Seven seat family motoring at a relatively cheap price will ensure Dacia’s Jogger delivers a run on sales. The Jogger starting at €23,290 (intro. price) is very cheap and utterly adequate as a family car. Price Jogger per-seat and it is ‘shockingly affordable’ to use the brand’s famous catch phrase at just €3,327. The Jogger, unlike many seven seaters, is relatively light too at just 1,200kgs. This low weight helps deliver an economical car to market that doesn’t need a big engine, and this helps keep it cost down.
MPVs are seldom good looking cars but the Jogger manages to be acceptable looking in a practical car way. It has a smart looking front end and when viewed from the rear has a form and light signature that appears to pay homage to Volvo. At 4.547m long the Jogger is about half a metre longer than the Sandero that it shares a lot of parts with. Jogger can seat up to seven adults thanks to its long wheelbase (2.987m) and a no frills approach to packaging. Basically, the Jogger is a stretched version of the Sandero supermini with a raised roof (+40mm) with roof bars (standard) for added practicality. If you look just behind the front seats (B pillar) you can see a step up in the roofline and this has a significant impact on the cabin’s interior space. The three rows of seats are laid out in a stadium style, with each row sitting a little higher than the one in front. There is headroom and legroom for seven adults – the furthest seats even get opening fly windows. With all seven seats in place the boot turns in to a glorified glovebox and you shudder to think of a rear end collision and the rearmost passengers’ proximity to the rear window (this concern is common with to all compact seven-seaters). The rear two seats can be removed with a few movements and they are light enough (11kgs each) to be carried by one person without much strain.
The boot is vast when the rear two seats are removed and if you fold the middle row there is up to 1,819 litres of cargo area at one metre wide and two metres deep. The Jogger can be a family car at the weekend and a van during the week if needed. If the rear two seats are left in place and you need to carry stuff, the chairs only fold and this leaves a boot area that is the opposite of flat. In the real world one seat left at home works best as the boot remains versatile yet the seating allows the separation of waring family factions. We tested the car with seven men in it and apart from he need to do a bit of stretching to get in to the furthest seats, the car managed to accommodate me, my 18 year old son and five friends without any hassle.
The engine at launch is a 1.2 litre TCe. In 2023 a full hybrid HEV 140 automatic will offer an engine choice. This seemingly tiny petrol engine pushes out 110hp and was up to the task of hauling the fully loaded Jogger around. We could even traverse speed humps without bottoming-out the suspension. I didn’t catch a side on reflection but I’m sure the car looked quite ‘slammed’ to onlookers as we cruised the streets. Emissions are 131 g/km CO2. We managed impressive fuel consumption and when driving one up were often in the high 5s and low 6L/100km (45-50mpg). The six-speed manual gearbox has a long top gear and there is even an Eco button to aid fuel consumption that dulls the throttle response.
The standard fit cruise control/speed limiter made compliant driving easy to attain. The driving position is restricted but adequate. The steering adjust for tilt only. The pedal layout is not optimal and was improved greatly by raising the driver’s seat height a few lever pulls. The suspension is soft and pliant. On twisty routes the long wheelbase combines with the soft springing to deliver a lazy comfortable and predictable ride. The Jogger can sprint when needed but likes to go at its own pace. Dynamic twisty routes are best approached with ample time for your journey and braking, while effective, is progressive with a soft feel to the pedal.
With in excess of 28,000 sales in Ireland since the brand’s launch new car buyers have embraced Dacia affordability. Private sales remain at the core of Dacia’s success in Ireland. The Jogger comes in three grades: Essential is the entry point with roof bars, air conditioning, front fogs, cruise control and rear parking sensors – all standard, Comfort is level 2 (€25,090) and Extreme SE tops the range (€26,590) – the Extreme SE is the one you want as it has the right toys like heated front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay etc. and 16 inch dark alloy wheels – it looks the sharpest too. When the introductory prices are cut on June 1st 2022, buyers will still be able to get the top of the range model for under €30,000. Dacia expects 50% to be comfort models and 40% Extreme.
The Dacia brand is huge with 7.5m sales worldwide and if you travel in Europe you’ll see Dacias everywhere. The Sandero (from €14,990) compact hatchback, Sandero Stepway ( from €17,490) and Duster SUV ( from €21,190) are phenomenal sales success stories in Ireland but the brand can now do better still as Jogger enters the C segment. The C segment size of car is highly competitive and the biggest new car sector in Ireland. Soon we will see the Dacia range expand from the current four cars in Ireland to include a new budget electric car called the Spring and an imposing looking SUV called the Bigster. These additions will increase the brand’s market share as buyers seek out practical and affordable motoring.
Dacia has to be admired for its no frills approach to car making that sees it frequently use the same parts across its car range. At the same time the firm gets a lot of criticism for the fit and finish of its cars and their relatively poor NCAP crash safety ratings. Despite Jogger’s poor overall crash rating, it has essentially a 4 star crash protection rating for adult occupants and a 3 star rating for children. Dacia is unapologetic about building cars at a cost/price point that can be afforded by buyers who are not serviced by other brands. Since launch, the Jogger has been a huge success in Europe and Dacia Ireland’s problem will be getting enough supply to meet demand. The Dacia Jogger will keep a lot of Irish families mobile at a price point can’t be overlooked.