8 January 2014
Dacia Logan MCV

Dacia Logan MCV

Flying high

Review | Dacia recently opened its doors in the UK. In the rest of Europe Dacia has been a real high flyer for some years now. Sales grow exponentially every year and the quality of the products is ever increasing. The latest addition to the fleet is the "Logan MCV". This family car promises maximum space at a minimum price. Will it reach for the skies just like its siblings did?
 

The new Logan MCV has the same looks as the new Sandero. The main difference is the longer roofline and the extra overhang behind the rear wheels. The Logan MCV measures 4.5 metres and that means lots of cabin space.

The boot offers 573 litres of storage, the same as mid-sized estate cars from other brands. The back seat can easily be folded flat; to enlarge the boot to a massive 1,518 litres. That's far above average for a car of this size!

Dacia Logan MCV

The big difference with a more expensive yet equally spacious car, is in the refinement and build quality. For example, the luggage floor of the Dacia isn't perfectly flat and there's no tonneau cover. Gadgets that help to make optimum use of the space that other brands do offer are missing from the Dacia. When looking at the length of the car compared to the usable storage space, other (more expensive) cars make better use of the available space.

The head and legroom in the back is excellent. Even when the front seats are slid backwards, there's still enough legroom in the rear. Because there's so much headroom available, it is sad that the rear headrests can hardly be adjusted and therefore do not contribute to the safety for the rear passangers.

Dacia Logan MCV

Equipment levels

In the front the Logan MCV also offers ample space, but no more than usual. As expected, the layout of the Dacia dashboard is simple yet effective. No glossy or high quality materials here; everything is aimed at affordability. This doesn't mean the Logan MCV feels cheap. Instead, Dacia gives simplicity a certain charm!

Even the (optional) audio and satnav are basic yet functional. The usual eye candy has been replaced by simple icons. Yet again this isn't a con but rather a pro, because Dacia's unit is easier to operate than the enhanced systems other brands offer.

Dacia Logan MCV

Handling

When it comes to handling, yet again Dacia does everything to keep the price as low as possible. The underpinning lacks refinement and there's no feedback to the driver whatsoever. This makes it hard to know what the car is capable of and most drivers will automatically go very slow just to be on the safe side. When it comes to cornering, it becomes painfully clear why Dacia can offer this big car at such a low price.

Dacia Logan MCV

However, when trying to find out what the car is capable of the Logan MCV does not disappoint. Because the suspension is very soft the car tilts over in every corner. Yet, the tyres grip the road very tightly so that one can still safely avoid obstacles if necessary.

The mirrors are way too small for a car of this size. This means that it is harder to safely change lanes on the open road. Reverse parking would also be much easier with bigger mirrors (a parking aid is available as an option).

Dacia Logan MCV

Diesel

Dacia is part of Renault and therefore makes use of stock Renault parts. This is why the engine bay is the same size and has the same engine mounts as the Renault Clio. In this way the existing Clio engines can easily be used by Dacia thereby eliminating high developments costs for new engines.

However, the power trains aren't exactly the same. Advanced fuel saving technologies are too costly for Dacia and have therefore been dropped. Keep in mind that the Logan MCV is much bigger and heavier than a Renault Clio, which makes for even worse fuel efficiency.

Yet, the modest "dCi 90" diesel easily propels the big Logan MCV! Performance is just fine and because the engine does provide some feedback to the driver it compensates for the sloppy steering.

Dacia Logan MCV

Petrol

Those who drive short distances can opt for the petrol engine with a displacement of just 0.9 litres. It is named "TCe 90" and delivers 90 PS / 135 Nm. This turns out to be exactly enough for the Logan MCV. When cold, the engine isn't very smooth resulting in some slight shocks while accelerating. Once at operating temperature the tiny engine performs pretty well. For example, accelerating from 80 to 100 km/h can be done without shifting down.

Instead of the usual four, the "TCe 90" has just three cylinders. This means lower fuel consumption. It also means a rough sound and less refined feel. The Logan MCV is much quieter than small town cars with similar engines, yet the Dacia driver is always reminded this is just a three-cylinder engine.

Dacia Logan MCV

This is also reflected in the fuel consumption. Despite the fact that the test car was brand spanking new (only 50 km on the odometer) it consumed just 5 litres per 100 km (56 mpg) on average. City traffic strongly affects these figures; the Logan MCV is only efficient on long distances.

Conclusion

Will the all-new Dacia Logan MCV be a high flyer? Yes! The Logan MCV follows the same recipe that made the other models so hugely successful. The Logan MCV focusses on affordability while economising on looks, image or refinement. Don't expect it to be any fun to drive or expect any innovative technology. Do expect the back to basics approach from the Sandero, but this time with even more functionality.

plus
  • Frugal
  • Spacious
  • Fair price
min
  • Sloppy handling
  • Mirrors too small
  • Rear headrests too low