Skoda Fabia Estate vs Dacia Logan MCV
Skoda Fabia is a well established estate, how does the new Dacia Logan MCV compare?
The new Dacia Logan MCV has been designed to offer maximum space for small money. Unsurprisingly for a manufacturer whose TV ads proudly trumpet “we don’t do frivolity”, Dacia says that MCV simply stands for Maximum Capacity Vehicle.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the numbers: the five-seat Logan offers a 573-litre boot for only £6,995. Even the range-topping Laureate model with an 89bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine (which is predicted to be the biggest seller) costs just £10,795. Nothing else on sale in the UK can get close to that amount of space for such a low price. Even better, 99g/km CO2 emissions and excellent fuel economy mean the Dacia’s very cheap to run, too.
But is the new Logan a better bet than established supermini estates? To find out, we’ve put it up against the Skoda Fabia Estate, which has long been a favourite in the small-yet-practical category. Tested here in 1.6 TDI SE trim, it costs £3,835 more than the Logan, and while it’s got more power, it emits 109g/km of CO2.
So is the classier and more established Skoda worth the extra money, or has Dacia carried off the budget estate car crown?
The Logan MCV is 430mm longer than the Sandero, while the Fabia Estate gains 247mm over the hatch. Unsurprisingly, using a tape measure reveals the bigger Dacia’s advantage. With the seats in place, the load floor is 200mm longer than the Skoda’s, while folding them stretches this to 370mm. But the MCV offers only an extra 30mm between the wheelarches and the Skoda has 120mm of extra height below the parcel shelf.
Thanks to its VW Group switchgear, the Skoda’s interior feels more up to date. However, using Renault components of various ages throughout the cabin is what keeps Dacia models so competitively priced.
Dacia’s been Europe’s fastest-growing brand for the past eight years. A no-nonsense focus on value gives it a unique selling point, and customers love the direct, low-cost approach. Skoda is VW’s value brand, but it’s a very different proposition and no longer a purely budget manufacturer. Dacia sold 10,000 cars in its first 10 months in the UK; Skoda sold 10,330 models in September alone. However, it’s clear Dacia has found an untapped niche at the bargain end of the family car market.
1st place - Dacia
The first Dacia built under Renault ownership, the original Logan saloon, was a big sales success. The second-generation car arrived last year, but a limited UK market for small saloons means it isn’t destined for our shores. However, Dacia is hoping that, along with the closely related Sandero hatch, the Logan MCV estate version will be the next chapter in the brand’s British success story. By offering plenty of space for not much money, the Logan MCV is another great example of Dacia’s value approach. If you want a dependable, affordable and roomy estate car, the Laureate 1.5 dCi is decent to drive and practical. And while it’s clearly built down to a price, it’s well equipped and solidly constructed.
2nd place - Skoda
The Skoda Fabia is a popular, reliable and cheap-to-run supermini. And in spite of its compact size, the Estate version builds on this with its surprisingly spacious interior. Skoda’s excellent build quality and renowned dealer service add appeal. But, in the company of the Dacia, the Fabia looks expensive, especially as it can’t match the Logan’s vast boot space. Cabin quality is good and performance is strong, but the 1.6 TDI diesel engine is unrefined. Stability control isn’t standard, and the Dacia is better equipped overall.
|Dacia Logan MCV Laureate 1.5 dCi||Skoda Fabia 1.6 TDI 105 SE Estate|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£10,795/£12,150||£14,630/£15,335|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36k miles)||£4,221/39.1%||£6,423/43.9%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£301/£601||£466/£933|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,541/£2,569||£1,617/£2,695|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||11/£297/A/£0||14/£306/B/£20|
|Servicing costs||£489 (3yrs/36k)||£499 (3yrs/30k)|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,461cc||4cyl in-line/1,598cc|
|Peak power (revs)||89/3,750 bhp/rpm||104/4,400 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque (revs)||220/1,750 Nm/rpm||250/1,500 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||5-spd man/fwd||5-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||50 litres/sealant||45 litres/sealant|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||573/1,518 litres||505/1,485 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||10.8 metres/0.37Cd||10.0 metres/0.31Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||12,000 (1yr)/127||10,000 (1yr)/135|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||N/A||2nd/7th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||N/A||32/36/17/85^|
|0-60/30-70mph||11.3/11.5 secs||9.6/9.5 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||5.3/8.6 secs||3.9/6.7 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th||14.4 secs||8.8 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||107mph/2,000rpm||118mph/2,000rpm|
|Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph||48.3/53/9.5 metres||51.6/37.6/9.9 metres|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||71/48/65.74dB||75/51/65/72dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||49.2/10.9/541 miles||46.9/10.4/464 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||154/99g/km/14%||161/109g/km/16%|
|Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensors||Four/yes/£250||Four/yes/£285|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||No/yes/yes||No/£155/£175|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||No/£600/no||£280/£610*/£170|
|Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go||£495/no/no||£495/no/no|