After the Espace and the Scenic, the Renault Modus seemed to be the next MPV hit

But things turned out differently…

Renault Modus 10 years ago

This month marks twenty years since Renault presented the Modus at the Geneva Motor Show. After the large MPV and the midsize MPV, Renault was expected to compete in the compact MPV class. We look back to the first decade of this century, the period when we regularly got behind the wheel of the Modus to find out where the qualities of the small MPV lay.

The first time we drove it was the same year it was unveiled.

Renault Mode

“You can think of Renault’s latest as a Clio MPV, but in appearance it looks more like a blown-up Twingo.” There is also a mix in terms of segment: we write that the Modus is intended for people who are looking for a Scénic in a smaller size and for hatchback drivers who want to go up. We are quite satisfied with the driving. Reasonable, because our judgment doesn’t get more flattering than ‘good-natured’. What is less nice is that you clearly notice that there is a high center of gravity and that the steering is very numb.

Renault Mode

The rest of our opinion about the Modus will be determined during the test work, which starts with a comparison with the Lancia Musa, Mazda 2 and Opel Meriva. We praise the comfort of the small Renault (“After all, it is a Frenchman.”) and the truly enormous number of hatches behind which you can store things. Renault put it on the market to wash the Meriva’s ears and… it worked! The Opel has to make do with second place. “Newcomer Modus will immediately take top honors,” was the conclusion. Comfortable, well thought-out, quiet, smooth and flexible are also words that we encounter in the final assessment.

When Nissan comes out with the Note, we think it’s time again to drive to the importer in Schiphol-Rijk for a Modus. That confrontation with a direct family member has a hard conclusion: “Renault is putting itself in a bit of a bind by positioning the Modus extremely far below the Scénic. The most painful attack on the Modus comes from the Nissan Note, which is based on the same technical basis, but after the departure of the Tino it was able to be developed unbridled into a space wonder that is unparalleled in the ‘reasonably affordable class’. knows.”

Shocking crash of Modus into Volvo 940

In terms of safety, the Modus made the news in a remarkable way in 2007. The TV show Fifth Gear organizes a crash test and crashes the Modus and an old Volvo 940 into each other, while the cars are both traveling at just over 60 km/h. A test under the motto: would you rather be compact, modern with 5 Euro NCAP stars or a bit older but much larger and ‘built like a tank’? The result is shocking: you will find it if you go to ‘Mode vs. 940’ searches.

When the later extended Modus is released, the Grand Modus, we will see whether that version can compensate for the lack of MPV space of the normal Mode.

In this way, the Grand Modus, Kangoo, Laguna Estate Scénic and Grand Espace find themselves diametrically opposed to each other in a large-scale family feud. The Laguna and the Scénic come the furthest in terms of price-quality ratio. “The Grand Mode offers the least space, is not cheap and is not very flexible.” Oh dear.

Renault Mode

The last Mode in AutoWeek is a used test drive with a 1.4 16V in 2011. In the final table the total score is 7.1. A figure that perfectly characterizes the Modus: it is not bad, but in the car school class it is certainly not one of the standouts. Not even the Modus hatch could change that.

Renault Mode

Renault Mode

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