Expert Review of Renault Scala
Renault had promised five cars for the Indian automobile market within a period of 18 months, and living up to that promise is Renault Scala. It is often called the twin sister aka the rebadged version of the Nissan Sunny and rightly so. The fifth car of the promised lot, the Renault Scala is quite obviously based on the Nissan Sunny and shares a handful of similar features, only spruced up with a little bit of the French automobile manufacturer's trademark charisma. One of the most stylish premium sedans from the A3 segment available in the country, the Renault Scala is manufactured at the same facility where the Nissan Sunny is i.e. near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. With the fifth car finally added to its latest line-up for the Indian automobile market, Renault rest assures that their plan and intentions of strengthening their portfolio in the country are working out pretty well such is the charm of the Renault Scala. Furthermore, it is deemed to be one of the most developed premium sedan that not is not only accompanied by a competitive price tag but also top-notch safety and comfort-enhancing features. It is currently offered in both petrol and diesel options with two variants per fuel option. The petrol version of the car is offered only in the entry and mid-level variants only which are RxE and RxL whereas the mid and top-level trims of the Renault Scala are offered in diesel which are RxL and RxZ. Besides the trim options, Renault is offering the following five options for the body colour: pearl white, metallic silver, metallic red, metallic blue, flipped grey and solid black. Given the car's flamboyant looks, extraordinary features and stylish interiors, it is no wonder that the comparatively new car is already giving competition to its older and rather established contemporaries like Nissan Sunny, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid, and Hyundai Verna.
The Renault Scala is powered by an option of two engines: a 1.5-litre petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel engine. And as for the engines' respective power figures, don't hold your breath, for much like everything else, it also shares its power figures with the Nissan Sunny. Both are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox. The former of the two powertrains is a 4-cylinder based XH2 petrol engine that offers a displacement of 1498cc and can generate a peak power output of 97.02bhp @ 6000 rpm and maximum toruqe of 134 Nm @ 4000 rpm. And the 1461cc diesel engine is a K9K dCi motor that is capable of delivering a peak power output of 84.8bhp @ 3750rpm and a torque of 200 Nm @ 2000rpm.
Compared to the Nissan Sunny, Renault Scala has larger headlights that show off a smoked look, with the front bumper and grille redesigned in a manner that reminds you of their hatchback Pulse. And for the rear side of the car, Renault Scala sports tail lights that seem to have been inspired by Skoda and also a neat chrome strip with 'Scala' insignia engraved on it. The alloy wheels which come as a standard fitment in the mid an top-level variants takes the car's verve a notch up. Further on, Renault Scala's side profile remains virtually unchanged. In short, even though the exteriors score a basic on a scale from basic to highly sophisticated and the car looks extremely similar to the Nissan Sunny, Renault scores brownie points for putting in enough efforts to at least make Renault Scala the better looking car out of the two.
Moving on to the interiors Scala don't score much here for ingenuity. Though rather exciting safety and comfort-enhancing abound within the interiors of the Scala, it looks like a replica of the Nissan Sunny apart from the Renault logo on the steering wheel. But what impresses nonetheless is the amazing amount of interior space that the car offers. There is the awesome legroom in both front and the rear, and then there is the more-than-enough trunk spce (490 litre to be precise). The Scala gets a push button a start stop function, steering mounted stereo controls, climate control air-conditioner, central locking, and keyless entry in the name of eqiupment. Renault Scala is well endowed in terms of safety features too with the dual front airbags, ABS, EBD, EBA, speed sensing automatic door locks, rear door child-safety locks, and an engine immobilizer with anti-theft alarm.
All in all, despite its striking similarity with the Nissan Sunny, Renault Scala brings together the best of everything in a very snazzy car. And as if the car alone wasn't lucrative enough, Renault is offering the Renault Scala along with either a 2+2 years or 80,000 kilometres warranty and three instants of labour servicing (ideally at regular intervals of time).
Mileage and Fuel Economy
While the petrol unit offers an ARAI certified mileage of almost 17kmpl, it may be able to deliver about 11-12kmpl on-road. And as for the diesel version of the Renault Scala, it can offer upto 21.64kmpl of mileage according to ARAI.
The Renault Scala is offered in the following colours: Pearl White, Metallic Silver, Metallic Red, Metallic Blue, Flipped Grey and Solid Black.
Acceleration and Pick up
As mentioned before, Renault Scala is Nissan Sunny's mechanical twin and hence there is pretty much no difference in their acceleration and pick up figures too. A top speed of 100kmph can be attained within 13 seconds in the petrol variant, while the diesel version takes up to 15 seconds. The sedan delivers an acceptable pick up and runs without a hitch even on India's rugged topography.
Though the Renault Scala is undeniably the re-badged version of the Nissan Sunny, and doesn't look very different from it, Renault has done its bit to distinguish the French auto maker's sedan from Nissan's Sunny. It takes a few cues from Renault Fluence in terms of styling and adds on larger headlights, a chic bumper and a redesigned grille that enhances the car's elan further. And as for its rear-end, the presence of ORVMs with electrically handles turn indicators do their job of pumping up the car's charm.
Loaded up with comfort-enhancing features to make the car as attractive on the inside as it is from the outside, Renault Scala offers pretty good ergonomics via adequate shoulder, knee and leg room. Also, the car sports a good enough boot space which translates to 490 litres in figures. However, the mirror adjustment buttons are rather small and have been positioned near the driver's knees, which makes it difficult to employ them on the move. Furthermore, the stereo controls are mounted on the steering, whereas the trip computer button is right in the middle of the instrument cluster. Scala's dash features an integrated Mp3/CD player (sans a USB port) with four speakers.
Since the car is very obviously similar to the Nissan Sunny, the two cars also end up sharing similar dimensions. Renault Scala is 4425mm long in length, 1695mm in width and 1505mm in height. Its kerb weight measures up to 1027 kilograms with a ground clearance of 165mm.
The same engines are seen roaring under Renault Scala's hood as the ones found powering the Nissan Sunny. Which translates to the 1.5-litre XH2 petrol version churning out a displacement of 1498cc, a peak power of 97.6bhp @ 6000rpm, and a maximum torque of 134 Nm. Whereas the Renault Scala's 1461cc K9K diesel engine is capable of delivering 84.8bhp of power and a maximum torque to the tune of 200 Nm. Also, both the engines have been mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox transmission.
This beautiful French car is supported by 15-inch alloy wheels with tyres whose size is 185/65. The alloy wheels have been fitted extremely well under the beautiful wheel arches, which ensures that the ride is smooth and safe.
Renault Scala owes its stability and ability to wade through sharp bends quite effortlessly to its slightly tweaked suspension. The suspension has been fashioned in a manner that gives the Renault Scala a top score for its ride quality, even on the toughest and roughest of terrains.
Handling and Control
The body control is quite impressive even as one steps up the acceleration, and the Renault Scala does surprisingly well in terms of handling for a car of its segment. It is a very responsive car once the driver cruises through the initial turbo lag.
a. Powerful engine
b. Good pick up and acceleration
c. Spacious interiors
b. Lack of safety and comfort features