So the Renault Scala has successfully managed to overcome the Nissan Sunny's design drawbacks in a very elegant fashion. However, the Nissan Sunny was also criticized for having a very plain jane interior.
When the Renault Duster was launched in India, it was completely customized for the Indian taste. The rear air conditioner vent, redesigned seats and a new dashboard layout are specific to the Indian market.
The Nissan Sunny shares most of its interior with the Micra which has been criticized for being too feminine. The Scala needs help!
The exterior design of the Renault Scala was premiumized with a hint of aggression. Was the interior also revamped to go well with the masculine exterior design? The short answer is NO. The two key differences between the Nissan Sunny’s interior and Renault Scala’s interior are:
- Perforated leather seats are available in Scala
- A Renault badge features on the steering wheel
Here is the long version of the story:
Thanks to the smart key, you don’t need to search for the keyhole in the dark. The first thing that you notice is the amount of component sharing in this Renault-Nissan Alliance offering. Everything is where you left it.
You have the familiar ‘Greige’ (Grey+Beige) interior that we see on the Micra/Pulse/Sunny and recently on the Evalia. Thanks to the color, the interiors are bright and airy. The ingress is very effortless.
The steering wheel is picked out from the parts bin of the Sunny (sans the Nissan’s badge) and is neither too chunky nor too thin. It has a good grip and is rake adjustable. We would like to see reach adjustment incorporated in the future.
Thankfully the assembly comes with steering mounted controls on the left hand side. Like most Japanese cars, the indicator and wiper stalks are on the ‘right’ side of the steering wheel.
The instrument console features fine-vision dials with a speedometer and a tachometer. A small MID in between the dials gives you driver information such as Live FE, Average FE, distance to empty, outside temperature and odometer reading. On the right hand side of the driver, you get controls to operate the ORVM and a beam adjuster. The pushbutton starter is one of the premium features on the list.
The center console gives the whole interior a feminine touch.
The center console houses the music system has a CD player/FM and AUX function. Sadly it lacks Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. The four speaker stereo has a very average sound quality. Pump up the volume and the sound quality quickly fades. The funky circular air-con control is user friendly. The Scala comes with climate control and the air con unit is awesomely powerful to bring the cabin’s temperature down very quickly.
The gear stick is slightly different in the Scala and it has a nice grip. The two cup holders below the air-con controls fit in small bottles and coffee cups. The glovebox is not very spacious and can only store papers or notebooks. There is a small compartment above the glovebox to store stuff on the go.
The leather seats are very comfortable. They provide reasonable lumbar support for the driver and front passenger. They have height-adjustable headrests and the seats themselves are also height adjustable to attain a comfortable position.
Coming to the rear, you find the biggest USP of the Scala - space, lots and lots of space! Even a six footer can easily snuggle into the rear seats of the Scala with ease. An average person can cross his legs and sit comfortably in the back when the front seats are pulled back. We must note here that the sloping roofline does eat slightly into the headroom.
The Scala also gets rear vents that suck air from the front and blow to the rear. The second level of fan speed is very noisy forcing rear seat conversations to turn loud. Renault should have replaced it with the AC unit from the Duster, but the technical complications may have prevented them from trying it.
The boot space is plenty, a total of 490L to be precise. It can swallow a grown adult in perfect comfort!
The boot lid opens wide and has a comfortably low loading lip. The spare wheel is tucked nicely under the boot.
There is no dead pedal but ample space to nurse your left foot. Storage solutions all around the car are very usable for long drives.
What did I not like about the Renault Scala's interior
- No originality - Very been-there-done-that feeling.
- None of the crazy French quirky ergonomics. No-nonsense interiors in a French car, perhaps a first? Is this what the world has come to?
- No Bluetooth or USB ports.
- No cruise control or sunroof.
- The rear seats fold down, but there’s no split.
- No HVAC re-routing like the Renault Duster. Just a blower at the back, which needs time to work properly.
As much as we would have loved to see new interiors for the Scala, we must remind ourselves that Renault wanted to bring out a car quickly into this segment at competitive prices. The Nissan Sunny’s second weak point of very ordinary interiors has passed on to the Renault. They are very functional and the fit and finish is good but overall, there's nothing out of the ordinary here.