Dacia Lodgy

30 May, 2012 2:54pm Andreas Borchman

Our verdict on the bargain-priced MPV that offers tremendous value for money

Verdict

4
Most buyers will avoid the cheapest Lodgy – which doesn’t get electric windows, air-con or seven seats – but the posher models like the one tested here are incredible value. The interior quality and handling may not be close to the best in this class, but with savings of around £10,000 over other MPVs, buyers will be willing to compromise.
Is this the model to turn the MPV class on its head? Renault-owned Romanian budget brand Dacia will offer the Lodgy with a starting price of around £9,000, rising to roughly £15,000 for the range-topping car driven here.
 
It’s called the Lodgy Prestige and that price buys you a Renault-sourced 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine producing 109bhp and an equipment list including touchscreen sat-nav, electric windows, rear parking sensors and air-con. In comparison, a similarly equipped SEAT Alhambra will cost £24,020.

The cabin itself has a few flourishes, such as the gloss black centre console and chrome door handles, but all the plastics feel very hard and scratchy. Build quality isn’t a problem, though.

On the road the Lodgy rides like an old French car, with soft, wallowy suspension that flattens out bumps and potholes easily. However, handling isn’t a strong point, with huge amounts of body roll in corners.

On the plus side, there’s a good deal of sound insulation in the cabin, which reduces the noise of the rattly 1.5-litre diesel engine. Performance is good, with this model able to accelerate from 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds.
 
Practicality is superb: with five seats in place, the boot has 827 litres of space. Fold the middle row and remove the rear seats, and this rises to 2,617 litres. It all adds up to a great-value package.

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would still a vw engineered car like the seat over the dacia,and seat's build quality a hell of a lot better, and the car cosmetically looks awful and the interior, rear seats are a bench style seat so if you got luggage and six people it doesnt have versatility of the alhambra/sharan ie have 6 seats up and still leave some space for luggage. i think this car will be renamed by us all and the top gear crew as the dacia dodgy.lol

Yet another wonderful, useless comment. I'm afraid you are wrong blackpoolsbigbird. Look at the car market. Look at the world markets. Look at the way things are moving. Price is king. I reckon Renault may well have played a blinder here. Just like Volkswagen did with Skoda a few years back (and in a way seat..buying them up reasonably cheap from Fiat, years back). Except with one or two vital diferences: 1. The dacia factory and company is already set up and running in mainland Europe. Now in UK all they need is brand recognition (this will come over time) and a strong dealer network. 2. Low overheads. Renault will NOT have as many overheads as VW would have to set up Skoda and even Seat way back. Coupled with the fact that ordering these cars can be done (and I'm sure, could wholly be in the future maybe!) via an online configuration system. Just like ordering a pizza...no staff to orders. THIS is the way forward! And lastly and perhaps most importantly..3) underneath this skin are essentially Renault/Nissan sourced parts and engine...again, with more or less proven mechanics globally in place, a therefore enormous global infrastructure support network in the shape of Renault/Nissan behind them, surely they can only succeed! In summary then...and rounding off nicely...Renault can now focus on the newer, perhaps more important developing business of electric cars (they perhaps may not be the number 1 solution...but in terms of the benefits of being a low carbon footprint company, then this is huge!)....they shouldn't have to even bother with battery care or maintenance too much as the battery suppliers will rent these to Renault probably who will in turn sort of sub-let to the customers (in a way) and will bite their hands off for this new business! And finally...Renault could be firmly placed to develop this marque (Dacia) into UK, perhaps the rest of mainland Europe and further still globally...Remember after all; price is king!

I'm looking forward to the arrival of Dacia in the UK...it'll shake things up nicely!

Given that the Dodgy will get to 60 in under 12 sec using Renault's 1.5 dCI engine, I'm guessing it's fairly light. Aside from bells & whistles, which this car has a few of, one of the bigger causes of weight is crash protection structures.
I'll reserve judgement on buying one until EuroNCAP have shoved one into a concrete block.

@blackpoolsbigbird
The question is not would you buy a nice new SEAT Alhambra or this because that is an irrelevant choice. If you have the money for the SEAT and are happy to part with £25K then I guess that is what you will buy.

The real question is would you prefer a shiny new one of these with a nice three year warranty or a 4 year old, tired, SEAT with no warranty 60K on the clock which someone elses kids have abused and dog been sick in?

(Agree with you about the name - would be wise to change that before a UK launch)

Best value for your money!Never forget the price of this car!

leong1983 might be interested to know that Dacia's have been available in the Netherlands (and probably other parts of the continent) for a couple of years. A friend of my daughter has had one for over a year (not this model though) and is very pleased with it.

I think it looks like a boxier version of the Scenic!

A Belgian friend has the Dacia Duster 4X4, which is totally reliable, and he loves. The Duster is comng here in the new year too - hooray!

I would like the new Dacia Dokker, which similar to my Doblo, having sliding rear doors and a high build. Same engines and running gear as othe Dacias thogh, and hard plastics everywhere - which I really couldn't care less about.

The idea of a soft ride with a bit of roll is what I dream of; I am totally sick of hard-riding uncomfortable modern cars, like the brand new VW Polo I was in yesterday: vile!

Dacias are light because they are celeverly engineered, not because they are weak.

But it delights me that some people will be put off by the simplicity and still pay thousands extra for a bit of squidgy plastic on the dashboard and interesting little extras, that are unnecessary.

Bring it on Dacia!

Time will tell if this is a good car. I see lots of comments on Renaults not being that well built sometimes so I doubt if this will be any worse.
Agree about the name though.

You gets what you pay for.
Dacia will take over the mantle from Kia and Hyundai.
But i still think their prices will be far higher than the rest of Europe.

I'm sure time will tell as Europeans get to grips with these products from Dacia. Here in Brazil we have had benefit of these sub-perior models (branded as Renault) like the Logan, Sandero, Sandero Stepway, new Duster and a Clio that hasn't been sold in the UK since 2001. To be honest these vehicles feel like a step back ten years and 'build quality' does not spring to mind. More surprisingly is that Renault is not listed on the latin ncap. I would still prefer to play safe with my own money if i were buying brand new and go for a Fiesta MkV rocam saloon than a Renault (Dacia) Logan.

about most of you petrol heads on here, but these Dacia models are right up my street. I use my car for a 96 mile a day round commute and for noting else... Ever! I use my bike for evenings, weekends and general fun.
Used to be a petrol head, but most modern 'performance' cars these days are too bland for me and tbh, leave me cold... can't find anything I'd even remotely want to spend the money on.
Because I use my car for basic, functional, A to B transport. It doesn't need to be fancy and it doesn't need to be fast - why would I want to get to work early?! I registered interest on Dacia's site from the start, and will likely trade my current car in for something new around September. Definitely interested in the Duster or this.

A Belgian friend has the Dacia Duster 4X4, which is totally reliable, and he loves. The Duster is comng here in the new year too - hooray!
Dacias are light because they are celeverly engineered, not because they are weak.

By Alexan14 on 31 May, 2012, 3:50pm

Alexan14, would that be the 2011 Dacia Duster, that scored 3 stars last year when tested by EuroNCAP?

http://www.euroncap.com/result...

Why would I want to buy an expensive luxury people carrier, just so my kids can ruin it? It's one of these or a Berlingo. If you're seduced by 'badge' and some salesperson telling you it's 'premium', you're an idiot. I'll spend the spare 10k on a used Boxster for the weekends.

I already own a Duster and have had it for over 2 years. I have had no problems with this car and although it has hard plastics is very rugged inside and shows no sign of wear, the engine, 1.5 DcI 85 is very good and has given me no worries to it's ability and pulls well.
I have now ordered a a Lodgy to be delivered in September ( a 3 month waiting time in it's first week on sale in Spain) and as we don't get the Prestige for a few months I ordered a Laurette with media satnav and reverse sensors who needs anything else in a car. The Dacia phlosephy is good, use all the same parts in a different body segment and keep the cost down. Me and several thousand europeans are very happy with that.

Some people may sneer at these cars, but expect to see a lot of them on the roads during these straitened times. In Spain we've had them for some years and they're very popular. Renault may have timed this just right (more by serendipity than sagacity, knowing Renault).

Just returned from a holiday in Tenerife.On the way out of Los Cristianos saw a advert for the new Lodgy at a price of 9745euro.At todays exchange rate that is £7796 a big saving on the 9k plus mentioned above. Saw loads of Logans and even more Senderos which looks ok,quality build that sort of thing.Could give the lower priced Asian motors a run for their money.

You have to remember that one has to compare this with the dodgy van conversions a la Doblo, not a much higher priced MPV. As such, it looks pretty good value to me. I also agree with Alexan14 - give a soft compliant ride any day. I am sick of the noise and harshness of many modern cars. I can't afford the fuel to dash about like an F1 driver, so I might as well waft about in comfort.

No doubt someone far more knowledgeable than me on here will know, but didn't I read some time ago that this is based on the previous model Renault Megane Scenic, with "skin" changes? That's not to knock it, but it is what it is, an older model cosmetically updated to suit today's eastern block bargain basement market that happens to be coming to the uk.
It will sell in the same way that Reliants used to sell to people who didn't necessarily want the latest all singing all dancing cars loaded with kit that they'll never use, selling at prices they can't afford..
I just hope that they've brought the safety aspects of the car up to today's standards.

Actually, for the price of a Reliant, a decent four wheeled car could be bought with a bit of change left over. They were not cheap and a late friend of mine only bought them because they could be driven with a motorcycle licence. This, coupled with an incident on a slippery road which left him unhurt and clutching the steering wheel surrounded with a few million shards, led to a car driving licence being gained and byebye Reliant.

I go to Spain a lot and have seen a lot on the road. The Duster looks well built and has family motoring in mind.
Low cost purchase with practical designs well done Renault.
I am buying one for our holiday home transport.

It may be good value for money all things considered but in no way it deserves a 4 star rating. Handling as said is not so good and there is plenty of body roll. Cabin quality is questionable and design inside and especially ouside is outdated to say the least. If i'm not mistaken it uses the floor of the previous Scenic. As for crash test ratings we should wait a little bit and I guess that if it ever achieves a 4 star rating there it will be a success (considering that the Duster got 3 stars in crash tests) but all in all your 4 star rating is quite generous to say the least.
I bet not even the new Scenic got 4 stars from you and its light years away in every department from this ... Lodgy (couldn't they have picked up a better name?).

The problem Dacia have to overcome in the UK is badge snobbery and retained value. In the rest of europe these are not a problem and people will buy on value for money, and retained values are greater due to the fact that new cars are purchased when required and not when a new gadget or new model are introduced. Therefor fewer models on the secondhand market keep previously owned prices higher.
I*n the UK a Renault Scenic 7 seater will start at £20,000 and after 3 years if it lost 50% of it's value you have lost £10,000 if it was lucky enough to only lose 40% it would lose £8.000, now if you bought a Lodgy 7 seater with a few goodies for £15,000 and it lost 53.5% in 3 years it would £8.005, that's a saving of £4,995 over the Scenic that lost 40% after 3 years and enough of a saving to buy 36,000 miles of petrol at 45MPG for those 3 years of ownership. But how many people will consider these figures when purchasing a car?

well, I tested this car and it is pretty dynamic (exception 1,5 dci), very spacious - yet compact for the city traffic and handling is much better than maintained 8 yrs old Stilo MW JTD. For me it is better to buy new Lodgy (fully equipped) than used Ford S-Max or VW Sharan or anything else like that. Consumption was very good too - during the test drive - 5.9 l / 100 km city traffic, 6 people inside... I think with at least 4 starts of EuroNCAP (hopefully soon) this will be my choice. Every other 7 seat MPV is more expensive and less practical. I tried a lot of them/ And yeah, I am from continetal Europe :)

Only the base Lodgy has rear bench seat, the other models have 60/40 split. Got my Lodgy last week and am more pleased with it than my ex Duster and I was more than happy with that.
Ref Internet ordering yes you can configure your requirements on line but will then be put in touch with your appointed dealer to sign your order who will first give you a test drive and try to persuade you to increase your options and accessories to boost up the sale.

Hi guys,

go no further... I've bought a Lodgy.
What we needed (we, not I): place for 3 baby seats, durable/rough interiors, 4 wheels, air con, cheap repairs
For us either we bought a second hand model or... well... Dacia.
I tested the Fiat and the WV cady Life. I was not convinced. Then we drove the Dacia Lodgy and were pleased. No noice, easy driving. Then came to cost argument. Really who wants to pay 25K for a car when the kids jump in every day with their dirty shoes?
I'm honestly worried about quality. But I also think, it's only part from previous models, part which have already been tested and mass produced.

So all in all: Our lodgy arrives in October.

PS: our Renault dealer removed all Dacia from their shop, because they could sell the Scenic anymore.

Perhaps a more apt comparison would be a Kia Carens which starts at £16,000 for a 5 seater. My Lodgy was just under £12,000 with Extras including VediaNav, A/C,speed control,reverse sensors and comfort pack.

Key specs

* Dacia Lodgy dCi 110 Prestige
* Price: £15,000 (est)
* Engine: 1.5 4cyl t’diesel, 109bhp
* Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
* 0-62/top speed: 11.6 secs/ 109mph
* Economy/CO2: 64.1mpg/ 116g/km
* Equipment: Touchscreen sat-nav, Bluetooth, electric windows
* On sale: TBC

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