Dacia Jogger review: A sure-fire winner and their most daring car yet

The new Dacia Jogger is a great option for big families.
Dacia Jogger review: A sure-fire winner and their most daring car yet

The new Dacia Jogger





from €23,390 - €26,950 as tested


1ltre three-cylinder that's hard-working and economic

The Spec

excellent for a budget car


sure-fire winner

Bear with us for a moment as we take an imaginary trip with a bunch of intrepid race-goers

“Did Colley say this was one of the cars of the year,” asked Anthony.

“He did. Insisted it was one of the best family cars around at the money,” Conor responded from his position squashed against the back door. 

“Doesn’t feel like it from here,” he added in a rather disgruntled fashion.

“Feels great from up here,” said Dan from the front passenger seat.

“Who made the draw for the seats,” Conor inquired. “I got the poxy short straw anyway,” he added sullenly.

“Ah, stop complaining, will ya,” said Mike in the middle row. “We’re nearly there.” 

“Nearly there? We’re only in Portlaoise. I’ve lost the feeling in my legs and I’m fast losing the will to live,” Conor grumbled.

“To more important things, lads” Dan chided them, “who’s going to win the first?” 

We join an intrepid sextet en route from Cork to Leopardstown for the Dublin Racing Festival in a rented Dacia Jogger – the family seven-seater that won the AA Ireland Car of the Year in 2022 and which has been generally acclaimed as one of the best things the Romanian company has ever made, which, realistically, might not be that high a bar.

Six burly lads, it has to be said. The least burly of whom has been consigned to the rearmost seats which, in fairness, were almost certainly designed with your average eight-year-old in mind. 

Conor does not fit that bill.

Up front we have Patrick – the designated driver for the venture (he’s very sensible) – and his dad Dan. In the middle we have Mike, Anthony and Dan Jnr and all are relatively comfortable, but fearful of a pee-stop in case Conor usurps one of them to escape his rearward hell.

The idea of renting a seven-seater for this jaunt was an inspired one, but a slightly bigger seven-seater might have been a better idea for this hulking crew. The space in the third row of seats is very tight for an adult and when the rearmost two seats are in use, boot space is tight.

In fact, Mike was forced to abandon his prized suitcase – he won it at a charity draw on a previous visit to Leopardstown years ago and felt it a lucky charm – in favour of a soft bag with a change of kacks and his toothbrush in it.

Conor’s usual good nature was tried more than a little when told of his seating designation; it was tried even further when he tried to climb back there. 

“This is a ready-up if ever I saw one,” he muttered darkly.

The Steeplechasing Six might not have been in such a state had they been more like the Famous Five or the Secret Seven – more family oriented. But, hell, this was a trip to what has become the second most important National Hunt meeting of the year after Cheltenham in March with eight Grade 1 races to be savoured.

In truth too, when they finally got over the griping, the lads found their Jogger to be quite a thing. Now, in fairness, none were in the market for a family seven-seater – their families either having long fled the nest or still in the planning stage – but when they thought about the transport, the equipping levels and the price, they had to admit it was pretty impressive.

At around ten grand cheaper than any comparable MPV, the Jogger stands alone as a value family product and now that the Renault-owned company has finally got its’ corporate marketing legs up and running, it realises it has a proven ‘everybody’ car which appeals across class lines.

OK, so it only comes – right now – with one engine option and that’s a diminutive one-litre three-cylinder 110 bhp unit which is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. With its 11.2 second 0-100 km/h time and top speed of 183 km/h (and that’s without six heavyweights on board) it’s not going to blaze many trails, but it’ll get you there – wherever that is.

It will also get you there economically. Expect a consumption rate of around 5.7 litres per 100 km, which is just under 50 mpg in old money.

When we initially reviewed the car last September we were obviously wearing our pointy hat and had a crystal ball close at hand because we said: “The 11.2 second 0-100 km/h time illustrates the engines limitations, even if the 183 km/h top speed isn’t too bad. But you will have to work that six-speed manual ‘box hard if you’re going to make progress with six passengers.” 

There should have been six passengers last weekend, but your humble correspondent was unable to join the fun and that’s how the Steeplechasing Six were born.

Patrick – the driver and the sensible one – was a bit concerned that the little engine might be a bit hard-pressed with the weight it was being asked to ferry to south Dublin, but was pleasantly surprised that it held up so well. 

“You were right about having to work the gearbox, although it was a gutsy thing, I must say.” 

After two successful days racing, it was time for the trip home. This time, however, there was a willing martyr as Anthony insisted on occupying the back seats. A six-footer (or thereabouts, anyway) the rear seats were patently not suited. Conor wasn’t complaining though.

By the time they got to Cork, Anthony’s spine had fused into a semi-permanent u-bend shape which took a day or two to release. But it was not all bad, the Jogger got them to and from Dublin, albeit not quite in the level of comfort some might have liked.

“I can see why Colley might have thought this was a good car,” front-seat Dan quipped, “for some people,” he added cautiously.

Of course, we are only trying to imagine what might have happened had our intrepid racegoers hired a Jogger for their trip to Leopardstown, but somehow I think our imagination may not have run away with us.

The Jogger represents the most daring Dacia yet (again not a high bar) and it is repaying the company in volumes – large volumes. It is not quite yet their biggest seller here – the Sandero holds that spot and is the sixth best selling car in Ireland with 743 units sold in January alone – but the Jogger is fast coming up on the rail with 345 sold this year and a healthy order book.

It is a real family car – and in the Extreme SE spec we tried – it is a genuine seven-seater, as long as you’ve got under tens in the third row, although at a pinch you’ll get six bulky lads in there and their toothbrushes as well.

Whatever about winners at the track, this thing is going to be a winner on the sales charts.

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