Sounds like a bizarre thing to say, but our Logan MCV is actually far more sophisticated than I wanted it to be.
You see, as we stated last month, the whole idea of all this is to test our theory that the Logan is the cheapest car that a family can get away with as its only car. So ideally, we’d have liked the car itself to have been as cheap as we can possibly get away with. But alas, the only example Dacia had available to send us was in the top-end Comfort trim. Oh well, we’ll still be able to put our theory to the test with a bit of careful analysis.
So that begs the question: what is the cheapest version you can get away with? Well to our mind, it’s the mid-range Essential version. Sure, it’s not the cheapest version, but the basic Access version is a little toooooo basic, doing without, erm, essential kit like air-conditioning, remote locking, a boot light, electric front windows and a stereo. That’s right, a stereo. There are some things that even the most miserly miser can’t live without. Black plastic bumpers mean the Access looks a bit bargain-basement from the outside, too.
The Essential’s body-coloured bumpers do a rather better job of concealing your stinginess, and all those other vital boxes mentioned are checked as well. And importantly, the stereo you get comes fitted with Bluetooth, DAB, an aux input and a USB port.
The Comfort version adds a few bits of chrome inside and out, a trip computer, front foglamps and a touchscreen stereo with incorporated sat-nav, but do you really need any of that when you’re trying to keep your outlay as low as possible? We’d say not. Granted, you do also get rear parking sensors, which are an appealing thought, but they’re rubbish - they tell you to stop reversing when you still have loads of space - so you might as well not bother. We’ll admit, the Comfort’s cruise control might well be missed, but is that on its own really worth the extra grand you pay over the Essential? Again, we’d say not, especially not for families on a budget.
One upgrade that definitely is worth the money, though, is your choice of petrol engine. The entry-level 75 horsepower 1.0-litre engine doesn’t struggle too much for pace, but it’s too noisy for a quiet life, emitting an obvious three-cylinder crackle at low revs, and getting progressively more shouty as the revs climb. The cacophony is also accompanied by a fair amount of vibration through the pedals and steering wheel.
An extra £800 gets you the engine in our car, the 90 horsepower 0.9-litre turbo, which, while it isn’t perfect due to a rather stuttery power delivery, is nowhere near as strained or as rowdy. It’s a good bit stronger and more flexible, too, which also helps contribute towards an easier life.
Our car also came fitted with a few optional extra I wouldn’t have chosen if it were left to me. The alloy wheels, emergency spare wheel and reversing camera on our car are needless fripperies for the dedicated penny-pincher, although I’ll admit to being glad of the Cosmos Blue metallic paint in place of the solid white paint you get as standard.
So, follow our advice and spec your Logan in TCe 90 Essential form, and the car comes in at a shade over ten grand. That’s right, ten grand. For a fully-fledged family estate car with an enormous boot.
Let’s put that into some kind of context with another, more recognisable estate car. You wouldn’t normally compare a Dacia with a BMW
, but believe it or not, the Logan actually has a slightly bigger boot than a 5 Series
Touring (573 litres plays 570 litres). The cheapest 5 Series, meanwhile, comes in at a shade under 40 grand. So, for the price of one 5 Series, you could have - as near as makes no difference – four Logans. How’s that for value?