Renault launches Sunny-based Scala in India

The French car manufacturer Renault is currently the cynosure of all eyes in the Indian automotive space. Yes, it is the same manufacturer whose first entry to India was marred with a bitter partnership with Mahindra and the next three models launched independently went without a trace. But then, the Duster came and swept all the dust surrounding the brand clean. On all account, the Duster has been a phenomenal success for Renault and the company is apparently sitting on an order book of 15000 units. To take advantage of the positive momentum generated by the Duster, Renault has wasted no time in launching the Scala in India. It's important to note that the company deliberately advanced the launch of Scala to offer yet another choice to thousands of customers who come enquiring about the Duster.

The Scala is to Sunny like what the Pulse is to Micra. Its a rebadged and slightly redesigned version of its Nissan sibling. And just like the Pulse, the Scala builds on the looks of the Sunny and ends up looking a whole lot better. The hexagonal grille with its chrome and black plastic bits and the stretched headlights are the biggest changes in the car. While the profile is untouched except for the alloys that are carried over from the Pulse, the rear gets redesigned taillight lenses and a thick chrome strip with the Scala name inscribed in it. Kudos to the Renault India Design Team in Mumbai for turning a not-so-good-looking car into one that looks quite appealing. Except for the logo in the steering wheel, absolutely nothing has changed inside the cabin from the Nissan Sunny.

The Scala is powered by the same pair of 1.5-liter petrol and diesel engines from the Sunny that produces 99 PS and 86 PS respectively. Both the engines are currently mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Three variants are on offer - RxE, RxL and RxZ. While the base RxE and the top-end RxZ comes only with the petrol and diesel engines respectively, the RxL trim is available with both the engine options. We have always loved the characteristics of Renault's superb K9K diesel engine and we are sure that it will be no different in the Scala too. The Scala comes loaded with goodies like leather seats, automatic climate control, follow-me-home headlamps, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. Also, the Scala is the last of the 5 models that Renault had planned to launch in India before the end of 2012.

While all this is impressive, we feel that Renault has slightly missed the target when it comes to pricing. While the petrol variants are priced at INR 6.99 Lakhs and 7.85 Lakhs, the diesel variants cost INR 8.69 Lakhs and 9.57 Lakhs, all ex-showroom Delhi. Compared to the equivalent Sunny variant, the Scala is charging a substantial premium of well over 1 Lakh rupees.

Will the market respond favorably to better looks and more features of the Scala and ignore this price difference with the Sunny? Does 'Renault' badge really command the premium that the company is asking for? Let's wait and see.

NOTE: We have not driven the Scala yet but if you want to know how it is to drive, click on this link where we have driven and posted about the Nissan Sunny Diesel. The Renault Scala is mechanically identical to the Sunny.


  1. Hideous. And still looks a lot better than half of Renault’s current lineup.

    1. Though the design isn't proportionate, we don't think the Scala is hideous. But yes, when compared to cars like Verna and City, the Scala wouldn't garner a second glance.