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Speaking of the satnav, Renault offers two options, its existing in-house, DVD-based solution and the aforementioned Carminat TomTom system. It's the latter that is most intriguing, firstly because it promises to marry the best aspects of in-car and aftermarket solutions and secondly because it's by far the cheaper of the two options at £450 and comes complete with a 5.8-inch 4:3 aspect LCD screen. The DVD-based system is yours for £1,250.
Given the enormous price differential, you'd think the TomTom nav was both the obvious choice and immensely good value. In practice it mostly is and yet still left us a little disappointed. The biggest downer is the low specification of the system. It lacks many of the snazzier features of the best aftermarket TomTom units such as HD Traffic and Live services, the likes of which can be had on TomTom's own satnav devices from as little as £275. Renault told us that it's early days for its partnership with TomTom and that we can expect full-featured TomTom systems to appear in future.
The system's graphical interface also clashes with that of the virtual instrument cluster. Combined with the split control interfaces and the two oddly shaped LCD panels sitting uncomfortably together under the main binnacle, the overall feeling is of a system that has been tacked on as an afterthought.
However, that's not to say it doesn't have any benefits. Because it's a fully integrated system, it's able to mute the main stereo system when delivering voice guidance, for instance. What's more, it not only supports map and custom POI updates via an SD memory card. Users can also use the SD card slot to upload multi-waypoint journeys prepared on a PC into the satnav system.
For the record, the Grand Scenic also comes with a Bluetooth phone kit including the obligatory support for contact databases. It's standard on the Dynamique trim level and upwards and a £200 option when combined with the upgraded USB-enabled sound system on the remainder of the Grand Scenic range.
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