To follow up several models, the Jogger is available in different versions. The Jogger comes with five or seven seats and in regular or adventure outfits. In all cases, the exterior already shows how Dacia extracts maximum space from modest exterior dimensions. The wheels are on the extreme corners and the bodywork is straight and angular.
At the same time, it shows that Dacia originates from Eastern Europe, where roads are often of poor quality. Indeed, for an ordinary family car, ground clearance is far above average (only 1 cm less than Dacia's off-road vehicle, the Duster). On top of that, the test car is a so-called "Extreme SE" version that, thanks to an adventurous trim, has a much more exciting look than just another family car.
The window line shows how cleverly the Jogger is set up. Just behind the front doors is a kink in the edge above the side windows. This is because each row of seats stands slightly higher than the previous one for easy entry, comfortable seating and freer all-round visibility.
The Jogger's greatest strength is in the third row of seats. This is accessed by folding down the rear seats, after which a very decent access to the rear two seats is created Here, even adults sit very decently and thus the Jogger offers more space than much larger SUVs that also cost a multiple of the Dacia!
Space in the second rear seat is also fine. Again, it is clearly noticeable that the seating is higher than that of the front seats, which really adds to the comfort. With the third row of seats in use, luggage space is minimal. When folded up, the Jogger does not have a flat but very deep cargo floor (up to 2 metres!). Of course, all the seats can be removed and then two things stand out: the procedure is logical and simple, and the seats are so light that anyone can easily lift them in and out of the car.
In the front, space is good, but a really comfortable seating position could never be found. For this test, two Joggers were used and many hours were driven, but each time the seating position remained uncomfortable and thus control of the car was not ideal.
Previously, Dacia used the cheapest components available from parent company Renault. Therefore, the interior was sometimes a hotchpotch of new or just old parts, and the equipment was modern at one point and outdated at another. By now, however, Dacia is so successful that it is more advantageous ("economy of scale") for Renault to equip Dacia with the most common and therefore modern parts.
Depending on the trim level chosen, the Jogger is therefore equipped with all the essentials, or even complete and modern. In the latter case, think various driver's assistants, a complete audio, communication and navigation system, keyless entry, an electronically operated parking brake and a full climate control system. LED lights, side airbags, and roof rails are even standard. In all cases, a simple look and ditto controls have been chosen, but the latter is actually an advantage in practice.
To keep the price low, Dacia prefers to use simple technology. However, by now electric and hybrid drives make a car so economical to run, that this quickly makes up for a higher purchase price. Still, Dacia has found a clever exception to this rule! By opting for lightweight construction, it can suffice with lighter engines that are economical to buy and use.
However, lightweight construction often means the use of expensive materials (kevlar, aluminium) and thus Dacia would still miss the mark. Instead of expensive materials, Dacia opted for an economical base. Previously, the medium-sized Dacia was on a medium platform from Renault that was simplified. In contrast, the Jogger is on a compact car platform ("CMF-B"), which was then lengthened.
Several cars in the past have proven that a big car on a small platform yields mediocre handling. The Jogger is by no means a special or interesting car to drive, but in no way does the car feel like the platform is inadequate. On bad road surfaces, comfort is fine and on the motorway, stability is adequate. Moreover, the Jogger allows itself to "smash" through a corner without any problems. Don't expect communicative steering or refined suspension, but given the simple design, Dacia has done a handsome job. Better still: despite having almost the same ground clearance as the Duster, the newcomer has significantly better handling.
As mentioned, thanks to its lightweight construction, light engines suffice. At the time of writing, there are two engines on the price list: the "TCe 110" and "TCe 100 bi-fuel". An automatic is not available for now, but will be available together with a hybrid version from 2023.
The standard petrol engine produces 110 PS / 200 Nm, which is more than enough to keep up with the flow of traffic. Again, the Jogger delivers little driving pleasure or thrills, but it all more than satisfies. Thanks to a sixth gear, highway consumption is kept down. Keep in mind, however, that this is a real "overdrive". Therefore, sprint power in top gear is low and downshifts must be made to climb or pass. When the engine revs, it is clearly audible that this is a three-cylinder (rumbling sound). The Jogger is not silent, but it is quiet.
To drive even more economically, Dacia has been offering an LPG-powered version for years. The "bi-fuel" is good for 91 hp / 160 Nm. This difference in power and fuel compared to the petrol engine is nil in practice. Even on LPG, performance is more than adequate. The difference is only in consumption. On a demanding route with lots of elevation changes and city traffic, test consumption with the "TCe 110 Extreme" came to 6.4 litres per 100 km. The same route took 8.2 litres of LPG per 100 km. Thanks to factory installation, the tank and controls (buttons or displays) are perfectly integrated.
Will the Jogger be as successful as Dacia's previous large family cars? Undoubtedly! The Jogger too offers a lot of space for very little money. But because the Dacia brand has grown significantly over the years, it no longer relies on "leftovers" from parent company Renault. The Jogger therefore has a much smarter design and significantly more modern technology.
That design consists of a lightweight construction, which makes light engines work. That ensures both a low purchase price and low running costs (especially with LPG). What also makes the Jogger very smart are its modular design (seats easily removed) and its overwhelming interior space. In fact, with that space, the Jogger is the only one of its kind. Offering seven full-sized seats, the Jogger is more spacious than much larger cars that also cost a multiple of the Dacia. Those who do not choose the Jogger for its price will be convinced by its space. In short: the Dacia Jogger is guaranteed to be a runner!
- Very competitive price
- Unprecedentedly spacious
- Simple set-up and operation
- Moderate seating comfort in front seats
- Awkward location of USB connector on Media Nav
- Not (yet) available with automatic transmission