Performance and handling is generally uninspiring but you get a lot of practicality and efficiency for the??very reasonable price you pay.
Renault owned brand, Dacia, have certainly made an impact on the British market since the brand arrived early last year. The Sandero supermini and Duster off-roader offer superb value for money at a time when families are strapped for cash. Dacia has another weapon in its arsenal, the Logan MCV.
An estate version of the Logan saloon and Sandero hatchback, the second generation Logan MCV aims to offer estate car practicality for the fewest of shiny Pennies. In this review, we will establish if the Romanian brands newest model has what it takes to compete in our market.
Admittedly the Logan MCV is hardly going to provide inspiration for teenage boys bedroom walls, but the simplistic design certainly looks less awkward than the previous model. The front end is identical to the already established Sandero, whilst the rear is somewhat bland by comparison. There will be no mistaking the Dacias austere roots here.
Readers who own modern vehicles will dislike the Logan MCVs down market plastics, used for the dashboard. Most buyers will probably opt for the MCV over an older used buy, therefore some may not find this a problem. Furthermore, equipment is sparse, with no boot release on all models. The basic Access trim rewards you with four airbags and ISOFIX points. One step up to Ambience buys a USB socket, Bluetooth connectivity, CD player and chrome dashboard highlights.
The best buy however is the range topping Laur??ate, which additionally provides a height-adjustable drivers seat, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, an upgraded stereo (with steering column mounted controls), air-conditioning, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, cruise control and four electric windows. We also recommend ticking Dacias Med Nav touch-screen GPS system off on the options list, as the functionality is great and a bargain at only ??250.
Negatives aside, the interior is simplistic and uncluttered. Dacia seems to target the technophobes amongst us, who find themselves daunted by over-complicated technology. The trump is the cavernous boot space provided, which embarrasses the competition with an impressive 573-litres with the seats upright and 1,518-litres folded down.
The best engine in the range is the 1.5-litre dCi diesel, which provides the best fuel economy and overall driving experience, although very agricultural to the ear. Buyers who rarely venture out of town should also consider the 0.9-litre turbocharged TCe three-cylinder petrol, which is quieter and slightly more punchy at medium revs. The diesel does however provide a lot more torque. We can only really recommend the ancient 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol for the most hardcore bargain hunters.
0-62 times are indeed nothing spectacular either, with the 1.2 16v proving slowest at 14.5 seconds, the diesel pushing all 90 brake horses to 62 at 12.1 seconds, with the TCe winning at 11.1 seconds.
Handling is uninspiring, with cornering falling behind the competition. Understeer, body roll are regular features to the spirit drivers amongst us, with dull steering adding further misery. Dacias focuses entirely on comfort though, which it does fairly well. To summarise, nothing to write home about any time soon.
If so far the Logan MCVs only trump card is the boot space, may we reveal the other trick up its sleeve. Prices start from only ??6,995 for the scrimping Access 1.2 16v 75. Upgrade one class to Ambiance and prices start from ??7,795. Our recommended trim level is the Laur??ate which retails from ??8.995. Selecting the TCe petrol adds almost ??1,000, whilst the diesel engine will add a premium of approximately ??2,000.
Running costs will be cheaper with the diesel too, with an impressive combined cycle of 74.3mpg. Ticking the option for the TCe will reward you with a modest 56.5mpg, with the bargain basement 1.2 only achieving 48.7mpg. Diesel owners will also be happy with the Road Tax exemption due to the 99g/km of CO2 emitted.
The Dacia Logan MCV is the car for you if your budget is low, your need for space a priority and purchasing a brand new car is mandatory. Buyers will be disappointed with the lacklustre ride, recession friendly equipment list, down market trim and the archaic 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine. Where the Logan MCV makes up for itself though is the ridiculously low price. All of the above appears reasonable in the context of price, therefore becoming an ideal young family choice. Certainly a car to buy with your head, not your heart.