UK awaits new 2012 Renault Scenic prices
The Renault Scenic has risked being left behind in the small people carrier segment in recent years as five-door MPVs take a huge step forward in terms of desirability, design and running costs.
However, new images show Renault is ready to refresh its compact MPV and take on new kids on the block such as the new Ford C-Max and the 2011 Vauxhall Meriva.
And it doesn't look bad. There are smart new front and rear lights and tweaks to the grille, while new technology has been added including lane departure warning and hill start assist.
But the lack of Renault's attractive new front end design, which will debut on the new Renault Twingo, is a bit disappointing - something Renault puts down to 'time constraints'.
There's no doubt the Renault doesn't look as good as its rivals, but Renault is a step ahead in terms of diesel engine technology.
There are now two new, cleaner engines in the shape of Renault's impressive 1.5-litre 110 diesel (with Stop & Start technology) and a 1.2-litre petrol.
This should cut down on running costs (the diesel in particular is impressive, delivering 68.9mpg on the official consumption figures) but the real yardstick will be the eventual price of the Renault.
This will be announced before February 2012, when order books open, but if it is to compete with two new, more popular rivals, it needs to be affordable.
When you compare new Ford C-Max prices with Vauxhall Meriva prices, the latter comes out on top by around £2,000 for entry-level models (around £15,500 compared to Ford C-Max prices of around £17,500).
While the Vauxhall Meriva can also deliver economical Ecoflex diesel engines and clever rear-opening doors, the Ford C-Max offers higher equipment levels, improved styling and an unmatchable ride thanks to the origins it shares with the Ford Focus.
To compare Vauxhall Meriva prices and Ford C-Max prices, you have to take into account the Ford C-Max is ultimately the better car, meaning it is a matter of saving some money with the Meriva or shelling out a little extra for the C-Max.
When it comes to the Renault Scenic, it looks unlikely it will appeal to those with their heart set on a C-Max, meaning it must compare prices with the Vauxhall Meriva and at a little over £15,000, it will be tough.
A position somewhere between the two would leave customers with an interesting choice to make and perhaps, a compromise between price and what you get for your money.
The new 2012 Renault Scenic has been priced at €21350 in France (over £18,000) but at the moment there are no indications this will be repeated in the UK yet.
Official pricing details will be announced very early next year in preparation for the car arriving in dealerships in March.