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Used Dacia Logan MCV review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Dacia Logan MCV covering the Logan MCV Mk2 (2013-date)

Proving that Brits love a bargain, Dacia shifted over 17,000 cars in its first year. This was enough to eclipse marques such as Jaguar, Mitsubishi and Alfa Romeo, and was also the best first-year result ever recorded by a new brand in the UK. It would be easy to assume that cheap equals nasty, but nothing could be further from the truth. This year, the Logan MCV has scored its best result yet in our Driver Power satisfaction survey, plus the brand came fourth overall. Buy one of the few used cars available, and you’re unlikely to regret it.

Dacia put the cat among the pigeons when it returned to the UK at the end of 2012. This Renault subsidiary introduced a stream of affordable models including the Logan MCV (Maximum Capacity Vehicle) in 2013.

Priced from just £6,995, this budget estate car offered a large carrying capacity at a price that undercut established rivals by thousands. While the Dacia doesn’t have the polish of these pricier alternatives, the quality and reliability are proving to be more than a match, with some owners claiming their Logan is the best car they’ve ever had.

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So don’t be too ready to dismiss the Dacia – it could give you all you need at a price well below what you expect to pay.

Models covered

The Dacia Logan arrived in 2004 and was on sale for four years before being replaced by the current model. It’s this latest generation that we’re focusing on in this review.

  • Dacia Logan MCV Mk2 (2013-date) - Estate offered a lot for the money when new, and is a fine used choice.

Dacia Logan MCV Mk2

Prices from £4,000

History

When it arrived in UK showrooms in July 2013, the Logan MCV was Dacia’s fourth model. On offer was one diesel engine – the familiar Renault 1.5 dCi unit – along with two petrols. These were also borrowed from the Renault parts bin; a 1.2-litre four-cylinder unit, alongside a three-cylinder turbocharged 0.9-litre powerplant.

There were three trim levels to choose between (Access, Ambiance and Laureate), but from spring 2015, there was also a range-topping Laureate Prime special edition, while the limited-edition Ambiance Prime arrived a year later. The former came with multimedia, powered rear windows and upgraded trim, and the latter features alloy wheels. Cleaner EU6 engines were fitted from September 2015; these cut CO2 emissions and road tax rates in some cases.

Dacia Logan MCV reviews

Dacia Logan MCV in-depth reviewDacia Logan MCV 1.2 petrol reviewDacia Logan MCV Laureate 1.5 dCi review

Which one should I buy?

The two best engines are also the most popular by far – the 0.9 TCe petrol and the 1.5 dCi diesel. Both are perky and economical, and while they cost more to buy than the 1.2-litre unit, the premium is easily worth it.

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All Logans come with a manual gearbox, so it’s just a question of choosing the engine and trim, although the higher levels are available with more options. Access versions have wind-up windows, steel wheels and no radio, but Ambiance models feature remote central locking, powered front windows, Bluetooth and a CD/tuner.

The Laureate also comes with alloy wheels, a trip computer, cruise control, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, air-con and powered rear windows.

Alternatives to the Dacia Logan MCV

Load space is the Logan’s most attractive feature; the 1,518-litre boot of the Dacia compares favourably with our top-value used favourite, the Ford Focus, with 1,502 litres.

The Ford is better to drive and of a higher quality, but prices are steeper. You’ll also pay more for a Kia Cee’d SW (1,642 litres), Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (1,550 litres) or Honda Civic (1,668 litres). Alternatively, the first-generation Peugeot 308 SW can be picked up from £4,000 for a 2009 car that’s covered 40,000 miles. Its load capacity is pegged at 1,736 litres (2,149 litres up to the roof line), while the second-generation car is rated at 1,660 litres; prices start at £10,000.

What to look for: 

Heater

If buying a diesel, see how efficient the heater is. Some owners have found that it takes many miles of driving before the interior warms up.

Parking

Not all Logans feature standard parking sensors, but cars with a factory-fit system should have a switch to stop them activating; not all do.

Fuel economy

Many car owners are disappointed with fuel economy, but not where the Logan diesel is concerned; it seems 65mpg is easily achieved. 

Wiper blades

Dacia upgraded the standard wiper blades early this year, but older cars got low-quality items that are worth replacing with aftermarket Bosch blades.

Interior

The most impressive thing about the cabin is how spacious it is, but build quality is surprisingly good, too. Although entry-level cars feel spartan, there’s decent head and legroom for rear passengers in all models, plus the cavernous boot can stow 573 litres, or 1,518 litres with the seatbacks folded. 

Running costs

All Logans need to be serviced every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Charges vary around the country, but as a rule of thumb, a minor check-up costs £149-£169 while a major one is £269-£299, with services alternating between the two. Extra jobs also vary in price.

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For example, the brake fluid needs to be changed every 72,000 miles or four years at £39-£49, while fresh coolant is required every five years at £69-£89.

The 1.2-litre engine has a cambelt that must be renewed every six years or 72,000 miles, while the 1.5 dCi’s belt lasts up to six years or 90,000 miles. Expect to pay £389-£409 to have the cambelt replaced.

Recalls

Since the Dacia brand was relaunched in the UK at the end of 2012, Renault has had 11 recall campaigns for cars manufactured during this period, across its whole passenger car range. But in that period, Dacia has yet to issue any recalls for any of its various models – Duster, Sandero, Sandero Stepway or Logan MCV. This is despite Dacias using older Renault tech to keep costs down – it’s a formula that clearly works as it’s improving the ownership experience, too.

Driver Power owner satisfaction

The Logan MCV debuted at number 30 in Driver Power 2013, dropped to 48th last year, then climbed to 13th in 2016. As such, it was the highest-rated family car thanks to its low running costs (fourth), practicality (ninth), in-car tech (12th) and reliability (15th). Ease of driving (82nd) was a low spot, though.

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