Dacia Jogger MPV review
“Besides a premium badge, the Dacia Jogger offers nearly everything - for less than a new supermini”
- Affordable and well-equipped
- Seven seats
- Clever and versatile
- One-star safety score
- Limited engine choice
- Only two ISOFIX points
Dacia has spent its first decade in the UK market stealing sales from other brands. When most carmakers are chasing ‘premium’ and fitting more and more technology, Dacia has taken a refreshingly no-nonsense approach. Its plan of undercutting the opposition and deleting unnecessary extras has won it plenty of fans, and its new cars like the Dacia Jogger MPV are even more appealing thanks to modern underpinnings.
Now that the second-generation Dacia Sandero has bedded in, the Romanian brand is turning its attention to seven-seaters. This is where the speedily named Dacia Jogger comes in. It’s Dacia’s largest model in the UK to date (we never got its predecessor, the Dacia Lodgy).
Seven-seaters tend to be expensive. The Volkswagen Caddy MPV and the Skoda Kodiaq SUV are both nudging £30,000, while you’ll pay a lot more if you want a BMW or even a Ford badge. Even value-focused van-based MPVs like the Citroen e-Berlingo are far costlier than the Jogger. It seems unfathomable that the Dacia Jogger starts from under £15,000, and tops out at under £18,000. Nowadays, that’s what you’d pay for a low-spec Ford Fiesta.
Trim levels are Essential, Comfort and Extreme SE. Even with change from £15,000, Essential offers rear parking sensors, body-coloured bumpers, air conditioning and tinted windows. There’s no infotainment display, but there is a phone holder and access to Dacia’s apps. It's a cost-saving, practical solution that is easy to use.
Comfort adds an impressive spread of equipment. There’s a reversing camera, front parking sensors, an electric handbrake and keyless entry - plus an infotainment touchscreen with the latest smartphone connectivity. Extreme SE seems extravagant by comparison, with its alloy wheels, heated seats and sat nav.
There’s less choice in the engine bay, as all Joggers feature Dacia’s 1.0-litre petrol engine. Performance is respectable, and this small engine has a decent amount of low down pulling power to get up to motorway speeds, even when fully loaded. In 2023, the petrol will be joined by a 138bhp hybrid engine borrowed from the Renault Clio E-Tech, which won’t need plugging in but will be able to complete many urban journeys on electric power alone. Dacia’s Bi-Fuel option, with both petrol and LPG tanks, is also due to feature.
The Jogger uses the same platform as the Clio and Sandero, but it’s stretched to create a huge amount of space inside the cabin. Second-row passengers will enjoy more room than in most family hatchbacks, and even the third row is spacious enough for adults - once they’ve got through the slightly narrow gap to access the rearmost seats. Even with all seats in place, the boot is an okay size, but you get a van-like space with the third-row of seats folded down.
Before you rush to place an order, it’s worth considering the Jogger’s safety score. Euro NCAP, a bureau that crash-tests new cars to see how safe they are, gave the Jogger a one-star rating (out of five) and called its performance ‘disappointing’. It’s largely because the third row of seats, which are likely to have children in them, don’t have airbags or seatbelt reminders.
Besides that, there’s very little not to like about the Jogger. It’s not exciting but it’s not meant to be, and you get so much space and all the features you need for an affordable price. It starts from around £200 per month on a PCP finance deal with a similar amount upfront, which is staggering value - unless you place safety as particularly important.