New Dacia Jogger Extreme Sleep Pack review
The rugged Extreme specification on the Dacia Jogger 7-seat MPV becomes a kind-of budget campervan with the optional Sleep Pack installed
The Extreme isn’t quite the sweet spot of the Jogger range; as is often the case with Dacia, there’s even better value to be found in the more affordable versions. But given the monthly payments and relatively modest premium, we can still see plenty of appeal in a seven-seater with funky styling add-ons, extra standard kit and some neat practical features. The optional Sleep Pack’s a surprisingly worthy add-on, too.
Dacia customers like doing things, we’re told. They’re often the outdoorsy types who chose one of value-focused brand’s vehicles to get them to where their activity is taking place. So perhaps it’s no surprise that Dacia has rejigged its line-ups to incorporate a trim level called Extreme – and this is our first chance to see how it stacks up in the Jogger.
The absurdly affordable seven seater Dacia Jogger is a pretty good starting point for a utility vehicle of this nature. Extreme is offered with both the regular 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol (six-speed manual gearbox) and the recently launched 1.6-litre hybrid petrol, complete with an automatic.
The new trim brings a number of interesting features into the mix on top of the regular Jogger’s standard kit list. It’s based on the upper-end Expression spec, but adds 16-inch gloss-black alloy wheels, heated front seats, navigation software on the eight-inch infotainment system and Extended Grip traction control (designed to give more secure performance in challenging conditions). The seat fabric in the cabin is designed to be easier to wipe clean, too – ideal for those extreme afternoons out in British winters.
Car group tests
Then there are the cosmetic tweaks – unusual for Dacia, perhaps, but the brand believes that it can sell on design and image as much as value. The Jogger Extreme gets copper-brown highlights on areas like the side mirrors, roof bars and cabin air vents, plus a topographical pattern on some of the exterior surfaces and the standard rubber-floor mats. It’s enough to make this Jogger look decidedly more funky and chunky than its worthy, functional stablemates – but then, you do pay a £1,000 premium over a similarly powered Expression variant.
The Extreme mods don’t really compromise the Jogger’s on-road manners. That’s a good thing, because it remains comfortable in most situations (particularly around town), relatively refined at a cruise and just about quick enough with the six-speed gearbox and 1.0-litre engine. As before, though, you may want to opt for the punchier hybrid if you’re going to be regularly using the full three rows or exploiting the cavernous load-carrying capacity.
There’s not much driver involvement to be had here either, but while there is some body roll in corners, the Jogger remains faithful to inputs, with accurate steering and a slick enough gearchange. It’s not particularly heavy for a seven-seater, so it can be swift enough across country - without a heavy load on board, at least.
We also used our time with the Jogger Extreme to try Dacia’s final production Sleep Pack, having tested a late prototype earlier this year. In basic terms, the Sleep Pack is a box that replaces the third row of seats in the Jogger’s boot; to use it, you fold the second-row seats forward, then unfold wooden supports from the back of the box until you have a futon-esque slatted support for a memory-foam mattress. It comes in various packs, starting with a £1,815 combo that also brings storage bags for the third-row seats and blackout blinds for the car windows.
For an additional £250, Dacia will also sell you a full tent that can be attached to the opened boot of the Jogger, creating a respectable living space with a bedroom that’s fundamentally still within the vehicle. We can see why some might go for this, but in truth, the Sleep Pack itself will be enough for many (in a typical Dacia way). It’s surprisingly supportive – though of course, you’ve no ancillary heater or any of the luxuries that come with a proper campervan. For those who want to take their Jogger Extremes to, well, extremes, it’s not an outrageously silly or expensive option box to tick.
|Model:||Dacia Jogger 1.0 Extreme|
|Engine:||1.0-litre 3cyl turbo petrol|
|Transmission:||Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive|