Renault Scenic E-Tech review

Renault Scenic E-Tech

We get behind the wheel of the all-new, all-electric Renault Scenic E-Tech…

The Renault Scenic has been re-invented for 2024. It’s goodbye to the worthy MPV and hello to a chic zero emissions family crossover – the 2024 European Car of the Year, no less.

Based on kerb appeal alone, the new Renault Scenic E-Tech is more than a match for its many rivals which include the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Tesla Model Y, Nissan Ariya, Skoda Enyaq and Peugeot E-3008.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

Priced from a very competitive £37,495, Renault is offering the Megane E-Tech’s big brother with two battery options, two power outputs and a choice of three trim levels (entry-level Techno, sporty Esprit Alpine and even better equipped Iconic).

With hints of hatchback and SUV, it’s certainly stylish. The front end is particularly striking with the latest Renault logo set within diamonds which merge into the LED headlights.

Other goodies, such as flush door handles and big 19-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels, help to make this a statement car.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

There’s a wow factor inside too with a 12.3-inch driver display and a portrait-orientated 12.0-inch centre infotainment touchscreen which uses Google’s slick tech.

The spacious, classy interior features plenty of storage areas, plus a 545-litre boot, which expands to an impressive 1,670 litres with the rear seats folded.

A special mention for the rear central armrest which houses cup holders that also double up as smartphone or tablet holders, plus two USB-C ports.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

There’s also a clever ‘Solarbay’ glass roof on top spec models. It is, in effect, a cutting-edge sunblind, switching from clear to opaque at the touch of a button – and doesn’t eat into headroom either.

Build quality is right up there with the best of its rivals. The animal-friendly leather-like seats and most of the surfaces have a plush feel, and it’s only when you feel around lower down that cheaper, scratchy plastics can be found.

The Scenic E-Tech scores big when it comes to sustainability too. Renault claims that 24% of the materials used are recycled, and 90% of its mass – including the battery – is recyclable.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

Standard equipment includes a frameless electro-chromatic rear-view mirror (it can switch to a rear-view screen), heated front seats and steering wheel, paddle shifters for regenerative braking, automatic wipers and a rear-view camera.

Driver assistance and safety kit includes adaptive cruise control, traffic and speed sign recognition, driver attention alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and blind spot warning.

The new Renault Scenic E-Tech is available with two sizes of battery and it’s front-wheel only. The standard range model has a 60kWh battery paired with a 168bhp electric motor, delivering a claimed range of more than 260 miles and a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

The larger 87kWh battery and more powerful 217bhp electric motor has a range of 379 miles, while the 0-62mph sprint takes 7.9 seconds.

Rapid charging is good, but not outstanding (up to 150kW for the larger battery and 130kW for the basic one), so a 20-80% boost should take around 30 minutes. On the plus side, the Scenic E-Tech does come with a heat pump as standard (a feature which is often an optional extra) which aids recharging, especially in cooler temperatures.

Our test car was a top-of-the-range Scenic E-Tech in Iconic trim, featuring the larger 87kWh battery pack.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

The driving position is on the high side for me, but it does offer a commanding view of the road ahead, plus there’s plenty of adjustment for the steering wheel and seat. Rear visibility isn’t so hot thanks to large C pillars and the slim tailgate window.

That said, the Scenic E-Tech is blessed with light steering, a tight turning circle and lots of parking aids, making it easy to manoeuvre and drive in town.

With instant torque, it’s quick off the mark too, but not blisteringly so like some other EVs.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

The ride is comfortable for the most part, only becoming unsettled on poorer surfaces, while the cabin is refined, making it a smooth cruiser.

It’s fair to say that it looks more athletic than it is, so while it’s not a dull drive, it’s not particularly dynamic either. Even so, it manages to stay reasonably flat in more challenging corners and there’s good grip.

Sadly, like many EVs, the brakes are spongy, so there’s a lot of dead travel before they bite, making it hard to slow down smoothly.

Renault Scenic E-Tech

The ‘Multi Sense’ driving modes (Personal, Comfort, Eco and Sport) alter the steering weight, throttle response and interior ambient lighting, but – as ever – you’ll find yourself staying in Eco or Comfort, for the best all-round experience and efficiency.

We’d need to spend at least a week with the car to give a proper estimate of real-world range, but we’d guess it’s an impressive 310-330 miles in the 87kWh and the right side of 200 miles in the entry-level model.

Verdict: Stylish, safe, spacious, easy to drive and well equipped as standard, the all-new Renault Scenic E-Tech is keenly priced and one of the best family EVs on the market.

Renault UK

Peugeot E-3008 review

Peugeot E-3008

We road test the pure electric version of the next-generation Peugeot 3008…

The Peugeot 3008 is a great example of how the automotive industry has evolved since 2007.

Back then it was a dumpy looking MPV, but all that changed in 2016. In one fell swoop, Peugeot’s designers re-invented the 3008 so that it became one of the most stylish and distinctive mid-sized SUVs on the market.

Crowned 2017 European Car of the Year, at launch it was available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, though mild hybrids and a plug-in hybrid followed.

So, that’s SUVs in, diesels out.

Peugeot E-3008

The 2024 third generation Peugeot 3008 is greener still, and is first model to use parent group Stellantis’ new STLA Medium electric powertrain. Ultimately, there will be mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions.

It’s on-trend too because it’s marketed as an “electric fastback SUV”, which means it has a sporty, sloping roof.

The first model in the 3008 line-up is the 100% electric E-3008. It will come with two sizes of battery (73kWh or 98kWh batteries), but initially only the former with a claimed 326-mile range will be available.

We’ll have to wait until 2025 for the 98kWh Long Range with an impressive 422 miles on a single charge, and the Dual Motor all-wheel drive (73kWh, 326 miles).

Peugeot E-3008

We road tested the entry-level Peugeot E-3008 73kWh Single Motor, which starts at £45,850.

And the good news is that the new 3008 is even more striking than the outgoing car. There’s a bold front end featuring slim LED headlamps integrated into the frameless grille, but the most obvious change is that it now sports an aerodynamic SUV-coupe profile (think Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron).

Naturally, Peugeot’s trademark light signatures feature too – ‘lion’s claw’ LED daytime running lights up front and ‘three-claw’ at the rear.

Inside, there’s the wow factor of Peugeot’s new “Panoramic i-Cockpit”, complete with a floating, curved 21-inch HD screen that combines the head-up display with the central touchscreen.

Gareth Herincx driving the Peugeot E-3008

I’ve had my issues with Peugeot’s i-Cockpit design before, because the dinky, low-set steering wheel and higher dashboard results in a slightly awkward driving position for taller drivers (ie the steering wheel is almost in your lap, otherwise it blocks the dashboard).

Thankfully, this situation is much-improved in the E-3008, though it’s still a quirk.

The main takeaway is that the infotainment screen and instrument cluster are a huge-step up from the previous model. The graphics are still not-class-leading, but it’s a big improvement and works well.

There are no physical buttons, but the touch keys are great and the ability to create shortcuts really boosts usability. There’s also a handy “OK Peugeot” voice assistant.

Peugeot E-3008

The cabin is well designed and the quality is impressive as long as you don’t look too far down where more basic scratchy black plastics lurk.

It’s spacious too – not just up front, but at the back (the rakish profile doesn’t appear to have impacted headroom too much) and in the boot, where there’s a 588-litre luggage capacity, expanding to 1,663 litres with the seat folded down.

On the road the front mounted electric motor develops 213bhp and drive is via the front wheels. It’s swift, but not blisteringly fast off the line.

With 253lb ft of torque, it can complete the 0-62mph sprint in a respectable 8.8 seconds and tops out at 105mph.

Peugeot E-3008

For the record, the E-3008 is capable of charging speeds up to 160kW, enabling it to be boosted from 20-80% in just 20 minutes (or 30 minutes via a 100kW connection).

It’s easy to drive in urban areas thanks to light steering, a tight turning circle and good visibility for the most part, except for the rear pillars and slim tailgate window.

And despite firm suspension settings and the big 20-inch wheels on our car, it dealt with the lumps and bumps of everyday driving well, only becoming a little unsettled over larger potholes and really poor surfaces.

Grip is good, but the brakes are disappointing (a common issue with EVs) because they lack a progressive feel and have a tendency to snatch.

Peugeot E-3008

You’re also aware of its bulk (2,108kg) on more twisty roads, so there is some body lean. In short, it’s at its best and most refined cruising at higher speeds.

The drive modes (Eco, Normal and Sport) tweak the dynamics slightly, but you can’t alter the fact that this is a family five-seater and not one of the more engaging electric SUVs on the market to drive.

On the plus side, there are three levels of regenerative braking that are adjusted via the steering wheel paddles.

We achieved an efficiency of around 3.5 miles per kWh, which would translate to a real-world range of about 270 miles, so the upcoming 98kWh Long Range should be quite the thing when it arrives on the scene.

Peugeot E-3008

The Peugeot E-3008 is available with a choice of just two trim levels (Allure and GT) and its many rivals include the Renault Scenic E-Tech, Volkswagen ID.5, Nissan Ariya, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Tesla Model Y, Kia Niro EV, Volvo EC40 and Skoda Enyaq.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a classy and refined family-sized SUV loaded with kit and ample kerb appeal, then the all-new, all-electric Peugeot E-3008 could be the car for you.

Peugeot UK

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

We road test the sensational new Hyundai Ioniq 6 – a boldly-styled EV marketed as a ‘streamliner’…

Hyundai is absolutely smashing it out of the park at the moment. Hot on the heels of the latest i10 city car, Tucson Hybrid SUV and crowd-pleasing Ioniq 5, comes the Ioniq 6.

Inspired by aerodynamic style icons of the 20th Century, this slippery four-door saloon may have divisive looks, but believe me, it is one of the best electric cars on the market.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

I’m not alone either, because it was crowned overall World Car of the Year 2023, plus it won the World Electric Vehicle and World Car Design of the Year categories.

Slightly longer than the Tesla Model 3, its other rivals include the Polestar 2 and BMW i4.

Currently only available with a large 77.4kWh battery, the Ioniq 6 has a driving range of up to 338 miles (rear-wheel drive) or 322 miles (all-wheel drive).

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

The single motor RWD develops 226bhp and 258lb ft of torque and is capable of 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds, while the twin-motor AWD delivers 320bhp and 446lb ft, resulting in a faster 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds.

Featuring an 800V charging system providing 350kW compatibility, it can be used at the fastest chargers currently available.

So, expect the Ioniq 6 to charge to 80% in around 20 minutes when connected to a 350kW ultra-rapid connection. And if you have a home wallbox, you’ll be able to charge overnight, while a boost to 80% via a 50kW public charger will take one hour 13 minutes.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

Sharing its underpinnings with the award-winning (more angular) Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover, the 6 has an ultra-low drag coefficient of 0.21, which boosts performance and optimises efficiency.

Priced from £47,040, there’s a choice of two generously-equipped trim levels (Premium and Ultimate).

The Ioniq 6 is futuristic inside too, with dual 12.3-inch screens – a driver’s digital instrument panel and a central infotainment display.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

Thankfully it’s not totally minimalist either. For instance, there are small touch-sensitive buttons for the climate controls in a separate panel beneath the touchscreen. These are a tad fiddly, but much better than having to swipe through menus on a touchscreen.

Overall, the quality of the interior is a step up from the Ioniq 5, while the seats are comfortable and there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces.

There’s also ample space inside front and rear, though taller rear passengers (6ft and over) might struggle for headroom, thanks to that sweeping roofline. The 401-litre boot capacity is very useful too, and you can flip the back seats to transport longer objects.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

A special mention for the Ioniq 6’s distinctive ‘Parametric Pixels’. There are 700 in all and you can find then in the headlights, rear lights, front sensors, air damper trim, centre console indicator and third brake light. In fact, the rear wing light signature when braking is something else.

I got behind the wheel of a Premium spec model with all-wheel drive. Naturally, the seating position is lower than a crossover, though personally I would prefer it lower still.

Right from the off, the whole cabin experience is smooth and refined. Not only does the Ioniq 6 float over most potholes – it’s whisper quiet too.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

It was lashing down with rain for much of my test time, but the car never felt anything other than planted, with abundant grip and effortless power.

It’s surprisingly agile when you push it on more challenging roads with well controlled body lean, while the steering is nicely weighted.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

At its best cruising along, there are three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Sport. As ever, Normal is the best compromise between performance and economy. And if you want extra regenerative braking, then flick one of the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

Hard to tell without spending more time with the car, but the claimed range seemed realistic based on mixed driving.

As you’d expect with a modern EV, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 was awarded a maximum five stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP.

Hyundai Ioniq 6

It’s also fitted with Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2), which is Level 2 autonomous driving. The system helps to maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on faster roads and motorways and helps to centre the vehicle in the lane while driving. It can even overtake the vehicle in front.

Verdict: If you want to stand out from the crowd with a retro-mod, low slung EV saloon, then the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the car for you. Safe, spacious, sophisticated and serene, it delivers a long range and is quite simply, one of the most impressive electric vehicles on the road.

Hyundai UK

Nissan Ariya review

Nissan Ariya

We road test the distinctive Nissan Ariya mid-sized electric SUV…

It’s taken Nissan more than 10 years to follow-up the game-changing Leaf with a brand new EV model. So, is the Ariya as good as it looks?

Let’s start by going back to basics. The Ariya (we think it’s pronounced ‘Arr-Ee-Yah’) is a mid-sized five-door SUV, so its rivals include the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Skoda Enyaq, Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y.

First impressions count and two things stand out. Its futuristic looks are like nothing else on the road, while its plush interior is a real step-up for Nissan.

Nissan Ariya

There’s a choice of two battery sizes- a standard 63kWh unit or the ‘extended range’ 87kWh, which Nissan claims can travel 250 miles and 329 miles respectively from a full charge.

Starting at £46,145, entry-level models use a single electric motor to power the front wheels, producing 214bhp (63kWh) and 239bhp (87kWh).

All-wheel drive versions (marketed as ‘e-4ORCE’) get the larger 87kWh battery and an extra electric motor, delivering a total of 302bhp. However, range takes a hit, resulting in a claimed 285 miles.

Nissan Ariya

The front-wheel drive 63kWh is capable of a 0-62mph sprint in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 100mph, while the all-wheel-drive 87kWh has a 5.7-second 0-62mph time and can go on to 124mph.

Standard equipment is generous and there are just two trim levels to choose from – Advance and Evolve.

Entry-level Advance is fitted with full LED lighting, a heated windscreen, climate control, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, 360-degree cameras and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Nissan Ariya

Evolve adds a panoramic sunroof, a video-based rear-view mirror, ventilated seats, heated rear seats and a Bose sound system, among other features.

The extensive list of safety and driver assistance aids standard on all grades includes Intelligent Driver Alertness, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Jam Pilot, Blind Spot Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Full Auto Park and a 360-degree Around View Monitor. Extra goodies on the Evolve spec include Pro-Pilot Park and a Head-up Display.

The Ariya can be charged at speeds of up to 130kW (slower than some rivals such as the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5), meaning you can top up from 10-80% in around 30 minutes, while an overnight charge from a 7.4kW wallbox will take 10 hours.

Nissan Ariya

Our 63kWh Advance test car looked stunning in Akatsuki Copper with a pearl-black roof. Somewhere between a traditional and coupe-styled SUV, it’s no shrinking violet and is on the tall side.

Up front, the large closed-off grille is flanked by sharp LED daytime running lights and headlights, while the swooping roofline leads to a full-width LED light bar at the rear of the car.

Inside, it’s smart and minimalist. Stylish wood-grained trim spans the width of the dashboard and it has a premium feel.

Nissan Ariya

Touch-sensitive controls with haptic feedback are hidden within the trim, illuminating when the car is switched on. More of these ‘buttons’ are conveniently placed on the sliding centre armrest, which can be moved via the press of a button to provide additional foot space in the front or the rear.

The Ariya’s infotainment system consists of two 12.3-inch screens, mounted side-by-side – a driver’s digital instrument cluster, plus a main infotainment interface complete with sat nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

The cabin is spacious and light with plenty of room in the back for rear passengers to travel in comfort.

Nissan Ariya

Single motor models get a decent 466-litre boot capacity (1,348 litres with the back seats down), reducing to 408 litres if all-wheel drive is chosen.

The overwhelming sensation on the road is of a relaxing driving experience. Not only is it comfortable and well insulted inside the cabin, it’s been well put together and the delivery of all that instant torque is smooth and quiet.

There are three driving modes (Eco, Sport and Normal), though we found the latter will do just fine. As you’d expect from Nissan, there’s also an e-pedal option, which winds up the regenerative braking and can bring the car to a halt simply by lifting off the accelerator.

It feels planted at high speed and on flowing country roads, but try to hustle in more challenging corners and its weight and height become more obvious. There’s a bit of body lean and 2.2 tonnes to slow down, which tends to blunt the driving engagement.

Nissan Ariya

That said, grip levels are good, though as we found with our front-wheel drive test car, it is possible to spin the front wheels when setting off on loose surfaces and in the wet if you’re too heavy on the accelerator.

Otherwise, the steering feels nicely judged, and the commanding driving position offers good visibility (plus there’s a rear wiper, unlike some rivals!).

We haven’t tried the 87kWh all-wheel drive e-4ORCE model yet, but we suspect the increased grip, power and range (we’d estimate the real-world range in our 63kWh test car is closer to 200 miles) might be worth the extra expense.

Verdict: Safe, spacious and surprisingly classy, the Nissan Ariya family SUV boasts serious kerb appeal. Easy to drive and comfortable, it’s at its best cruising along stylishly and smoothly.

Nissan UK

Nissan Ariya

Genesis GV60 review

Genesis GV60

We road test the first pure electric car from the new, upmarket Genesis brand…

Before we begin, let’s start with a quick refresh. Genesis is the luxury arm of the Hyundai Motor Group, which also includes Kia. So, think Lexus/Toyota and DS/Citroen. Only launched in the UK in the summer of 2021, its impressive stable of prestige cars includes saloons, SUVs and an estate.

Up until now, the range hasn’t quite matched up to the equivalents from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.

The good news for Genesis is that we think the fully electric GV60 will go down as the brand’s breakthrough model.

Genesis GV60

Developed alongside its award-winning cousins, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, the GV60 is arguably the most successful of the trio in the looks department.

Slightly shorter than the Ioniq 5 and EV6, it’s nicely proportioned with a curvaceously muscular stance and short overhangs. There are flush-fitting door handles along its flowing profile, plus the option of rear-facing cameras instead of conventional door mirrors. Slim, stacked headlights and a broad black grille are highlights up front, while its sexy derrière is a candidate for Rear of the Year.

Priced from £47,005, the new Genesis GV60 is available in three trims (Premium, Sport and Sport Plus) and all versions come with a 77.4kWh battery, but different choices of electric motor.

Genesis GV60

It’s not worth listing the differences between the grades when it comes to goodies. Let’s just say, the GV60 is generously equipped, though obviously you should compare. Perhaps more importantly, it’s the technical differences that matter.

The GV60 Premium gets a single 225bhp electric motor that drives the rear wheels, giving up to 321 miles of range.

Sport versions come with dual motors producing a total of 314hp. These cars are four-wheel drive, but range is down to 292 miles.

Genesis GV60

The top-spec GV60 Sport Plus we tested gets a more powerful dual-motor setup that produces an impressive 483bhp in total, though range is down again to a still decent 289 miles on a single charge.

It’s worth noting that there’s a boost button on the Sport Plus which unlocks a 10-second blast of gut-wrenching power. Oh, and those 0-62mph times range from 7.8 seconds for the Premium down to 4.0 seconds for the Sport Plus.

The Genesis GV60 also comes with a state-of-the-art 800-volt electrical system that lets you charge it using ultra rapid 350kw chargers from 10-80% full in just 18 minutes.

Genesis GV60

Alternatively, a 10-80% charge via a more common 50kW connection will take 73 minutes, while a 10-100% boost from an 11kw home wallbox takes seven hours 20 minutes.

The cabin is spacious and faultlessly finished, though it’s worth test-driving the GV60 is you regularly carry taller than average rear passengers because of the sloping roofline.

Two wide 12.3-inch digital screens take care of infotainment duties, but thankfully there’s also a good balance of traditional buttons and dials to easily access commonly used functions.

Genesis GV60

The interior’s party trick is the gorgeous crystal ball in the middle of the centre console (Genesis calls it a ‘Crystal Sphere’) which revolves to reveal a rotating dial with Drive, Reverse, Park etc when the GV60 is ready to go.

The boot has a useful 432-litre capacity to the parcel shelf, expanding to 1,550 litres with the rear seats folded down. There’s also space under the bonnet – the perfect spot to store your charging cables.

My only criticisms of the cabin are that the brushed metal effect used extensively has a plastic feel to it – not unlike a much cheaper Hyundai. Also, visibility through the small rear window isn’t the best, and there’s no wiper.

Genesis GV60

The GV60’s driving position is comfortable, if fairly high, and the car itself certainly feels substantial.

Obviously it’s quiet, refined and very fast. The Sport Plus we tested had adaptive predictive suspension, which uses information from the front camera and navigation system to adjust damping in advance, delivering an impressively comfortable ride.

There’s good body control in corners, but ultimately the GV60’s agility will always be compromised by its width and two-tonne weight. In other words, you’d need some track time to have the confidence to take it close to the limit.

Genesis GV60

That said there’s a serious amount of grip and traction from those epic 21-inch Michelin-shod wheels, so you can still have fun and a play with the various drive modes.

We found Comfort mode does just fine and the GV60 is at its best cruising effortlessly along at the legal limit. Oh, and a special mention for the steering wheel paddles which let you vary the amount of brake regeneration through five levels, from frictionless coasting to one-pedal driving.

Finally, the steering is light and accurate, but there’s not much in the way of feedback, while the brakes are progressive, unlike many EVs.

Genesis GV60

Before we sign off, it’s worth remembering that Genesis is no ordinary brand, offering a completely different VIP ownership experience.

There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.

It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout your ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).

What’s more, Genesis’s 5-Year Care Plan includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.

Verdict: The all-new Genesis GV60 is a class act. Big, practical, comfortable, safe and a joy to drive, it’s one of the best electric crossovers on the market with serious kerb appeal. Add the unique sales and aftercare package and it’s sure to appeal to buyers who prefer the finer things in life.