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Renault Scala Detailed Expert Review - July 06, 2013

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Introduction

Jul 06, 2013 : Expert Review By

Renault Scala X-Tronic Report

In India, automatic variants have always been tabooed as high maintenance options. Being more expensive than their manual counterparts, costly spares and less flexible in getting it serviced anywhere scores heavily against these cars.

Renault after launching the Scala and establishing itself in the mid-sized sedan market was quick enough to get the X-Tronic CVT in the market. Renault back then claimed that the CVT is a more efficient option compared to the conventional torque convertor as it offers infinite gear ratios.

Renault Scala Expert Review, Scala Road Test - 200110 | CarTrade

Also with the Scala CVT, Renault states that the common issues of high fuel consumption, jerky gear shifts, uneven power delivery and high ownership costs have been rectified. We take the Renault Scala X-Tronic for a long drive and see if it really scores above the competition or just an expensive option to consider.

Exterior

Renault styling has never been about very aggressive sharp looks, they instead choose to make their cars very dynamic. The Scala too with its sculpted jaw line and curving flairs make it a dynamic yet stylish looking car. It makes the Nissan Sunny look very bland.

The straight hood cut line paired with the pearl headlamps and slender radiator grille together make the front face look good. Even the lower pockets on the front bumper holding fog lamps are very well carved. The radiator grille along with the Renault logo is generously garnished with chrome.

The long overhangs in the silhouette reminds of the Nissan Teanna since this is Sunny based. The side view of the Scala is identical to that of Sunny. The window line is done in chrome. The door handles have an aluminum finish and appear contrast to the overall body. The 15inch alloy wheels give a very dynamic profile to the Scala.

With a wheelbase of 2600mm, the Scala indeed looks very long. Even though it sits in the mid sized sedan bracket, it looks very upmarket. The wheelbase of Scala nears some of the premium sedans on sale in India.

On the rear profile, it has got a 2 tone bumper to add style. The boot gets a dash of chrome with “SCALA” encrypted on it. On the rear too its gets a two tone finish on the bumpers same as on the front fascia.

Interior

The Renault Scala is a good looking car from outside but then in the inside it fails to attract. In fact, the Duster and Pulse too offer similar interiors and prove to be the weakest design element.

The seats are decently cushioned but are not the best in the business. They lack under thigh support which is extremely important. The lumbar support quality is decent. The top end variant offers leather clad seats which are of good quality. The beige interiors of the car tend to attract dust very quickly and thus maintaining it is an issue.

The best feature in the Scala has to be its never ending space inside the cabin. This is the only sedan in which a passenger of any size can fit in. If crawling inside a car and feeling cramped is your daily trouble, the Scala with its amazing legroom tends to replace it. The Scala has amazing rear legroom. It feels like a parallel world in the second half of the car. If only some aftermarket accessories and fitments are thrown in, the Scala can equal some of the premium sedans in the market.

Three spoked steering wheel has audio controls affixed on it. The quality of plastics is decent and won’t let you complain about it as it does its job well.The Scala too has the Circular AC control panel which is seen in its Nissan cousins. The Scala with its 2600mm wheelbase proves to be a longish sedan. Legroom is in abundance for all the passengers. Underneath the front dashboard is a small recess to fit in small documents. The glovebox which also swallows decent load is directly underneath the small recess and impresses with its fit and finishing.

Front door trim has pockets while same is not available for the rear doors. The boot space is same 490 litres and could take in all our luggage and equipment with great ease.

 

Performance

The Renault Scala comes in two powertrains namely the XH2 Petrol and K9K Diesel units. The petrol unit is a 1498cc engine producing a power of 99 PS at 6000 rpm and a torque of 134 Nm at 4000 rpm, while the diesel is a 1461cc engine producing a power of 86PS at 3750 rpm and a torque of 200 Nm at 2000 rpm. Presently the engines are equipped with a 5 speed manual transmission but Renault has already informed us that the Scala would offer a first in class segment auto transmission in the not so far away future.

With the X-Tronic CVT version which uses comparatively smaller intermediate planetary gear to attain a higher transmission ratio which in conventional CVTs are constrained by the lack of space as they make use of larger pulleys to attain higher transmission ratio. The Renault Scala X-Tronic beats its manual counterpart in fuel efficiency and delivers an ARAI approved figure of 17.97 kmpl

Even though, the Scala has a long wheelbase still it is not a hurdle and its tail does not sway out of proportion. In addition to the conventional Drive mode, there is a L mode too which comes handy when the vehicle needs high torque at lower rpms. This helps Scala climb on difficult terrains. Also, on the auto shift stick is a “Sport” mode button. In the Sport mode which transforms the gear ratio into a shorter version while travelling at any speed. Not like what the tag “Sport” would ideally suggest, this mode helps the vehicle while overtaking on highways or on occasions which needs quick and swift response.

Renault’s handling is unparallel and with the minor tweaks on the Scala over the Sunny, the Scala handled brilliantly over the challenging turns on the ghats. The suspensions of the Scala were also doing their bit to make sure the Scala earns our appreciation and we surely were impressed by it too. 

 

Specifications
Technical Specifications
 Make Renault
 Model Scala AT
Variant Petrol
Engine Capacity 1498
Power in PS/RPM 99/6000
Torque in Nm/RPM 134/4000
Gears 4/AT
Fuel Petrol
Length mm 4425
Width mm 1695
Height mm 1505
Wheel base mm 2600
Kerb Weight in Kg 1010
Ground clearance mm 161
Fuel tank capacity 41
Turning circle radius in M 5.3
Boot Space(Litre) 490
Tyre Spec 185/65R15
Fuel Effeciency(KMPL) 17
Renault Scala Competitors
Competition Specifications
Specifications
Renault
Scala
Honda
City
Hyundai
Fluidic Verna
Variant RXL AT S  AT 1.6 SX VTVT
Ex showroom Price Mumbai (in lakhs) 899000 966967 1044356
Engine Capacity 1498/4 1497/4 1591/4
Power in PS/RPM 90/6000 118/6600 123/6300
Torque in Nm/RPM 134/4000 146/4800 155/4200
Gears 4/ AT 5/AT with Paddle shift 4/AT
Fuel Petrol Petrol Petrol
Length 4425 4420 4370
Width 1695 1695 1700
Height 1505 1480 1475
Wheel base 2600 2550 2570
Kerb Weight in Kg 1010 1155 1200
Ground clearance 161 160 165
Fuel tank capacity 41 42 43
Turning circle radius in M 5.3 5.3 5.2
Tyre Spec 185/65R15 175/65 R15 195/55 R16
Features
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes Yes
Music system Yes Yes Yes
Fog Lamps Yes Yes Yes
Rear wind shield washer Yes Yes Yes
Defogger Yes Yes Yes
Alloy wheels Yes Yes Yes
Beige interiors Yes Yes Yes
Steering mounted audio control Yes Yes Yes
Rear seat arm rest Yes Yes Yes
Fuel consumption display Yes Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes Yes
Dual Airbag Yes Yes Yes
Average fuel efficiency (Kmpl) 14 14 14
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