Cheap and cheerful
TEST DRIVE DACIA LOGAN DCV
ANT a new car that’s modern and spacious for a bargain basement price-tag? Then look no further than the Dacia Logan MCV
The most affordable estate on sale in the UK actually belies its cheap as chips status thanks to the backing of owner Renault, whose back catalogue of interior fixtures and fittings ensure this Dacia is more than acceptable for the £7,295 needed to buy the entrylevel Access model.
And indeed with impressive boot capacity and a cabin that can easily swallow five adults the Logan offers a lot of practicality and versatility for family motoring.
There is a huge amount of luggage space with 573 litres available with the rear seats in place. When the 60/40 split rear seatbacks are lowered this expands to a cave-like 1,518 litres.
This is no surprise when you know the letters tagged on to the end of the Logan name – MCV – stand for Maximum Capacity Vehicle.
There are lots of storage compartments and cup holders as well as a mobile phone pocket on the side of the front passenger seat. An illuminated glove box is handy while those in the rear get a bottle holder, rear door bins and seatback pockets to squirrel away the odds and sods that accumulate over time. The Logan is a refined beast with exterior noise by and large banished from a cabin that is well put together despite inevitably containing some cheaper plastics.
Yes the mid-range Ambience model’s interior is a tad plain but the layout of the Renault-sourced switches and dials is logical and for £8,695 it offers a modern look.
There is also a reasonable amount of kit with remote central locking, air con, digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and electric front windows included. Satin chrome used to frame the central console and instrument dials is a nice touch.
And, following a recent revamp, the exterior is decent to look at as well with a nod to SUV design clear in the raised ride height, chrome-finish front grille, daytime running lights, eyecatching black wheelarches and underbody protection.
There are also natty fog lamps and satin roof bars in a package that looks ready to take a family on a hiking holiday.
Three engine choices are offered with power here provided by a 1.0litre petrol engine, sourced from Renault, that offers decent fuel economy, thanks to stop/start technology, and is not as slow as a pedestrian 0-62mph time of almost 15 seconds would suggest.
That said the Logan is a comfortable rather than thrilling drive with a suspension set up to absorb the many humps and hollows littering our roads – although larger obstacles do make their presence felt in the cabin.
Safety is catered for by a raft of clever electronics to help keep you on the road as well as front and side driver and passenger airbags in case an accident can’t be averted. There is also a tyre pressure warning light and hill start assist. A three-year, 60,000 mile warranty gives motoring peace of mind.
Relaunched by parent company Renault in 2004, Dacia has sold more than 100,000 cars in the UK since it launched here in 2013.
The Romanian company is hoping the latest Logan makes a big impact, providing the next instalment in its British success story. Model: Dacia Logan MCV Ambiance SCe 75 Price: £8,695 Mechanical: 73bhp, 1,000cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox Max speed: 98mph 0-62mph: 14.7 seconds Combined mpg: 52.3 Insurance group: 2 CO2 emissions: 120g/km BiK rating: 23% Warranty: 3yrs / 60,000 miles