It’s maximum for capacity... and value
TAKE a good look at this week’s test car… you are going to see a lot of them on our roads. It is the Dacia Logan MCV (Maximum Capacity Vehicle) and our test version comes with touchscreen sat-nav, air conditioning, cruise control, eco mode (with up to 80mpg) alloy wheels, roof bars, daytime running lights, Bluetooth connectivity and a huge load space area… all for under £11k.
The standard Logan MCV Laureate dCi90 is £10,795 on the road and the Logan MCV range starts from only £6,995 for the base Access model, with the mid-range Ambiance from £7,795. Dacia say it is the cheapest estate car on sale in the UK.
New for 2015 is a Laureate Prime version (£11,295) with special interior finishes, alloy wheels and external colours plus upgraded ‘live traffic’ sat nav and audio system.
Made in Romania under the wing of owners Renault (in some global markets they are sold as a Renault) Dacia has moved into the bargain basement sector of the new car market apparently now abandoned by manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia, who have begun to see their vehicles as more ‘aspirational’.
Now it is important to say here that, while the MCV is available at a bargain price, that does not mean it is cheap in terms of build and quality.
The interior finishes look very robust and the touchscreen sat-nav and radio is as good as ones in cars many times this price.
A week spent with the estate car showed it to be civilised, practical and easy to drive – with the performance from its (largest option) 90bhp conventional 1.5-litre diesel engine more than adequate and surprisingly quiet (inside the car).
There is also a 75bhp, 1.2-litre petrol unit which gives 49mpg overall and a TCe 90 898cc turbo petrol engine which returns up to 65mpg and has 90bhp.
What was also surprising was the diesel version’s economy.
Dacia claims up to 80.7mpg on a run and 74.3 overall, but we all know that in real world driving manufacturers’ economy claims are usually far from reality.
However, a week of work and back plus a few errands and a full load to Her Indoors ‘mega wedding fayre of the year’ – which really showed the car’s big carrying capacity – and there was still 500 miles left in the tank.
The trip computer showed I had averaged 59.9 mpg with the MCV not even being in eco mode for most of the time – impressive.
I particularly liked the fact the driver’s seat is height adjustable and that Dacia doesn’t appear to have skimped on tyres, with the smart alloy wheels shod with Continentals.
That very welcome carry space (which, let’s face it is why people buy estate cars) is 573 litres with the rear seats up rising to 1,518 litres with the seats down. In other words lots.
The entry-level Access spec gets only essentials and the basic petrol engine looks slow on paper so best to pay a little more and go for the higher spec, diesel version – still thousands of pounds less than other family-sized estate cars.
If you do then you will have a car that has massive carrying space and rugged looks, is comfortable and a decent drive for an incredible price.
My only gripes are no 6th gear, only drum brakes on the rear and no DAB on the radio – but then at this price it is hardly surprising. And for a few hundred pounds more you can get a seven year/100,000-mile warranty.
It is fair to say Dacia with its Sandero, Duster and now Logan models has shaken up the lower end of the domestic UK car market with its value-for-money pricing. Other manufacturers should beware… look at what has happened in the world of supermarkets after the cost cutters moved in!