Dacia's Jogger hopes to effortlessly blend the benefits of an estate car with the versatility of a compact seven-seat MPV and the rugged style of an SUV. All at an incredibly affordable price point. It’s cheap to run, practical, and very simple to use. We like it.
This quarter the prices for the 7 seat Dacia Jogger range are unchanged, with models available to order from £995 (section updated October 2023).
You'd have thought in today's market that every conceivable market niche would have been filled. Yet in the rush to deliver every conceivable kind of SUV, one segment has been ignored; that for a truly affordable 7-seat family car. And who better to fill that niche than Dacia?
If you want seven seats in a family car these days - even in a converted van - you'll need well over £20,000, which Dacia thinks is ridiculous. So, the company has taken its Sandero hatchback and lengthened its platform enough to insert a third seating row, so creating this car, the Jogger. At the same time with this model, there are Crossover-inspired looks a world away from the dull conformity of the forgettable Dacia compact estate this contender effectively replaces, the Logan MCV. The Jogger has even been engineered with the option of Dacia's first hybrid engine.
Almost all Joggers are going to be sold in TCe 110 form, with a 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol turbo unit that produces 108bhp and nearly all of its maximum 200Nm pulling power from just 1,700rpm. It's mated to 6-speed manual transmission. The alternative to this unit is a 1.6-litre petrol 'Hybrid 140' powerplant with a dual electric motor and 1.2 kWh battery set-up borrowed from the Renault Clio supermini. Dacia expects the Jogger Hybrid to be able to run up to 80% of its time on electricity in urban driving and it offers 140hp and 62mph from rest in 10.2s.
Across the range, under the skin sits the stiffer, more sophisticated Renault CMF-B platform lately introduced into Dacia's Sandero hatch. Don't expect this to deliver particularly engaging handling dynamics; this car isn't intended for that kind of driving. But it'll be easy to use in town, thanks to a light electrically powered steering system that requires little effort to turn at low speeds. There's an 11.7-metre kerb-to-kerb turning circle.
There's more camera safety kit than used to be on Dacias. This one gets an Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEBS). And can be fitted with Blind Spot Warning, which illuminates an LED light within the door mirror to warn the driver if another vehicle may be concealed from view.
The Jogger is the longest model Dacia makes, measuring 4.5m thanks to the 30cm wheelbase increase it enjoys over its Sandero hatch stablemate. You'll spot the visual SUV vibe here - 200mm of ground clearance, modular roof bars and scuff plates see to that. And disguise the fact that from the B-pillar forwards, everything is pretty much the same as a Sandero. There is though, a 40mm step up at the rear to offer the additional height and width needed for the extra seating row. Under the skin lies a modern Renault CMF-B platform.
Inside, there's quite a modern dashboard, embellished with fabric finishes. Infotainment is based around an 8-inch centre monitor with smartphone mirroring. Access to the second row is easy thanks to the 2.9-metre wheelbase, with wide-opening doors and reasonable knee room; you could seat a couple of adults there reasonably. The rear-most chairs are obviously only for kids and reaching them requires a little bit of athleticism. With these extra pews in place, the boot volume is only up to 213-litres, so you won't fit in more than a few shopping bags with all the rows in place. These additional pews don't slide or fold into the floor, so when you're not using them and you need extra boot space, you have to take them out (fortunately, they only weigh 10kg each), freeing up as much as 712-litres of space. If you need more room, the middle row seats roll forward and split 60:40. Maximum carrying capacity is 1819-litres.
There are three trim levels, 'Essential', 'Expression' and 'Extreme SE', all of which are based around the same TCe 110 petrol engine and manual gearbox configuration. Hybrid 140 customers can choose between 'Expression' and 'Extreme SE' trims.
Many customers will want the mid-range 'Expression' model, which gets cruise control, rear parking sensors, rear parking camera and 'Android Auto' and 'Apple CarPlay' compatibility.
The 'Extreme SE' variant at the top of the range features more off road-orientated styling, with additional black body cladding around the wheel arches and bumpers. Plus it gets front and rear skid plates, keyless entry and 16 inch black alloy wheels.
As for infotainment, well three different multimedia systems are being offered, depending on the trim level you choose. The first one is 'Media Control', based around a smartphone app, which replicates the app content on a dash mounted screen. This interface controls your device's navigation, media and telephone contacts. Ideally though, you'd want to stretch to a variant with Dacia's 'Media Display' system, which gives you an 8-inch centre dash touchscreen with 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring, along with a 4-speaker DAB audio system. Choose the 'Extreme SE' and there's a 'Media Nav' system that adds built-in satellite navigation, along with wireless smartphone connectivity, a 6-speaker audio system and two USB ports.
Dacia isn't bothering with a diesel here and at present, there's no sign of the Continental LPG version of the 1.0-litre petrol unit. So you'll need to like the idea of that same three cylinder TCe 110 engine in conventional form, which records up to 49.6mpg on the combined cycle, giving a decent operating range from the 50-litre fuel tank. The CO2 reading is 132g/km.
The Hybrid 140 manages 56.5mpg on the combined cycle and up to 112g/km of CO2. This electrified variant includes a 'B' (Brake) mode in its fully automatic, clutchless gearbox, which amplifies the regenerative braking and increases engine braking. This mode optimises energy recovery and driving comfort in urban areas.
We can't help thinking that the Jogger is Dacia's most appealing car to date. There's some of the practicality of a compact MPV for family trips, an extra seating row so the kids can bring friends home from school and a bit of SUV vibe so you'll feel happy parking it at the gym. Yes, it's unremarkable inside, but the cabins of modern Dacias no longer shout 'budget brand' so loudly.
Plus most of the kit you really need is available - and a price well below what you'll shell out for a 7-seater from another brand. The Jogger is in many ways just about everything a modern affordable family estate ought to be. And if that's not enough of a recommendation for you, we're not quite sure what is.
People with a disability and carers who choose a new Dacia Jogger through Motability will receive a brand new car, delivered by a Motability Specialist at a local Dacia dealership, complete with insurance, servicing and maintenance, full breakdown assistance, replacement tyre cover, windscreen repair or replacement cover plus a mileage allowance of 60,000 miles over three years.
This month, these Dacia Jogger models can be ordered through the Motability Scheme: