It’s one of life’s great ironies that our cars got bigger as our families got smaller. These days, behemoth SUVs are the family cars of choice, but despite their large footprint, many only offer five seats, and if you’re in the market for a seven-seat option, choice narrows and prices rise. But no fear. New to the market is the Dacia Jogger, a bargain seven-seater and our test car this week.
On the outside, the Jogger is boxy but comfortable, and inside it’s an odd hybrid of people carrier and station wagon that focuses on function rather than luxury. Legroom and headroom front and rear are good, but the real highlight of this car is how usable the third row of seats is.
Family cars should be where all passengers are happy, and the Jogger fits adults comfortably, even those who don’t know each other that well.
With all seven seats occupied, boot space shrinks to 270 liters, or just enough for a couple of small shopping bags, but if you need extra space there’s a further 23 liters of storage space spread throughout the cabin, including a huge glove box plus one Plenty of deep pockets and drink holders.
The Jogger is powered by a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine; a hybrid version will follow next year. It drives and handles well on the road and ambles happily down motorways, if a bit noisy at times.
There are three equipment variants to choose from: Essential, Comfort and Extreme SE, and even the entry-level model from 24,590 euros comes with niceties such as air conditioning, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Our test car, the top-of-the-line Extreme SE, priced at €27,990, came with extras like heated front seats, wireless smartphone mirroring and built-in sat nav.
The Jogger will cost you a lot less than other seven-seat options, including the Kia Sorento (€56,500), Skoda Kodiaq (€45,315), Hyundai Santa Fe (€56,445) and Peugeot 5008 (€44,210).
If the passenger compartment is the Dacia Jogger’s high point, then its poor score in the Euro NCAP crash and safety tests is the low one.
The miserable rating, which scored just one out of five, was due to the lack of some of the safety features that come standard with the Jogger, including the lack of a seatbelt reminder and poor whiplash protection in the third row of seats.
What’s reassuring, however, is that each model comes with a decent list of safety features, including six airbags, along with a range of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including blind spot warning and park assist.
While every Jogger has an Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEBS), unlike more advanced systems, it only detects other cars and not pedestrians or cyclists.
I’m a seven seater skeptic. With only two kids, I never got the appeal, but after a week on the jogger, I’m starting to see the point. For karting kids, their friends, pets and family belongings, the Jogger is ideal and with the rising cost of living, the price is enticing.
A true seven-seater, the Jogger is an impressive car, but the low safety rating can be a deal breaker.
Rating in stars: Three out of five
Under the hood
Dacia Jogger Extreme SE TCe110
starting price: €24,590
engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder, petrol engine
transmission: Manual six-speed
Co2/motor tax: 130g/km/€270
Business: 5.8 litres/100 km
https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-reviews/review-the-dacia-jogger-offers-superb-value-for-money-but-there-is-a-catch-41884799.html Review: The Dacia Jogger represents excellent value for money, but there’s a catch