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
Verdict - Is the Dacia Jogger a good car?
The Dacia brand prides itself on offering value for money, and none of its models symbolises this more than the Jogger MPV. Although it’s let down by a spartan interior and poor safety score, the Dacia Jogger will nevertheless provide the best bang for your buck when it comes to interior space with its seven seats and a big boot for less than the price of a small hatchback. Now the Hybrid has arrived, the Jogger occupies an even more unique segment of the market, costing around £10,000 less than a Toyota Corolla Hybrid.
Dacia Jogger models, specs and alternatives
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, the Renault-owned Romanian brand 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.
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 a little more than £18,000 – less than even a base-spec Vauxhall Corsa supermini.
Simple as the Jogger itself is, the budget seven-seater’s trim lineup comprises three different versions: Essential, Expression and the range-topping Extreme. While Dacia has historically been miserly in providing entry-level models with much equipment, base Essential variants of the Jogger still get body-coloured bumpers, LED headlights, air conditioning, cruise control and rear parking sensors. 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’s easy to use.
Expression adds an impressive spread of equipment. There’s a reversing camera, front parking sensors, an electric handbrake and keyless entry – plus an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with the latest smartphone connectivity. Extreme SE seems extravagant by comparison, with its alloy wheels, heated seats and sat nav.
Extreme is geared towards outdoorsy customers and adds an exclusive Cedar Green paint colour with Copper Brown finishings on the exterior, a unique topographical pattern for the doors and interior trim, and also black alloy wheels. It also gets durable upholstery and Dacia’s ‘Extended Grip’ feature which tweaks the car’s stability control system to make it more capable on loose surfaces at the touch of a button.
Jogger buyers can also spec a novel ‘Sleep Pack’ accessory, should you wish to go camping in the car. The pack unfolds to reveal a bed that can accommodate two people, and includes a 220-litre storage box.
There’s less choice in the engine bay, as the only powertrain available at launch was Dacia’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. With 108bhp on tap and coming as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, this provides ample pulling power to get up to motorway speeds – even when the Jogger is fully-loaded. Early 2023 saw the introduction of a new 1.6-litre 138bhp self-charging hybrid setup, shared with the mechanically-similar Renault Clio. Offered alongside the pre-existing 1.0-litre petrol, this should return up to 56.5mpg and comes fitted with an automatic gearbox. We found this was easy to match and even exceed during our first drive.
While the Jogger uses the same platform as the aforementioned Clio and Sandero, it’s been 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.
The Jogger’s safety score looks a little concerning. 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. But it's worth noting that the Sandero Stepway's score has been adapted for the Jogger, which hasn't actually gone through the crash tests itself.
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, along with the option of a seven-seat hybrid that’s unique at this price point. It starts from around £250 per month on a PCP finance deal with a similar amount upfront, which is staggering value – unless you place safety as particularly important.