We drove the Dacia Jogger: a space car for the people…

Dacia is offering us now a roomy 7 seater at a price which defies all competition. Actually, this is a car which has no competition at all, at least for the time being. Dacia, or should we say Renault, has to be admired for it. They succeed in building cars with excellent qualities in comfort, performance and roominess at prices which other manufacturer’s simply cannot reach.

How does it drive, and how does it behave in the real world? Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

The Jogger now also has the looks. The Jogger is neat and well proportioned. Up to the end of the front door, it is in fact a Sandero, but then the wheelbase has been lengthened to an impressive 2,90 meters.

From the second door onwards, the roof has been raised somewhat, to allow sufficient headroom, and indeed, one sits nicely high up on the second row of seats, and besides ample legroom there is also sufficient  headroom to be enjoyed.

Even on the third row, easily accessible after flipping over with one effortless movement the second row of seats, one enjoys more leg- and headroom than the closest – and much more expensive – competitors.

With all three seating rows upright, one is left with 160 liters of luggage space, but with all the seat rows folded or even taken out, a loading space of close to 1900 liters is yours.

A practical and no-nonsense interior.

In the cabin one finds the instrumentation of the Sandero/Clio, also the handy climate controls are familiar. In the top version we tested, we enjoyed a central touch screen with navigation, but in the other versions you are invited to use your smartphone, and this is of course the logical and practical thing to do nowadays. Even in the lower equipment versions, the Jogger feels by no ways spartan.

The Jogger comes in three equipment levels, starting with the essential, costing at the moment of writing not even 17.000 Euros in our country. The next level is the expression, priced just below 19.000 Euros, and then the top level Extreme, complete with nice black 16 inch “Mahalia” alloys, costing just over 20.000 Euros.

The instrumentation is thankfully analog, with nice round dials for revs and speed, and is eminently readable. The materials used are vastly improved, and we liked the texture of the dashboard panel in the “Extreme” version very much indeed. This version leaves very little to be desired, and boasts even seat heating… The level of finish is also quite good, as is the overall sound insulation of this Jogger.

Driving pleasure…

The Jogger has well proven technology under the hood, with the 999 cc three cylinder turbo petrol engines. There is a bi-fuel 100 Hp version, and a petrol one, the Tc 110, indeed being good for 110 HP. Both engines have good pulling power, with some 200 Nm torque for the petrol engine. This results in plenty of liveliness, with 0 to 100 km/h sprint times in under 11 seconds and top speeds in the region of 180 km/h. Mind you, this is even slightly faster than a Porsche 356 “super 90” of the late fifties (!). Many of today’s Mille Miglia drivers can only dream of this performance…

The engines are coupled to a six speed manual, which keeps the driving fun at top level. It is indeed delicious to rev the engine at full power through the gears, listening to the melodious throb of the engine and seeing the rev needle climb up. Classic driving in the purest sense… super enjoyable! We already mentioned this in our Instagram post on @autoprova.be

Of course, good consumption figures are only achieved when revs stay at 2000 rpm or thereabouts, and the driver assist indicators in the dashboard let you choose the right gear(s) for this.

Under these conditions, the Jogger clearly scores, with consumptions between 5,6 and 6 liters/100 km being easily reached.CO2 emissions hover between 127-130 g/km.

Roomy and comfortable

The long wheelbase not only gives extra room, it also provides more comfort. The Jogger offers predictable handling, and above all a smooth ride, and this Dacia is indeed fit for very long (cruising) trips with the whole family.

Dacia, a philosophy to follow…

The Jogger teaches us a lesson: this is actually all one needs in a car, except maybe a good automatic, but then again, is it so difficult for any driver to understand the kinetics of an automobile and learn the art of proper and smooth shifting? Millions and millions of drivers have done it, by the way…

Besides the already offered bi-fuel engines, a hybrid version is soon to be launched, and this will offer more environmentally responsible economy.

We would suggest, take a long, hard look at this Dacia Jogger, it literally moves boundaries and has a unique position in today’s car world.

The sales results and its increasing popularity already prove it…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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