengers, and two curtain airbags to protect the heads of both front and rear passengers regardless of their height.
All seven seats are fitted with three point intertia reel safety belts and integrated headrests.
All models have a three-year/100 000 km warranty and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty, and there's a three-year/60 000 km maintenance plan. For South Africa, service intervals have been set at 15 000 km for petrol models and 10 000 km for diesel models.
Renault's Key Card electronically stores a host of information about the vehicle, including the VIN number.
Dynamic information such as fuel and oil levels, mileage, tyre pressures, time to next service and an emissions check is updated each time the car is driven. Renault dealers equipped with the necessary diagnostic equipment can access this information, further enhancing service efficiency.