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It is said that dressing well is a necessity if you want to travel Business Class; & the perks of travelling in style Makes you arrive in style; Introducing a new dimension of Business class travel; The very STYLISH; The Very SEXY; Renault Scala; They say LUXURY must be COMFORTABLE & being comfortable is a STATE OF MIND; But whatever they say, there is no substitute for S P A C E; The Scala provides LUXURY IN SIMPLICITY The INVITING REAR SEAT; The Decision; My Current daily commute is/was the Fiat Punto 1.3 MJD It was aprox > 80k kms on the Fiat Punto MJD & it had served us exceptionally well especially with its confident inspiring highway manners, ride comfort & decent space at the back considering it was a hatchback, but it was time for a change & so was on the lookout for replacement. Sold for Rs 3.3 L Other Considerations; Renault Duster 85 PS (Diesel); The delivery period for the 85 Diesel was going overboard i.e > 3 months & so had to drop the idea of the Duster. Also the issue with the rear space/legroom put me off Pre-Requisites for the new buy; - Efficient Diesel Engine (Because my running would be atleast 20-25k kms/Annum) - Going to be chauffeur driven > 95% of time - Back seat space/comfort - Rear Arm rest ( mentioning this as was sorely missed in the Punto ) - Good Highway manners ( as dad will be chauffeured to factory @ Gujarat, Pune ) The booking & delivery Experience; The car was booked at Gen Next motors , Thane. The car was available in stock so the delivery was very quick indeed i.e. 7-8 working days. (this includes the loan procedure) GenNext Motors offered accessories worth upto Rs 25,000 Free on the Scala which include; 1) Map My India GPS 2) Illuminated Scuff Plates 3) Rear Parking Sensors 4) OE Matting 5) OE Mud Flaps The Delivery (23/11/12); Picked the car up from the stockyard @ Panvel 1st pictures; My T-Fort playing the role of a Support Car during the delivery; Registration; On the day i took the car for registration to Silvassa i got allotted the number 1164. I happily accepted the number & made a temporary sticker of the same & returned to Mumbai. The next day was a weekend, & on Monday i got a call from the RTO & DNH that the number i allotted which was 1162 is not changed to 1172. Was strange but anyway had to accept it, so did. However was running around on the old number till the new RC book, & IND Plates arrived Tyre Upgrade; The very next day of delivery & 300 kms later the tyres were upgraded from; Stock Bridgestone : 185/65 R15 to ; Make : Michelin Primacy LC Up-Size : 195/60 R15 & immediately the outcome Positives; - Better Ride quality / comfort - Improved Handling - Improved high speed stability (which was lacking in the Bridgestones especially > 120 km/hr - Marginally improved braking (> 2-3 %) - Wider track hence Better looks - Boosts the confidence of my driver & also mine while being chauffeured (mind games) Negative; - None, except while explaining my driver to take it easy on bumps, potholes as don’t want a popping side wall air bubble / cut may have dip his morale, lol Total cost after Buy Back – Rs 8000/- (i.e. 2k / tyre) More on this in the ride & handling section. 2000 km : 1st Service In almost under 15 days for the 1st service as had crossed the 2000 km mark; Also the fitment of accessories was to take place. The free goodies; - Map My India GPS - Illuminated Scuff Plates - Rear Parking Sensors - OE Matting - OE Mud Flaps 7500 km Report on; Engine/Performance; The engine feels like a N/A & this i say not in a negative way but with its low end ability & negligible turbo Lag this motor is a boon for stress free driving. This motor churns out a minimal of aprox 85 hp but the pulling power is astonishing aiding the cruising ability. Yes, the motor does get a bit gruffy when you revv it but overall pretty silent. As the meat of the power is in the strong low to mid end, so no point in doing 0-100 runs or red-lining as the juice wont be worth the squeeze. Refinement/Damping; Pop the hood & u see no damping, seems Renault is pretty confident of the refinement levels of the K9K. Gearbox/Gear shifts; The Gear Ratios are laid out very well to aid driving/cruising. Ample torque available from the low-mid end. Gearshifts are precise and good to operate. To be frank it is FUN to play around the gears as the shift quality is good. Also i believe the Renault engineers could have made the shift quality even better & paralleled the Skodas shift quality (Benchmark in my eyes – have been a Laura user i.e. before Cruze) but it seemed they left working on the shift quality halfway. Also note the Renault gearshifts cant adopt to the quick/fast gear changes. Gives a sound when you want to operate them in a rush. Fuel Economy; The Scala has been fairly economical till now. Highest FE clocked an practical runs (100-120 km/h) NH driving is 18-19 km/l On an daily commute in the city have consistently clocked 15-16 km/l The Worst economy got till now was in an spirited run on an highway clocking high 13s km/l Also recently did a short economy run on EE Hwy (Aprox 40 kms) with very careful throttle inputs (non practical) & managed to get an staggering 26 km/l All in all an extremely FE car & i am satisfied with it. Braking; A lot has been criticized about the braking on the Scala / Sunny & all those claims are true but to a certain extent allow me to speak in favour of the Scala a bit. More than the braking i feel the problem lies in the setting of the brake pedal / sensitivity. To elaborate more on this is that the pedal has almost no feel when pressed up to say 20% of travel & post that it starts reacting but taking its own time still & when the mind is convinced it is a do or die u depress the brake pedal further & there finally it has the bite. So overall i blame the brake pedal for being lazy / in sensitive but if you master this art i feel the braking is very soothing for the rear passengers. Post the Fitment of wider PLC Rubber i think it is definitely confident inspiring under hard braking but the difference is hardly 2-3% which is critical nonetheless. Ride & Handling; The ride quality is truly impressive. It drives flat on the rough patches very well. Much of the credit has to be given to the suspension of this Renault which has been truly designed in favor favor of the poor Indian road conditions. Negative - As soon as you hit a bad bump/badly laid out pavered blocks/ pot hole the suspension sounds creep into the cabin making you feel you have committed a sin. ^ The above could have been reduced with better sound dampening Handling is very predictable now thanks to the confidence inspiring Michelins for being Wider, Softer & Stickier than the Bridgestones. The suspension now gives in before the tires thanks to the soft setup. Also there is noticeable body roll. Have done many number of trips to Gujarat, Pune (more like a passenger though i.e. back seat) and it feels safe; ^ @ NH8 - From one of my trips to Gujarat (DNH) But all in all the handling is very good and more of a cruiser on the Highways than a Scorcher. Interior; I think the interior is well laid out everything is pretty neatly designed and the color chemistry used is a fresh change over the common beige. Space – This is the one and main reason for the purchase. Haptics; Haptics refers to the science / sense of TOUCH & FEEL. Normally cars plastic (Dashboard & trims) is based on 3 principles; 1) Conventional Polypropylene Compound 2) Polypropylene Compound With additives ( Scratch Resistant ) 3) TPO Skin overmolding ( Where a soft rubber skin – leather like is crafted on the hard poly propylene compound to give the entire interior / dashboard soft touch feel) – Common to premium cars BMW, Porsche etc ... The plastics quality in the Scala belongs in the 1st category i.e. the conventional PP Type. I say this as the plastic quality on the interiors is not at all inviting to touch, leaving that aside it has already developed a scratch above the glove box. Scala in a nutshell ; What i Like: 1) ABS + EBD in RxL Model ( technically BASE Model of Diesel) 2) Fantastic Rear headrests (cushioned to perfection , just like a pillow) 3) One Touch down & UP window ( Drivers side ) 4) Steering mounted steering controls (specially having “Source” button, no need to reach out to switch ON) 5) Steering “Not” adjustable for REACH – I say this in my interest as i am going to be 95 % of time sitting behind so which directly means the driver will not push seat back because the steering will not get pulled for reach ) 6) The chrome door handles feel upmarket & are of supreme finish. 7) Big Boot has quite an appetite & can swallow quite a bit of luggage. 8) 2+2 year / 80,000 km warranty What i Dislike: 1) Even after setting the seat to the lowest position still it is too high for my liking 2) No cushioning on the front center arm rest 3) The Roof Antenna is too long for today’s standard ( makes it look like an RC car) 4) Mediocre engine performance above 120 kph, literally feels out of breath 5) Only 2 keys given by Renault out of which only one is with the integrated buttons & other one with no keyless entry buttons looks pre-historic ( 2+1 would have been ideal) 6) Rear seat storage pocket only on the passenger side & missing on the drivers side, WHY ? 7) Headroom ( Rear Seat) is tight at the rear for any one who is >= 6 Ft Overall this review pays more emphasis on the Scala as a practical, economical, stylish & S P A C I O U S Business sedan to be chauffeured in. Thank You !!!