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New car test: Dacia Jogger: seven is enough!


Dacia is decidedly full of ideas. The brand has a habit of filling in market niches forgotten by its competitors in a very bright way. While new cars are getting horrendously expensive by the day, the Romanian brand is lining up a keenly priced and completely refreshed range covering the needs of young adults, budding adventurers or large families. The new Jogger is a seducing 7-seater model boasting the same qualities as the Lodgy it replaces.

€ 14,790 gets you in the Essential trim 5-seater Jogger. Just add € 750 to get a 3rd row of seats. We rarely start writing an article talking about money… However, in this case, the retail price will likely remain most buyers’ main reason to get one ! Fortunately, this car has more than a trick up its sleeve. It shares the CMF-B platform with the Sandero and the Logan. In this case, it was even lengthened to 4.55 metres. Thanks to it, there is now enough room inside for seven passengers,  without making the back row feeling too cramped. Fairly enough, rear access is not its real forte. However, some practice and agility , will soon see to that. Obviously, the two extra seats can be removed easily. Contrary to what one might think, many people like this kind of family car. Many blended families are often stuck when it comes to finding an affordable seven-seater.

The Jogger wheelbase is 2.9m and headroom is generous. The straight rear end ensures an up to 520 dm³ loadspace while still welcoming 5 passengers! The middle row ones benefit from a raised window line, thanks to a roof recess enlightening the interior. The new Dacia Jogger’s low price, generous interior space and load area surely are already enough reasons to attract buyers. However, the two engines available answer the needs of a large range of people and reinforce the car’s attractivity. The first one is the new direct injection 1.0 TCe 110 3-pot mill which delivers 200Nm of torque at 2,900rpm. The second one can run on petrol or GPL, endowing it with at least 1,000km range. Obviously, this lump won’t be as frugal as a good old diesel one… Nevertheless, we were quite surprised by this version’s fuel consumption, even though we drove the TCe 110 enthusiastically. We’ll come back to that later.

The maiden test of the latest Dacia model took place recently in the Nice area. In other words, it means Dacia is fully confident in its most recent car to let automotive journalists loose in the beautiful sunny hills of this region. Indeed, some of our readers will laugh in front of their computer screen their screens, imagining the fun we had behind the wheel of this family estate. And yet… the Automotive Redactor won’t change his ways : we can’t help to drive any car in a very enthusiastic way once on a twisting, winding and welcoming stretch of road. Admittedly, the steering lacks precision and the brakes are not that sporty… however, the small 110 horsepower mill takes full advantage of the turbo’s breath and is convincing enough. Which means you end up having fun behind the wheel, the Jogger’s 1280 kg weight adding to the fun factor. We even let the side window half opened,  fully experiencing the turbo’s blast when changing gears. Enough to imagine ourselves behind the wheel of a WRC car… that was real fun! At the end of the 137 km test, our average fuel consumption was 7.2 l/100 km.

Anyway, let’s get back to a more sedate driving style… the driving position is rather good and high enough to please most people. Once seated, the driver is in a sober environment, as is often the case with Dacia. However, simplicity does not mean  you step back in time : all the equipment you expect in a 2022 car is standard. We’re talking about things like automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, parking and hill start aids, speed limiter, ESC and automatic headlights, for example. There are also three multimedia systems available: Media Control is the one featured on the entry-level model while Media Display features an 8-inch touch screen and Media Nav got  new features including on-board navigation and Wi-Fi connectivity.

On the extras list, we find heated front seats, automatic air conditioning with digital display, hands-free entry and start-up or even a reversing camera. Strangely enough, the ECO-G 100 version is the cheaper Jogger on offer, as mentioned above. The 5-seater Essential TCe 110 is priced from €15,290. Getting up to the Comfort trim means adding € 1,800 euros while the Extreme version we tested retails for € 2,800 euros more (€ 18,090).

Such keen prices will surely reinforce Dacia’s position on the Belgian market: the brand now sells about 20,000 cars here, year-in year- out. The Sandero and the Duster sitting in the number one spot on their respective markets. Even though Renault Belux had to make do without the Brussels Motor Show, the Jogger was launched at all its dealerships and no less than 700 firm order were registered in January. 58% of these are petrol versions, the rest being GPL. By the way, just 18% of the Sandero sold here feature a GPL engine. Last year, 60% of Dacia‘s sales were top trim level cars…

In 2023, a hybrid version will complete the range. The Jogger will be the very first Dacia to feature this technology. In the meantime, the brand will get a new logo and visual identity, no less! (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)

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