The Megane Scénic can be traced back to a concept car designed under the supervision of Anne Asensio, then Head of Design at Renault. The Scénic was mechanically identical to the Mégane hatchback (itself based on the older R19). The 1.4L, 1.6L "Energy", 1.8L "F-type" petrol and 1.9L diesel engines were shared with the hatchback range. The Scénic was aimed at those who wanted all the practicality of a multi-purpose vehicle, but could not accommodate the larger size and higher price of such vehicles as Renault's own Espace. Renault underestimated the sales impact that the Scénic would have — predicting that it would be a niche model with only 450 produced a day. Production at the company's Douai plant would eventually peak at nearly 2500 cars a day. With the Scénic, Renault created a new market segment — the compact MPV, and the concept was quickly imitated by other manufacturers.
Phase 2 (1999)
Along with the Mégane hatchback, the Scénic underwent a minor frontal restyle in 1999 and the newer 16-valve engines introduced. From the time of this restyle, it became officially known as the Renault Scénic, although a small "Mégane" badge still appeared on the rear door signifying the car's origin. This model is still built in Brazil with flexible fuel engines.