After the successful launch of the Duster SUV, the French auto-manufacturer Renault fired the marketplace with the Scala saloon. The Renault Scala shares platform with the Nissan Sunny, but manages to look different. The front fascia looks identical to the Pulse. However, the new headlamps and redesigned dual tone bumper with bold trapezoidal grille design highlight its refreshing and more outgoing personality. The side profile remains the same as the Sunny, except a chrome belt stretching towards the lower side of the windows.
The 15-inches alloy wheels with 185/65 Bridgestone tyres add more to its side appearance. The rear gets brilliant revision with new tail lamp with a ‘C’ shaped silver reflector, embossed ‘SCALA’ logo on a thick chrome strip and a dual tone rear bumper. The interior is inspired from the Nissan Sunny. The fit and finish is superb. The material quality is flawless. Having a plenty of bells and whistles, the Scala offers an immense comfort and ease. The premium leather seats feel comfortable with ample legroom, especially the rear bench.
Offered in both petrol and diesel engine options, the Renault Scala delivers an outstanding performance in city as well as on highways. The 1.5-litre XH2 petrol engine produces a maximum power output of 97.6bhp @ 6000rpm with 134Nm of torque @ 4000rpm. This powertrain is tuned for better fuel efficiency and performance. A five-speed manual transmission mated petrol variants (RxZ and RxL) offers fuel economy of 16.5kmpl, while the X-TRONIC automatic gear transmission powered variants (RxE and RxL) provide an impressive mileage of 17.97kmpl. The Scala petrol does 0-100kmph just in 13 seconds.
On the other side, the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine churns out a peak power of 84.8bhp with 200Nm of torque. This power-unit can achieve 100kmph from standstill within 15 seconds. Combined with a five-speed manual transmission, it offers a decent fuel efficiency of 21.64kmpl. Having a tuned and stiffer suspension system, the Scala delivers a good handling and ride quality. The driving dynamics is excellent. Offering the more premium looks, features and performance, the Renault Scala justifies its pricing.
Based on the Nissan Sunny platform, the Scala looks identical to the former. But, there are some significant exterior updates that make it look different. The front appears very refreshing, sophisticated and aggressive with new headlamps and revised dual tone bumper with bold trapezoidal grille with large hexagonal black insert. However, it resembles to the Pulse. With chrome belt running towards the lower side of the windows and 15-inches alloy wheels with 185/65 Bridgestone tyres, the Scala appears more evolved and mature from sides.
The new tail lamp with a ‘C’ shaped clear-lamp blinkers, a dual tone rear bumper and embossed ‘SCALA’ logo on a thick chrome strip are new edition at its rear. The overall dimensions are measured around 4425mm (length), 1695mm (width) and 1505mm (height) with 2600mm of wheelbase. The ground clearance is 165mm. The base variant of Scala weighs around 1005kg, while the top-end variant carries a weight of 1027kgs.
The Scala is a sheer beauty from inside as well. The beige cabin feels bright and airy. The material quality, fit and finish are impressive. The sophisticated leather upholstery feels very comfortable, but offered with its top-end variant only. What adds more to its premium looks are additional leather bits on the door pads. The ingress/egress is easy. There is ample legroom, especially at the rear seat. The rest interior of the Scala is borrowed from the Nissan Sunny.
The three-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio controls, Multi information display, center console, an AC unit with automatic climate control, engine start/stop push button, electrically adjustable ORVM, multi-functional smart key, vanity mirror, tilt adjustable electric power steering, door ajar warning, an audio system with four speakers and MP3/CD player support and several other features enhance comfort and convenience level of the car. The Scala offers a large boot space of 490-litres.
Engine and Transmission
The Scala is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.5-litre XH2 petrol unit delivers a peak power output of 97.6bhp @ 6000rpm with 134Nm of torque @ 4000rpm. It is tuned for better fuel efficiency and performance. The RxZ and RxL variants coupled with a five-speed manual transmission, offer a fuel economy of 16.5kmpl. Whereas, RxE and RxL variants are combined with a X-TRONIC automatic gear transmission, and provide a decent mileage of 17.97kmpl.
The Scala petrol can mark 100kmph sprint just in 13 seconds. Coming to its diesel model, powered with a 1.5-litre K9K diesel motor, it produces a maximum power of 84.8bhp with 200Nm of torque. This engine is competent to reach to 100kmph within 15 seconds. The Scala diesel is offered with a five-speed manual transmission only. It delivers a decent fuel efficiency of 21.64kmpl.
Performance and Handling
The Renault Scala is a great performer. The handling is predictable, and ride quality is impressive. The saloon shares the suspension system with Nissan Sunny, but is tuned and stiffer for better jerks and bumps absorbance. It comes equipped with the McPherson Suspension at front and torsion beam at rear. The driving dynamics is excellent. The 15-inches alloy wheels contribute to its stability and overall handling. The body roll and NVH levels are well-controlled. The power steering is prompt and responsive. A turning radius of 5.30 meters is good.
The braking performance of the Scala is just average. The front disk brakes and rear drum brakes aren’t confidence inspired, though better than the Sunny.
On fuel efficiency front, the Scala proves to be a very promising. Its 1.5-litre XH2 petrol engine is tuned for better fuel efficiency and performance. The RxZ and RxL variants mated with a five-speed manual transmission give an impressive mileage of 16.5kmpl. Whereas, the RxE and RxL variants combined with an X-TRONIC automatic gear transmission offers a fuel efficiency of 17.97kmpl. The Scala petrol can reach 0-100kmph within 13 seconds. The 1.5-litre K9K diesel unit coupled with a five-speed manual transmission gives an impressive fuel economy of 21.64kmpl. It can mark 0-100kmph in speedometer within 15 seconds.
The Scala comes loaded with a plenty of safety features such as advanced ABS (Anti-Lock Braking system) with EBD (electronic brake distribution system) and emergency brake assist, dual front airbags for front passengers,head restraints – front and rear adjustable, speed sensing auto door locks, engine immobilizer, rear window defroster with timer, headlamps, variable intermittent front wiper, anti pinch power window on driver-side (one touch up & down) and many more. The front McPherson Suspension and rear torsion beam suspension system absorb jerks and bumps so well, and offers comfortable drive.
The Renault Scala is a well-equipped sedan for families. The premium interior with ample legroom and a large boot space for its price are worthwhile. The frugal and highly-efficient engine performs so well on urban roads as well as on highways. The handling is predictable, and driving dynamics is excellent. What adds more to its driving pleasure are the well-controlled NVH levels and body roll. Available at Rs. 7.17 lakh – Rs. 9.97 lakh, the Scala proves to be a slightly expensive affair compared to the Nissan, but commands a higher premium level.
Renault Scala Vs Hyundai Verna
Though, the Scala is the redesigned and rebadged Nissan Sunny, but wearing new curves and styling elements, it manages to look different. The front gets clues from the Pulse, while the sides are more mature and evolved now. The rear chrome strip enhances its new avatar. The Scala is longer and taller than the Verna, even the wheelbase is marginally more. The Hyundai Verna is based on company’s popular design philosophy “Fluidic Sculpture”, and looks more European. The bold character lines enhance its side profile.
Most of the design and features of Scala are borrowed from the Sunny, but certainly it’s more up-market, while the Verna appeals with a sporty interior. The material quality, fit and finish of the Verna are far better than the Scala. With longer wheelbase, the Scala offers an ample cabin space with good legroom.
Focusing on economic-of-scale, Renault equipped the Scala with a good numbers of comfort and safety features whereas, the Verna has less to offer in its entry level variants. However, the Verna is an overall more feature-rich car than the Scala.
The Verna is available in a wide range of engines. In terms of power and torque output, fuel efficiency, pick-up and acceleration, the Verna’s engine line-up scores higher than the Scala. But, when it comes to handling and drivability the Scala takes a lead. The handling of Scala is very predictable. It performs excellent at low or high RPMs. The Verna starts shivering at high speed though, it’s easy to drive.
Pros and Cons