Dacia Logan MCV review 2019

Find out more about the Dacia Logan in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • - Incredible value
  • - Huge load bay
  • - Low running costs

Cons

  • - Cheap feeling plastics
  • - Old-fashioned cabin
  • - Not very refined
  • MPG

    52 - 72

  • CO2

    97 - 125 g/km

Model Review

Introduced in 2006, the original Dacia Logan was, for many years, Europe’s cheapest car. When it first went on sale in mainland Europe, the saloon version of the Logan cost the equivalent of just £4,000, though it would be another six years before British buyers could experience the joys of proper budget motoring—something that had been absent from the UK market since the demise of Lada and the absorption of Skoda into the Volkswagen Group.

The first UK Dacias arrived in 2012, to much critical acclaim. Not only did the Romanian models offer terrific value, but they were also perfectly acceptable cars.

So when the Logan MCV (which, if you were wondering, stands for Maximum Capacity Vehicle) appeared in 2013, expectations were high. Here was a full-size estate car that was priced entirely in the bargain basement, recalling imagery of the original Kia Rio and Chevrolet Lacetti Station Wagon, both of which left a gap in the market for penny-pinching family transport.

The Logan MCV was launched with a headline price of just £8,495 and it still costs the same today insofar as you can get your hands on a full-size practical estate car for the same money that you’d spend on a basic city car. But is it any good?

Latest model

The Logan MCV hasn’t evolved much since it first appeared - after all, continual improvements would only serve to keep chipping the price up, and that’s not what this car is about at all.

As such, the model range hasn’t really changed since it debuted. There are three trim levels: Access, Essential and Comfort. There used to be a fourth, the Laureate, which was a range-topper, but this was dropped in 2017 due to low demand.

Three engines are available. A 1.2-litre 16v petrol that can trace its roots back to the 1998 Renault Clio, a 0.9-litre petrol turbo and Renault’s stalwart 1.5 dCi diesel unit.

Value for money

With the headline price of £8,495 for a brand new, full-size estate car, it’s impossible to argue with the Logan MCV’s value for money.

But the value for money continues across the range, it isn’t just there to grab the headlines. The Essential spec, for example, which adds such luxuries as a radio and air conditioning (which, let’s face it, is all you really need) is still only £9,295 in 1.2-litre form, or £800 dearer if you want the more advanced 0.9-litre turbo version.

The range-topping Comfort, with a touch screen infotainment display that includes sat-nav, is yours from £10,295, or £500 more with full leather trim.

Looks and image

 

Unlike the Dacia Duster SUV which has a degree of cool about it, there’s nothing particularly streetwise or funky about the Logan MCV. It’s a functional, no-nonsense estate car in the traditional mould. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! In fact, it’s quite refreshing to find a car these days that unashamedly doesn’t try and fit into a niche.

However, while function completely overrules form, the Logan MCV isn’t a car you’re going to choose for its overriding character. It’s designed to do a job, perfectly capable of doing it, and will get on with the job in a hassle-free and largely inconspicuous manner. The only problem being that it says absolutely nothing about you but for many people, that’s absolutely fine in a car.

Space and practicality

 

Starting at the business end, where the Logan MCV really shines out of its behind. The boot is huge, meaning nothing can come close for the money.

With all five seats and the parcel shelf in situ, the load bay is still big enough to carry 573-litres of luggage, extending to 1,518 litres with the back seats folded flat. That’s on a par with more expensive estates.

It’s easy to load, too, with a wide boot aperture and a flat floor, complete with an underfloor storage compartment for added security.

The cabin is slightly less practical, as despite there being loads of passenger space, there’s not much storage for personal items. The door bins are big but lack any form of cup or bottle holder, the tray in front of the gear lever is shallow and liable to eject you phone or wallet if you put them there, and the glovebox is laughably small for such a big car. There’s no USB socket, either.

Finally, if you opt for the entry-level Access model, there’s not much seat adjustment, nor can you adjust the rake of the steering wheel which is something to bear in mind.

Finally, don’t expect premium levels of trim quality. The Logan is packed with hard, cheap plastics and controls that are functional rather than there to be admired. But go with it, it’s part of the appeal.

Engines

There are three engines to choose form in the Logan MCV. The 1.2-litre petrol engine has 78bhp and just about manages to hold its own in the bulky Logan’s body, but don’t expect any performance miracles. It’s a cheap car that’s there to do a job not deliver thrills and spills from behind the wheel.

The 0.9-litre turbo is a three-cylinder engine with a bit more pizzazz about it. It has 89bhp, and that extra drop of performance, coupled to the turbo power delivery really helps. It still feels a bit lacking in torque, but you don’t feel like you have to be constantly hammering the pedal to the metal to make it move.

The 1.5 dCi is a better all-rounder, thanks to the diesel engine’s extra torque but it’s also the most expensive choice.

Things to look for

The Logan only has a six-year anti-perforation warranty for its bodywork, which is less than the industry average.  In addition, owners of older models overseas have reported rust problems on earlier Logans, so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

There have been no reported problems in the UK as yet, but there are no cars here old enough to fall outside the warranty period.

Rivals

The Logan MCV is genuinely a car without compare. If you wanted something for the same price, you’d be looking at a Skoda Citigo or Suzuki Celerio, or maybe an entry-level Vauxhall Adam. But if you frequently carry anything bigger than a shoebox, then none of those are any good, while the Logan MCV is also a decent, practical family car as well.

Running Costs

 

It might not excel in any area, but you can’t fault the Logan MCV for its value. Not only that, but servicing costs are low as well, thanks to the mechanical simplicity of all but the 0.9-litre turbo engine, which itself is hardly a challenge to service.

The downside is that fuel economy isn’t brilliant. The side effect of a small engine pulling a big car is it has to work hard, so while official figures suggest mpg figures close to 50 to the gallon for both the petrol-engined models, in the real world you’ll struggle to top 35-40mpg. The diesels fare better—55mpg is a realistic target.

Depreciation

Used Logan MCVs aren’t massively desirable, but the low purchase price when new means there’s less far to fall in depreciation terms so it’s a cheap car to own and run. Expect it to retain around 33 percent of its new value after three years.

Which Logan to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

1.0 SCe Access 5dr Mcv

Most MPG

1.5 Blue dCi Comfort 5dr Mcv

Fastest Model (0-60)

0.9 TCe Essential 5dr Mcv

Summary

  1. Logan MCV is Britain’s cheapest estate
  2. Room for five passengers and huge boot
  3. From £8,495 on-the-road
  4. Access model is extremely basic, without even a radio
  5. MediaNav touchscreen infotainment system fitted to Comfort model
  6. 0.9 TCe turbo is pick of the range
  7. Harsh interior plastics, built to a price
  8. Noisy, but rides well
  9. Great value across the range
  10. 1.5 dCi is the most frugal engine available

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