Dacia Logan

16 Jan, 2007 (All day) Gerald Czajka

The Logan is a brilliant seven-seater that comes at an excellent price


What a winner! With a flexible, spacious cabin and brilliant seven-seat arrangement, the Logan Kombi is a fine MPV. But the bargain price is its best feature. At an expected £7,000, it's great value for money. In fact, the only real downside is that buyers will have to wait until next year for the newcomer to arrive.
Seven seats for £7,000 - that's the tempting package on offer from Dacia's new Logan Kombi. The MPV has already proved a hit with family buyers across Europe, and is set to head to the UK next year.

Bosses at parent firm Renault are on the verge of giving the green light for the budget Logan range to hit these shores. This includes a £5,000 Clio-sized hatchback and saloon, but as it offers so much space for such a small price, is the Kombi estate the pick of the bunch?

Renault has become known for its design flair, but it's clear that this style doesn't extend to Dacia. With the same front end as the hatch, a long wheelbase and small wheels, the Logan Kombi is no stunner. However, that utilitarian shape and the 4.45-metre length mean there's plenty of space inside.

Luggage room is 700 litres in five-seat mode, growing to a huge 2,350 litres with all the chairs folded flat into the floor. What's more, the rearmost seats are really usable - even tall adults have a surprising amount of room, and a raised seating position means there's an excellent view out. The only negative is access, as you need to tip the middle row chairs forward before passengers can get in the back.

Interior quality may not be quite as good as Renault's - there's lots of dull grey plastic - but the Kombi is well made and functional, while standard kit includes basics such as three-point belts for all, front airbags and ABS. It's a pity there's no ESP stability control, but the Dacia handles well. Despite rear suspension that's set up to carry heavy loads, it offers a firm, well controlled and comfortable ride, even when unladen.

The 85bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine also gets the thumbs-up, as the car's performance is more sprightly than the 13-second 0-60mph time suggests. Economy is satisfactory, too, with the Dacia averaging 32mpg in our hands.

Prices have yet to be finalised, but the basic five-seat Kombi is expected to cost around £6,500, with the extra row of chairs adding another £500 - which seems like an absolute bargain.

Key specs

Middle row chairs tilt to access rearmost seats, which offer adequate space for tall adults. What’s more, high roof means headroom is generous.* Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 86bhp
* 0-62mph: 13.5 seconds
* Price: £7,000 (est)