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First drive: 2022 Dacia Jogger. Image by Dacia.

First drive: 2022 Dacia Jogger
Dacia's ultra-practical Jogger could be all the car you ever need.

   



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2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

The Dacia brand is built on value, and few cars offer quite as much value as the new Dacia Jogger. A seven-seat mish-mash of estate car, MPV and hatchback, itís a practical family bus that comes in at just under £15,000. Thatís considerably less than youíll pay for the new Ford Fiesta, and itís way cheaper than any other seven-seater on the market. But is Daciaís new model a bargain or a false economy?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110
Pricing: £17,990 as tested
Engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door, seven-seat estate/MPV
CO2 emissions: 132g/km
Combined economy: 47.1-49.6mpg
Top speed: 114mph
0-62mph: 11.2 seconds
Power: 109hp
Torque: 200Nm
Boot space: 212-2,085 litres

What's this?

Good question. Is it a compact estate car? Is it a seven-seat MPV? Is it a model of a Volvo XC70 described down a particularly iffy phone line? To tell the truth, we canít quite tell ourselves, but we know it is called the Dacia Jogger, and it fits into all those categories and more, depending on what you look at.

Externally, it has roughly the same footprint as a VW Golf Estate, measuring just over 4.5m in length and just under 1.8m across, not counting the door mirrors. But in terms of height, it sits 200mm above the ground and around 1.7m tall. Those are the figures you expect from a family SUV.

Then thereís the way it looks. With that ride height and all that body cladding, itís a pretty rugged-looking thing, but thereís no all-wheel-drive system and not even a clever off-road-orientated traction control set-up. Itís all just for show.

Except, of course, for the bits that arenít. The roof rails, for example, have a removable centre section that turns into the cross bars. That means you donít have to carry any bulky rails in the boot or store them in your shed. You just have a little tool in the glove box to unclip them and away you go.

Thatís pretty clever for a car that starts at just under £15,000. Yes, perhaps the biggest twist in our journey to find out what the Jogger might be is the price tag. Basic Essential models, which do without the clever roof bars, cost £14,995 Ė about £1,500 more than the very cheapest Volkswagen Up! city car. And yes, the equipment is limited Ė you get a phone holder and rear parking sensors and thatís about it Ė but itís a lot of car for the money.

Weíd probably choose the mid-range Comfort model, which comes in at £16,595 but gets a touchscreen infotainment system, a reversing camera and keyless entry, as well as the posh roof bars, automatic windscreen wipers and the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration tech. You get 16-inch alloys, too.

Yet even the top-of-the-range Extreme SE tested here is not that expensive. At £17,395, it comes with heated seats, black alloy wheels and satellite navigation. Not bad for something thatís still almost £1,000 cheaper than an entry-level VW Polo.

If the price hasnít shocked you Ė we are talking about a Dacia, after all Ė the interior space will. Despite being roughly the same size as a Golf Estate, the Jogger has seven seats, all of which are capable of accommodating an adult on a medium-length journey. Even the rearmost row is capable of carrying two out-of-shape, 6ft 2in motoring journalists, and we know that because weíve tried it. We wouldnít want to spend hour after hour back there, but itís more spacious than the back seats of, say, a Skoda Kodiaq.

Which is amazing, really, because the Jogger is smaller than the Kodiaq and has much the same amount of boot space. With all seven seats in place, thereís a city car-esque 212 litres back there, but that expands when you do a little fiddling and remove the two 10kg rear seats. Lift them out of the car, chuck them in the garage and you get a 699-litre luggage bay. And if you fold the second row down, then tumble them forward, you free up more than 2,000 litres of space. Admittedly, the floor isnít flat, but when youíve got such a van-like space, thatís no disaster.

Better still, interior quality is pretty solid for something so big and so well priced. Yes, there are plenty of cheap plastics, but the way in which they have been connected is exemplary, and the switchgear feels robust and substantial. We even like the houndstooth fabric across the dashboard, which is a cheap, no-frills way of lightening the mood.

How does it drive?

With such an emphasis on practicality, perhaps itís no surprise to find the Jogger is not a sporty little number. At launch, only one engine is available, and itís a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged unit called the TCe 110. With a 109hp output and 200Nm of torque, the 0-62mph time is a leisurely 11.2 seconds.

Thatís more than adequate, and the Jogger actually feels slightly faster, albeit only for a short spell at about 20mph. Itís certainly enough to keep pace with the traffic, and thatís all you really need. More appealing is the fuel economy, which comes in at just under 50mpg on the official economy test. We doubt youíd manage that with seven on board, but itís still relatively frugal for such a small engine.

Also appealing is the noise that engine makes. Like most three-cylinder engines, it has a kind of thrum to it, but it never gets too noisy. Only when itís really worked will it become intrusive, but itís unhurried power delivery doesnít really encourage that sort of driving. Itís much happier cruising about in the mid-range. Do that, and you wonít be disturbed by much noise at all. Wind noise gets a bit bold at high speed, but generally the car is quiet, with relatively good insulation from tyre roar.

From all that, you can probably guess what the Jogger is like to drive. The suspension is soft and manages to iron out most of the bumps, although weíll reserve proper judgement on the ride until we try a Jogger in the UK. That said, first impressions are good, and itíll certainly be a comfortable beast on smooth motorways or around town Ė itís just a question of how good itíll feel on broken back roads.

That kind of suspension normally comes with pretty lackadaisical handling characteristics, and while the Jogger is hardly nimble, it drives more accurately than you might expect. The tall body rolls a lot, but itís relatively controlled and it doesnít wallow from side to side. Thereís plenty of grip, too, and the steering feels smooth and substantial in your hands. Thereís no hint of sportiness, but itís still a pleasant thing to steer.

Verdict

Itís hard to compare the Jogger with its rivals, because it doesnít really have any. But if you want a comfortable, spacious, no-nonsense family car that wonít cost the earth to buy or run, it has to be on your radar. No, the looks wonít be to everyoneís taste, but the Joggerís honesty and charm will earn it plenty of fans. Weíre certainly among them.

The Extreme SE trim is expected to be the big seller, and the presence of goodies such as heated seats will appeal to many customers, but weíd opt for the mid-range Comfort model. It has all the toys you need (if not all the ones you want) and it has a more modest price tag of £16,595. Itís hard to argue with that kind of value.


3 3 3 3 3 Exterior Design

3 3 3 3 3 Interior Ambience

5 5 5 5 5 Passenger Space

5 5 5 5 5 Luggage Space

0 0 0 0 0 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Powertrain


James Fossdyke - 17 Feb 2022



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2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.

2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.2022 Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe 110. Image by Dacia.







 

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