Since our Dacia joined the fleet, I’ve made a couple of interesting discoveries, neither of which is a surprise. The first is that despite the brand’s success in the UK, it has a similar image that Skoda and Lada ‘enjoyed’ in the 1980s. Everywhere I take our Dacia, I have to explain that despite its list price, the Logan is really quite a decent car. And it wouldn’t actually be so bad if those who are so critical had driven one, but most of them haven’t even sat in a Dacia, let alone piloted one.
Which brings me to my second unsurprising discovery: the Logan MCV Stepway is far better than it should be considering the asking price. It’s clear where costs have been cut, and in the next issue I’ll guide you through the dynamic aspects. But this month I’ll focus on the usability, because that’s something that the Stepway isn’t short of.
Soon after it arrived, the Logan was whisked off to France for a family fortnight. Three up with suitcases, bodyboards and a 12-volt cool box (plus an array of other items), stowing everything was a breeze. Not only did the back seat not have to be folded, but the load bay cover could be pulled shut. Having bought all sorts of junk in Brittany, the car was packed to the roof coming back, but the Dacia coped admirably, which many lifestyle estates wouldn’t have been able to do. Even better, it’s not as though the fixed rear seats have been moved forward to create this space, as there’s ample head and leg room for three in the second row. There’s decent oddments space up front too, with big door bins and a large glovebox, neither of which you can take for granted with the Dacia’s rivals.
Look around the car and you’ll spot painted metal where rivals have bits of trim (such as on the inside of the tailgate), while the interior plastics are unyielding, even if the fit and finish is okay. Some of the ergonomics are suspect too; the cruise control is switched on via the dashboard, then set on the steering wheel, while the front electric window switches are on the door, yet those for the rear are on the fascia. The switchgear itself looks and feels cheap in most cases, but only the column stalks seem flimsy.
Move to the outside and the door handles, mirrors, wheel arch trims and sill covers are all made of black plastic instead of being body-coloured. But then Audi has got away with charging extra for black plastic for many years on its Allroad models ñ which can cost more than three times as much as the Logan MCV Stepway.
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Date arrived 11th July 2018
Fuel economy 72.4mpg (combined) 52.8mpg (on test)
The boot can accommodate 573 litres of luggage, or up to 1,518 litres with the seat folded. That’s on a par with a Volvo V90 and not far behind an Audi A6 Avant.
The front seats aren’t uncomfortable, but if you suffer from back problems, you probably won’t find they offer enough support on really long journeys.