The Dacia Logan MCV is the cheapest estate car on sale in the UK, but what happens if you’ve got more than the £6,995 starting price to burn?
Go for the top-spec diesel Laureate version tested here, add a couple of options and you’ll still only spend about £11,000 – around £3,000 less than a basic Clio with the same engine.
But what you get in the Logan that you don’t get in the Clio is a seriously spacious 573-litre boot. If you want this level of room you have to look at models like the Ford Focus Estate and SEAT Leon Sport Tourer, and that means spending more like £17,000.
Your priorities really have to be on space and value, though, because the Logan doesn’t deliver thrills, luxury or style. The back end looks grafted on like a bad extension, the interior is finished in basic materials and you notice small niggles like the lack of a footrest.
You do at least get cruise control, air-con, electric windows all-round and can specify a 7-inch media and sat-nav touchscreen for £250. Once you accept the Dacia for what it is, it’s actually a very likeable car. It rides quite well, even soaking up large potholes that more expensive cars would struggle with.
It’s really refined on the move, too, and this 1.5-litre diesel engine is smooth and quiet under acceleration. The official 0-62mph time of 12.1 seconds sounds slow, but in reality you’ve got plenty of torque for driving around town and carrying heavy loads in the boot – it’s a much better choice than the sluggish 1.2-litre petrol we tested last week.
In fact, our complaints about the way this Logan MCV actually drives are few and far between, making it a great choice for simple A to B transport. You even get fuel economy of more than 70mpg, CO2 emissions low enough to qualify for free road tax and can upgrade the standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty to seven-year/100,000 miles for just £850.
This is value motoring at its very best, but the Logan’s basic approach won’t get down well with all buyers.