Dacia Jogger MPV
New from £18,085 / £355 p/m
Words by: Dan Trent
"We love the Dacia Jogger’s no-nonsense combination of seven-seater practicality and bargain price, the more so for living with one for six months. This new hybrid version offers all of the same benefits with the ability to glide around town on electric power, an automatic gearbox and improved tech. This makes it easier to live with but it’s not a plug-in hybrid so doesn’t score the important tax savings for company drivers, while the limited electric range doesn’t deliver the dramatic improvements in fuel consumption you might hope for. It’s quite a bit more expensive to buy as well, meaning we’d be tempted to stick with the regular petrol version and a bit more money in the bank."
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Running costs for a Dacia Jogger Hybrid
Given value for money is key to the Jogger’s appeal the extra cost of the hybrid version presents a challenge. On the one hand it goes further for the same amount of petrol, and we actually scored better than the claimed official fuel consumption on our test. Which is probably a first. If most of your driving is around town you might do even better, too. The automatic gearbox is a nice-to-have as well, and counts towards some of the extra cost. But none of this feels enough to justify the £4,000 premium over the already efficient standard petrol engine. Usually hybrids claw the extra upfront cost back on things like VED/road tax or, for company drivers, Benefit In Kind but, because it’s not a plug-in, the Jogger hybrid can’t do that. On balance, the part-LPG Bi-Fuel option sold in other markets and available on the Sandero would probably offer more meaningful day-to-day savings for those with nearby infrastructure.
Reliability of a Dacia Jogger Hybrid
The three-year/60,000-mile warranty is nothing to write home about but the engines, hybrid system and other bits all come from Renault, so it’s proven kit and Dacia owners generally report high satisfaction levels for reliability. You can pay extra to extend that warranty to six years or 100,000 miles if you feel you need a bit more peace of mind, and the battery for the hybrid system is guaranteed for eight years in its own right. There are also fixed-cost service packages to help you budget for ongoing maintenance.
Safety for a Dacia Jogger Hybrid
There has been some controversy over testing body Euro NCAP rating the Jogger just one star out of five for safety. This is somewhat unfair given NCAP didn’t actually test the Jogger but based its assessment on the related Sandero Stepway, claiming somewhat bizarrely it is ‘practically identical’ despite being smaller and only a five-seater. Indeed, the main reason NCAP demoted the Jogger was for not having seatbelt buzzers on the third row of seats, which seems a little harsh given the rest of the scores were pretty good. So, is the Jogger a safe car? Six airbags, IsoFix childseat mounts on the outer positions of the middle row and a generally strong structure mean its occupant protection is pretty solid and NCAP rated the standard automatic emergency braking system as effective. Both trim levels for the Hybrid also include rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard, which isn’t the case on all the petrol models. True, you don’t get things like lane-keeping assistance but, frankly, we’d consider that a blessing given how irritating the automated nudges to the steering can be.
How comfortable is the Dacia Jogger Hybrid
The hybrid version of the Jogger is quite a bit heavier than the standard petrol one, which helps it feel a little more substantial on the road and a good bit more refined. Light steering, the convenience of the automatic gearbox, the extra shove of the electric motor and the soft, comfortable ride all help you feel you’re getting some return on the extra upfront cost. Thankfully there’s no intrusion on the amazing practicality inside either, which isn’t always the case with all hybrids. So, you still get the excellent middle row with three genuinely usable seats rather than the ‘two and a half’ of most similarly sized cars, while the two in the third row are even viable for full size passengers at a pinch. If you want to remove them to run the Jogger in five-seat mode and enjoy one of the biggest boots in the business it’s a simple process as well, given they’re light and fold away neatly to stash at home. There’s nothing fancy here, the interior materials are all – at best – functional and the Jogger puts practicality first. This honesty is very appealing, though, and quite frankly it’s all the car any family or active household really needs. Leaving you more money to spend on bikes, paddleboards or whatever other lifestyle clobber you choose to throw in the back.
Features of the Dacia Jogger Hybrid
The hybrid feels a little more sophisticated than regular Joggers inside thanks to the part-digital instrument cluster and the standard 8-inch central touch-screen. On the standard trim this can run your phone apps via CarPlay or Android Auto, which is all anyone really needs but if you prefer a few more features and built-in navigation that’s included on the top model. We didn’t like the lack of a volume knob and the fact the screen was a bit slow to respond to inputs but, other than that, it has what you need and delivers on the no-nonsense usability Dacia sells on. Other neat features include ‘fake’ alloy wheels on the base trim that should be more resilient to kerbing (the top model gets smarter looking real ones) and the clever rails you can unbolt, turn through 90 degrees and use as a roof rack for bike carriers, a top box if you somehow run out of bootspace on the summer holiday road trip, or whatever else you may need to carry.
Power for a Dacia Jogger Hybrid
Tech nerds can geek out over the clever F1-inspired engineering in the Jogger’s Renault-donated hybrid system and we certainly appreciated its talents when living with the closely related Clio version. For everyone else the simplicity and extra performance will be more important, the fact you just slip the automatic gearbox into D and let it do its thing taking the stress out of the school run, trips to the supermarket or family trips out the Jogger is totally geared up for. If perhaps not as slick as other systems the switch from hybrid to petrol power is pretty seamless, and the Jogger defaults to silent electric drive as often as the battery permits, especially at town speeds. There’s also a useful burst of electrically assisted speed away from the lights and improved refinement over the regular petrol engine that help justify some of the additional expense, the fuel efficiency close to what you’d have got out of a diesel but with the attraction of fuelling from cleaner and cheaper petrol pump instead.
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