Renault Scala Review
Renault is an automobile company, which has been in the news lately for all the right reasons. Its compact SUV, The Duster has been a runaway success. The Duster has helped Renault as a brand to earn recognition in the Indian auto market.
The year 2012 has been impressive for Renault with so many launches. Renault’s five product launch plan for India will conclude with the launch of a C segment sedan called the Scala.
Renault Scala, like the Pulse is also an outcome of rebadging the Nissan Sunny. Nissan Sunny has been doing fantastic numbers and this has encouraged Renault to fill the void in its range with this product.
Promising a difference in styling and some other tweaks, Renault is hoping the Scala would help them maintain the positive momentum which the Duster has created. We review the Renault Scala RxZ on the winding paths in Shimla and find out more about it.
Since, The Scala is primarily based on the Sunny; the looks too seem very reminiscent. Similar to the Pulse, the Scala too is a bolder looking version of the Sunny. In fact, the Scala looks like a next generation Sunny with its impressive styling and bolder street presence.
The front face of the Renault Scala does away with the soft nature of the Sunny and brings in aggression to it. With the new face, the Scala has a better street presence and visual appeal. The smoke styled flowing headlamps paired with the robust nose grille design are simply fantastic.
Headlights and the nose grille give slight hints of the Hyunda Fluidic Verna. Even the front bumpers have been redesigned and look a lot sportier compared to the original. Bumpers and the lines on them have been retained from the Sunny.
Side profile is very identical to the Sunny again except for some minor changes. The belt line under the windows is done in chrome and also is the door handles. The Renault Scala comes with a better set of alloys and I love the design of it. These were also seen on the Pulse hatch.
Rear profile of the Scala is smarter than the Sunny. The tail lamps get a new design and have the Skoda Rapid C styling on them. 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.
Overall the exteriors of the Renault Scala are impressive and will appeal to the young buyers who would wish to have a Sunny class sedan but with bold and sporty looks. The redesigned exteriors are the highlights of the Renault Scala.
The interiors of the Renault Scala have been left untouched and are identical to the Pulse, Micra and Sunny. The Scala also gets premium leather upholstery in addition to all the similar elements.
In the Scala too, the interiors have been kept very basic and utility is the main theme behind its design. Twin pod Instrument cluster has chrome outline and the numbers illustrated have been kept very simple. It displays the necessary information such as trip reading, Fuel left to empty tamp along with a digital watch as well.
A 3 spoked steering wheel has the audio controls affixed on it. This comes on both the diesel variants, which is impressive. 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. The Scala would prove to be an excellent being driven car. Though if Nissan Chose the CAAAR promotional campaign, we wonder what Renault doesn’t SCAAALA it. The Renault Scala would be an amazing option for those who would like to own a car with a long wheelbase but not too expensive on the pocket.
The negative of lesser headroom for the rear passengers is found on this car too cause of the design of the sloping rooflines.
Rear section passengers get the 2 speed blower for cooling, which is aptly placed between the front row seats. We couldn’t test it much as the climate of Shimla was pleasant.
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.
One can complaint about the interiors being identical to the Nissan Sunny but then Renault has made the Scala to fill the C segment space. With the Scala, Renault dealers would offer a wide range of products across different segments. Renault also is endorsing the Scala with its exterior design by retaining the same Sunny interiors.
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 a powertrain borrowed from Nissan Sunny, the performance of the Scala would be same is what we thought. And the same was proved to be true. We had the diesel RxZ variant of the Scala.
I have always been a fan of the diesel K9K engines and have been driving the K9K for couple of months now with the Duster, Evalia, Sunny and now the Scala. The K9K engine is a very meaty engine and gets its turbo acting very precisely without any lag.
While climbing the winding twists of Shimla, we tried torturing the engine with constant gear change but the engine got back with a bang and we were happily squeezing the best from it.
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.
In the range of 2,500 – 3,500 rpm and on 3rd gear, the power delivery of the Scala is superb. The Torque distribution along the entire range of rpms is very well balanced. Even though it’s a long car, the handling of the Scala is precise and can maneuver across any turn.
We got a mileage of 14.6 kmpl on our diesel RxZ variant. Renault claims a fuel efficiency of 21 kmpl for the Diesel and 16.95 for the petrol.
The performance of the Renault Scala was impressive and gets our thumbs up for it.
|Power in PS/RPM||99/6000||86/3750|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||134/4000||200/2000|
|Wheel base mm||2600||2700|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1010||1085|
|Ground clearance mm||161||161|
|Fuel tank capacity||41||41|
|Turning circle radius in M||5.3||5.3|
|Tyre Spec||185/65R15||185/65 R15|
|Manual AC with Filter||Yes||No||No|
|Auto AC with filter||No||Yes||Yes|
|Steering mounted audio control||No||Yes||Yes|
|Remote Keyless Entry||No||Yes||No|
|Intelligent Key With push button Ignition||No||No||Yes|
|Driver seat height adjustment||No||Yes||Yes|
|Remote Boot opener||No||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated Audio system with 4 Speaker||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rear seat center arm rest||No||Yes||Yes|
|Interior Colour Scheme-Black||Yes||No||No|
|Interior Colour Scheme-Greige||No||Yes||Yes|
|Body Coloured ORVM||No||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable ORVM||No||Yes||Yes|
|Electric Folding ORVM||No||No||Yes|
|Front Fog Lamps||No||No||Yes|
|Full Wheel covers||No||Yes||No|
|Front passanger airbag||No||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||RXZ||1.4 CRDi||1.3L Dynamic|
|Power in PS/RPM||86/3750||90/4000||93/400|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||200/2000||220/2750||205/2000|
|Wheel base mm||2600||2570||2603|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1085||1210||NA|
|Ground clearance mm||161||170||185|
|Fuel tank capacity||41||43||45|
|Turning circle radius in M||5.3||5.2||5.4|
|Tyre Spec||185/65R15||195/55 R16||195/60 R15|
|Fuel Effeciency kmpl||21||17||20|
|Steering mounted audio control||Yes||No||Yes|
|Rear seat arm rest||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fuel consumption display||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Renault decided to play it safe with the Scala. Since the Nissan Sunny is already doing fantastic numbers there was no point to bring out a totally different product especially when they have their alliance with Nissan and rebadging is very much a part of their joint venture.
With the Scala, Renault has finally marked its presence across different segments which was needed. With the new launches and existing products, the brand will start getting noticed and in a period of 2 – 3years, Renault’s positioning would be far better than the existing.
Also, now the official dealers would be happy too as Renault would offer the consumers more options from it’s stable to choose from. The range starts from the Pulse hatch to the lifestyle segment premium SUV Koleos. The Fluence is raking in good numbers and the Duster is enjoying long waiting periods, while the Pulse hatchback offers better styling than the nimble looking Micra.
The Scala has been positioned over the Sunny so naturally it would be costing more than the Sunny. Renault has decided to position itself over the Nissan in India. Also the unique point over the Sunny is the presence of an automatic transmission in the Scala. Using the interiors of the Sunny and better exteriors than the Sunny, Renault has been able to keep the costs under control. Ideally, the benefit of it would be pushed to the consumer by pricing the Scala “pleasantly”. Renault has also disclosed that the Scala would be out in few weeks.