Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeCarsDacia's £18,000 Jogger is half the price of a typical MPV -...

Dacia’s £18,000 Jogger is half the price of a typical MPV – but is it half the car? We test Britain’s cheapest seven-seater aimed at families on a budget

There’s an age-old saying: you get what you pay for. And in terms of the Dacia Jogger, just over £18,000 lands you the cheapest seven-seat car in Britain today.

To put its budget-busting price into perspective, the Jogger costs around half the next most-affordable model on sale that can transport as many people at any given time.

It sounds like an incredible deal, doesn’t it? But will its cut-down price mean you get half the car? And can it really be considered as an alternative to a traditional people-carrying multi-purpose vehicle? 

We decided to find out by putting the budget-friendly family motor through its paces.

Half the price of an MPV, but is it half the car? We put the £18,295 Dacia Jogger - the cheapest seven-seat car on sale in Britain - to the test to see if it really can be used on a day-to-day basis as a budget-friendly people carrier Half the price of an MPV, but is it half the car? We put the £18,295 Dacia Jogger - the cheapest seven-seat car on sale in Britain - to the test to see if it really can be used on a day-to-day basis as a budget-friendly people carrier

Half the price of an MPV, but is it half the car? We put the £18,295 Dacia Jogger – the cheapest seven-seat car on sale in Britain – to the test to see if it really can be used on a day-to-day basis as a budget-friendly people carrier

The Romanian brand has been synonymous with affordable motoring since it was brought back to life under Renault’s stewardship at the turn of the century, reentering the UK market in 2013.

Its Sandero has for years been the cheapest supermini in showrooms, while the Duster SUV continues to significantly undercut all rivals in its segment. These no-frills models have been a hit, with over 200,000 Dacias bought by Britons in the last decade. 

The Jogger looks to build on this by opening Dacia ownership up to customers who need even more space and extra people-lugging capacity for a snip of what they would normally have to pay.

RELATED ARTICLES

Previous 1 Next Dacia unveils its Manifesto buggy concept for campers with a… When are car brands going electric? We look at each… Dacia Duster cuts a dash: We drive the fully-loaded,…

Share this article

Share

HOW THIS IS MONEY CAN HELP

How to save on car insurance: Ten top tips to cut the cost in just a few minutes

Dacia Jogger: Just how cheap is it?

One of the biggest victims of the recent growth of the SUV market has been MPVs, with most brands culling the availability of conventional, box-shaped, people carriers with three rows of seats from their ranges.

Among the most affordable traditional MPVs in showrooms today are small van-inspired models, like the Ford Tourneo Connect and Volkswagen Caddy, which will set you back around £30,000. The most affordable seven-seat SUV is the Skoda Kodiaq, though at £36,000 is double the price of the entry-spec Dacia.

That said, our test car wasn’t the bog-standard £18,295 model. We were treated to the range-topping Extreme spec with optional metallic bronze paint and the £300 addition of a spare wheel instead of a puncture repair kit (a must when ordering any new car, if you ask us). 

That takes our on-test Jogger just over £21,500. With the majority of new car buyers opting for finance packages, our Jogger costs £283 per month on PCP (at 7.9% APR when last updated on 13/05/23) – so still not what you’d call bank busting. 

Compared to cars like the Ford Tourneo Connect, VW Caddy and Skoda Kodiaq - all seven-seat models at the more affordable end of the market - the Dacia Jogger is a snip. Our range-topping test car rings in at just over £21,000 Compared to cars like the Ford Tourneo Connect, VW Caddy and Skoda Kodiaq - all seven-seat models at the more affordable end of the market - the Dacia Jogger is a snip. Our range-topping test car rings in at just over £21,000

Compared to cars like the Ford Tourneo Connect, VW Caddy and Skoda Kodiaq – all seven-seat models at the more affordable end of the market – the Dacia Jogger is a snip. Our range-topping test car rings in at just over £21,000

more videos

1 2 3 Watch video

TOOTHBRUSH shows if motorists are still over limit the morning after

Watch video

BMW invest in production factory to make new electric Minis in Oxford

Watch video

Lotus Cars debuts its sleek new all-electric Emeya Hyper-GT sportscar

Watch video

Mercedes-Benz unveils Concept CLA car with illuminated glass roof

Watch video

Volkswagen ID.GTI, the new electric hot hatch concept car

Watch video

The BMW Vision Neue Klasse signals the start of a new era

Watch video

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is its last combustion supercar

Watch video

Rolls Royce’s brand new model is the most expensive car in the world

Watch video

Lamborghini Lanzador will be the brand’s first fully-electric model

Watch video

Sotheby’s NYC plans to sell 1962 Ferrari GTO for an estimated $60M

Watch video

Vauxhall launches a Electric Streets Initiative for electric cars

Watch video

Aston Martin release new advertisement for DB12 Volante

It’s not an old Renault underneath…

When Dacia dealers began popping up across Britain offering customers a sub-£6,000 supermini in 2013, the car wasn’t what you’d call ‘cutting edge’. 

In fact, the original Sandero – which remained on sale until 2020 – was underpinned by the same platform as the Clio that Renault launched way back in 2002.

But that’s no longer the case with the latest-generation Dacias, which are now based on existing cars in its French parent group’s line-up. 

The CMF-B platform underpinning the Jogger is the same one used for the current Sandero. This also means it gets the latest three-cylinder petrol engine and chassis that’s used in the newest Clio. 

From the front, it’s identical to the Sandero, with a short bonnet and arrow-like LED headlight clusters. But that’s where the styling similarities end, with the CMF-B platform stretched by almost half a metre (46cm) to make provisions for the extra seats in the back. The flat roof gives it a hearse-like profile and the boot door is squared off to maximise interior space.

At 4,547mm long, its’s around the same as a medium-size family hatchback. Though the chunky plastic cladding and slightly raised ride height give it more presence than its on-paper dimensions suggest.

The 3-cylinder petrol engine packs a modest 108bhp with turbocharging. To its credit, it doesn't feel underpowered. It produced maximum torque between 2,300-3,500rpm, so it's punchy when accelerating from low speeds - almost diesel like The 3-cylinder petrol engine packs a modest 108bhp with turbocharging. To its credit, it doesn't feel underpowered. It produced maximum torque between 2,300-3,500rpm, so it's punchy when accelerating from low speeds - almost diesel like

The 3-cylinder petrol engine packs a modest 108bhp with turbocharging. To its credit, it doesn’t feel underpowered. It produced maximum torque between 2,300-3,500rpm, so it’s punchy when accelerating from low speeds – almost diesel like

It's certainly not the best-handling family car we've ever driven, but it rolls in corners no more so than van-inspired MPV rivals, which are notoriously terrible in the turns It's certainly not the best-handling family car we've ever driven, but it rolls in corners no more so than van-inspired MPV rivals, which are notoriously terrible in the turns

It’s certainly not the best-handling family car we’ve ever driven, but it rolls in corners no more so than van-inspired MPV rivals, which are notoriously terrible in the turns

The steering is very light and tuned for navigating tight space in town or taking on multi-storey car parks rather than chasing lap times The steering is very light and tuned for navigating tight space in town or taking on multi-storey car parks rather than chasing lap times

The steering is very light and tuned for navigating tight space in town or taking on multi-storey car parks rather than chasing lap times

What’s it like to drive?

Unless running extremely late for the morning school run, this isn’t a car customers will judge predominantly for its driving performance.

That’s fortunate, given the 999cc petrol engine is the smallest to power any seven seater on the market today. The TCe 110 packs a modest 108bhp thanks in part to turbocharging and, to its credit, doesn’t feel underpowered. 

It produced its maximum torque (148 ftlb) between 2,300 and 3,500rpm, so it’s punchy when accelerating from low speeds – almost diesel like. This ample grunt does a stellar job of masking the pedestrian 11.2 seconds it takes to rumble from zero to 62mph.

Will it fit in my garage? Dacia Jogger

On sale: now

Price: from £18,295 

Model tested: Range-topping Extreme 

Test car price with options: from £21,545

Engine: 1.0 litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol

Power: 108bhp

0 to 62mph: 11.2 seconds

Top speed: 114mph

Fuel efficiency: 48.7mpg

CO2 emissions: 130g/km

Dimensions 

Length: 4,547mm

Width (mirrors extended): 2,007mm

Height (with roof-bars): 1,691mm

Wheelbase: 2,898mm

Weight: 1,261kg

Gross weight: 1,862kg

Fuel tank: 50 litres   

Boot volume: 160 litres with third row in place (up to 2,085 litres with second and third rows folded/removed)

Get up to motorway speeds and the limitations of the diminutive powertrain’s ability to add to the mph-counter is more exposed, but it will still cruise at 70 quite happily. 

Even at these higher speeds the characteristic three-cylinder chug has been well muted from the cabin, which means drivers won’t be wanting for a megaphone to hold a conversation with passengers in the third row. 

Top speed is 114mph, says Dacia, though you’d need all of Heathrow’s runways put together to see that figure on the speedo.

With all seven seats filled, expect to see a big drop off in acceleration time. Our week-long test included 100 miles with five passengers and their luggage onboard. This required more forceful jabs of the throttle to get up to speed. A hybrid Jogger is due next year offering closer to 140bhp, which might be worth waiting for if you intend to transport big groups frequently.

The raised ride height and soft suspension means it swings and pitches in the corners like a daredevil dangling from a bungee cord. 

However, it doesn’t roll any more so than top-heavy, van-inspired MPV rivals, which are notoriously terrible in the turns. 

And the Jogger’s extended platform means it does a decent job of ironing out bumps and ruts in the tarmac than the shorter Sandero.

As for the steering, it is very light and tuned for town driving rather than chasing lap times. It’s the best compromise for customers in this segment who don’t want to pull a muscle doing a three-point turn.

The brakes – discs at the front and drums at the rear – offer enough initial bite to give confidence in everyday driving, and the six-speed manual transmission in our test car, while not the slickest-shifting we’ve ever handled, engages each gear without a fumble (even after a few thousand miles of likely hard use in the hands of other spirited motor journalist types).

The Jogger's extended platform means it does a decent job of ironing out bumps and ruts in the tarmac than the shorter Sandero, on which it is based The Jogger's extended platform means it does a decent job of ironing out bumps and ruts in the tarmac than the shorter Sandero, on which it is based

The Jogger’s extended platform means it does a decent job of ironing out bumps and ruts in the tarmac than the shorter Sandero, on which it is based

Running costs at a glance 

On paper, the Jogger’s three-cylinder engine is said to return 48.7mpg, but fully laden with passengers won’t likely get near that. If you are using it for the daily school-run, it should be pretty frugal once the kids have been dropped off at the school gates. 

In terms of tax, its official 130g/km C02 output means it just dips into the £210 first-year VED band, then it’s the flat ‘standard rate’ from the second year of £180. Read our latest car tax guide to find out how much you’ll be paying in vehicle excise duty this year.

With the engine and parts tried and tested in the Sandero and smaller Renault models, reliability should be strong. And it comes with Dacia’s three-year, 60,000-mile warranty. 

Every model comes with air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control, roof bars and auto headlights as standard. Our top-spec car came with this 8-inch infotainment screen, which isn't the sharpest we've used Every model comes with air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control, roof bars and auto headlights as standard. Our top-spec car came with this 8-inch infotainment screen, which isn't the sharpest we've used

Every model comes with air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control, roof bars and auto headlights as standard. Our top-spec car came with this 8-inch infotainment screen, which isn’t the sharpest we’ve used

Some of the interior materials are a clear sign this is a car built to a strict budget. Scratchy plastics protecting the lower parts of the interior (like the bottom of the centre console pictured) are those that stay marked forever if scratched Some of the interior materials are a clear sign this is a car built to a strict budget. Scratchy plastics protecting the lower parts of the interior (like the bottom of the centre console pictured) are those that stay marked forever if scratched

Some of the interior materials are a clear sign this is a car built to a strict budget. Scratchy plastics protecting the lower parts of the interior (like the bottom of the centre console pictured) are those that stay marked forever if scratched

These spongy inset panels in the dashboard feel like the polystyrene chips you find shoved into fragile delivery parcels. While cheap, we're not sure how durable it will be These spongy inset panels in the dashboard feel like the polystyrene chips you find shoved into fragile delivery parcels. While cheap, we're not sure how durable it will be

These spongy inset panels in the dashboard feel like the polystyrene chips you find shoved into fragile delivery parcels. While cheap, we’re not sure how durable it will be

Does it feel like an £18,000 car?

The first thing to note is that the Jogger wasn’t supposed to be an £18,000 car – it was originally launched under the proviso it was be priced under £15,000.

However, Dacia blames soaring inflation and the rising cost of raw materials – namely steel and plastic – for having to bump the price higher by the time it reached UK showrooms.

Still, for such a modest price tag you’re getting a lot of car for your money.

Every model comes with air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control, roof bars and auto headlights as standard. 

And while the entry ‘Essential’ trim gets a cradle for your smartphone to use as the infotainment screen for DAB radio, Bluetooth and navigation, our Extreme variant has the eight-inch display, though this isn’t the flashiest or most responsive we’ve ever used. 

It’s important to note that basic and mid-spec versions come with steel wheels, so you’ll need to fork out extra if you want your Jogger to be running on alloys.

And while you might get a surprising amount of equipment, the material quality is more telling of the reasonable asking price. 

Nobody spending £18,000 on a family car with enough room for seven seats should be expecting plush leather or swathes of Alcantara, but there’s something distinctly bargain basement about some of the cabin touch points, like the control dials and switches. 

Scratchy plastics protecting the lower parts of the interior are those that stay marked forever if a sharp object happens to scrape a panel, and the spongy insets in the dashboard feel like the polystyrene chips you find shoved into fragile delivery parcels.

At just over two-metres wide (2,007mm) including the wing mirrors, the Jogger measures is the same across as the Sandero it is based on. It feels like a squeeze, even in the front At just over two-metres wide (2,007mm) including the wing mirrors, the Jogger measures is the same across as the Sandero it is based on. It feels like a squeeze, even in the front

At just over two-metres wide (2,007mm) including the wing mirrors, the Jogger measures is the same across as the Sandero it is based on. It feels like a squeeze, even in the front

Frustratingly, only the two outboard second-row seats have Isofix points for child car seats. And if you have three adults sat here, they'll be packed in tighter than a tin of sardines Frustratingly, only the two outboard second-row seats have Isofix points for child car seats. And if you have three adults sat here, they'll be packed in tighter than a tin of sardines

Frustratingly, only the two outboard second-row seats have Isofix points for child car seats. And if you have three adults sat here, they’ll be packed in tighter than a tin of sardines

There's little in terms of legroom in the third row (pictured with the second row seats folded forward). That's because the rearmost chairs are not elevated, meaning a below-average-height pre-teen will have their knees up near their ears There's little in terms of legroom in the third row (pictured with the second row seats folded forward). That's because the rearmost chairs are not elevated, meaning a below-average-height pre-teen will have their knees up near their ears

There’s little in terms of legroom in the third row (pictured with the second row seats folded forward). That’s because the rearmost chairs are not elevated, meaning a below-average-height pre-teen will have their knees up near their ears

One-star Euro NCAP crash test rating is putting some buyers off – but you need to consider the reason why it scored so low 

While the number of airbags and all-round safety equipment available in the Jogger as standard is adequate, it’s important to note that it scores a lowly one-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. 

This is because it is marked down for having a radar-only automatic emergency braking system that activates when it detects other vehicles – but not pedestrians or cyclists.

While this is also the case for the two-star rated Sandero and Sandero Stepway models the Jogger is based on, the seven-seat estate loses a star because there’s no seatbelt reminder system installed for the two rearmost seats. 

Both adult and child occupant test scores are also low compared to many family car rivals – something that shouldn’t be overlooked by customers. 

A one-star crash test rating will certainly frighten plenty of family car buyers, and you’ll need to give this area some real thought if you are considering purchasing a Jogger. 

Is it a genuine seven-seater?

Our biggest gripe with the Jogger is around its people-carrying capability, because we don’t think it fits the bill as a genuine seven seater.

Yes, it has two additional seats in the back, but only children can fit in them. There’s little in terms of legroom here, and because the rearmost chairs are not elevated even taller pre-teens will have to sit with their knees up near their ears.

With the rear chairs in place, there’s also next to no luggage space as a result. Dacia says there’s 160 litres, but we doubt we’d fit 160 sheets of A4 in the minimised boot compartment. 

Getting in and out of that back row also isn’t easy, requiring part of the 60:40-split second-row seats to be flat-packed and tilted forwards to allow access. With the small rear door apertures you almost need to dislocate joints in the process of entry and exit.

In all honestly, we can only recommend using the third-row seats for short and infrequent journeys. And while the two back seats can be independently folded up, they take up usable load space. They can also be removed but are extremely bulky, so be prepared for them to take up vital room in your garage or shed.

There’s another issue, too. Trying to stretch the Sandero supermini’s platform to create a capacious family car always felt like it was going to be a big ask, and in practice it hasn’t worked.

At just over two-metres wide (2,007mm) including the wing mirrors, the Jogger measures the same across as the Sandero it is based on. As a result, this motor aimed at families does feel cramped from every seating position – and like a tin of sardines if you’re in the second row with other adults. 

Add to the equation that only the two outboard chairs in row two have Isofix mounting points for child car seats and it’s yet another limitation of the Jogger’s people-carrying claims.

With the Jogger's two rearmost chairs in place, there's also next to no luggage space as a result Dacia says there's 160 litres, but we doubt we'd fit 160 sheets of A4 in the non-existent boot compartment ‹ Slide me ›

With the Jogger’s two rearmost chairs in place, there’s also next to no luggage space as a result. Dacia says there’s 160 litres, but we doubt we’d fit 160 sheets of A4 in the non-existent boot compartment

Our biggest gripe with the Jogger is around its people-carrying capability, because we're not sure if it really fits the bill as a genuine seven seater. While it might be a tempting prospect for large families, those regularly transporting seven people are better off buying a second-hand traditional MPV Our biggest gripe with the Jogger is around its people-carrying capability, because we're not sure if it really fits the bill as a genuine seven seater. While it might be a tempting prospect for large families, those regularly transporting seven people are better off buying a second-hand traditional MPV

Our biggest gripe with the Jogger is around its people-carrying capability, because we’re not sure if it really fits the bill as a genuine seven seater. While it might be a tempting prospect for large families, those regularly transporting seven people are better off buying a second-hand traditional MPV

Cars & Motoring verdict 

There simply aren’t many family cars on the market today for less than £20,000, so there are few motors that can compete with the Jogger at this price point, which gives it a unique selling point. 

It drives well, is comfortable, should be cheap to run and comes with most of the kit you’d ever need when buying a new car on a budget. 

However, its lowly one-star crash test rating will most certainly be a sticking point for many who might have considered entrusting the Dacia to protect their kids, though potential buyers need to take a closer look at the full Euro NCAP report before writing off the Jogger entirely.

That said, we recommend that anyone on the hunt for a genuine seven-seat vehicle not to be lured in by the comparatively low price. While it might be a tempting prospect for large families with tight purse strings, anyone who regularly needs to transport seven people will be better off spending the same amount of money on a second-hand traditional MPV instead.

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

Ferrari Roma Spider costs £210k – here’s what you get for your money China’s all-electric BYD Dolphin lands ashore – we test it on UK roads Our epic road test through Demark and Sweden in the new Polestar 2 New Abarth 500e convertible is a rare treat – it’s electric and sporty Honda’s new CR-V is bigger than its predecessor – but is it better? We beat the new Bond to test his new car: Aston Martin DB12 review Behind the wheel of Rolls-Royce’s Spectre: We test the new EV Roller Skoda’s crowning glory: Superb L&K 4×4 Estate with extras driven Maserati Grecale test – the SUV with 50% of sales projected for women Dacia’s budget family car with seven seats! The £18,000 Jogger tested This Q8 is just great: We take Audi’s new Sportback e-tron for a spin Enter the Dragon! BYD Atto EV is the Chinese company’s first UK model Ferrari’s first four-door family car: New £313,000 Purosangue driven Thrills without frills: £31,000 MG5 is one of the cheapest family EVs Renault’s Arkana ticks all the boxes for what car-buying Britons want Can Peugeot’s chic 408 hybrid crossover be a hit in the UK? We test it We drive the Civic Type R – the rebellious bad boy in Honda’s line-up Rolls Royce Spectre: What’s it lke to drive the first ELECTRIC Roller? Ineos Grenadier driven: Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £69,000 Defender Can you really live with a tiny Citroen Ami? Seven tasks in seven days Don’t supersize me! Is the ‘smaller’ Volvo XC60 all the SUV you need? We pamper some passengers in the new £211k Bentley Bentayga New kind of Buzz! VW’s electric MPV still feels like a hippy campervan A car for all seasons: A 600-mile round trip in Peugeot’s 3008 GT PHEV Feline fun: Funky Cat is the new pure-electric car from China’s Ora Skoda’s zero-emission hero: The Enyaq IV vRS is its hot electric SUV Toyota’s modern marvel: GR86 sports coupe is here – and it’s brilliant Perfect for energy blackouts: Kia’s new Niro EV can power your freezer Retro bus: We put VW’s new ID Buzz van though its paces on UK roads Want a family electric car that won’t cost the earth? £24k MG4 EV test The new 11th generation of the Honda Civic hits the market French fancy: Sleek Peugeot 308 SW estate attracts admiring glances Vauxhall reaches for the stars with the latest Astra: We’ve driven it Cool ride: We test the new Citroen C5X on the hottest day of the year Choices, choices – there’s three types of Kia Niro – we test the PHEV Pininfarina’s £2m Battista accelerates quicker than a fighter jet Grand Juke of torque: Nissan’s new British-built hybrid compact SUV A supercar with ultra-green credentials: Hybrid McLaren Artura test Subaru’s cautious comeback: We test the new all-wheel drive Outback Sporty Cupra Born offers a taste of Spain. We drive the electric hatch Driving the fastest luxury SUV on the planet: Aston Martin DBX 707 Royal Range Rover hits the road: We test the new £100k luxury SUV We go to the Arctic Circle to test the £400k Rolls-Royce Spectre EV BMW goes snap-happy: 2 Series Active Tourer has onboard selfie camera It might be red but Ferrari’s 296 GTB is a definitely a green supercar Test of a pre-production VW ID Buzz ahead of electric camper’s debut Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s off-roader DRIVEN: We test the new Ineos Grenadier Dacia Duster cuts a dash: We drive the new no-frills family SUV Is the Vauxhall Corsa really better than a Ford Fiesta? We test one In the week Kia tops UK sales charts, we try its all-new Sportage SUV Genesis will rock you! New GV70 Shooting Brake hits the right notes Absolutely fabia-lous: Skoda’s 4th-gen hatchback demonstrates staying… Is this the most high-tech car on the road? Mercedes’ £100k EQS driven Kia’s EV6 coupe-like crossover is creating an electrical storm at £41k Audi RS3 Sportback is a veritable muscle car that exudes performance Honda’s bold statement with new family oriented hybrid compact HR-V Peugeot’s new pride: Plug-in hybrid 308 will make you green with envy Does Audi’s Q5 Sportback have substance or is the SUV too impractical? Jack of all trades: Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is an £80k estate EV Vauxhall’s full of beans: First drive of the new Mokka crossover V8 or W12? Which Bentley Flying Spur should you buy (in your dreams)? Is Ford’s Mustang Mach-E worthy of the fabled muscle-car name?   Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12   Next

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular