You may never have heard of Dacia but it has been knocking out cars since the late 60’s. For much of that time the vast majority of its models were bought in its Romanian homeland and surrounding eastern block countries. However in 1999 Renault formerly acquired the brand and has developed Dacia as its budget offering across Europe which is why the dealerships are shared with Renault in the UK.
A quick glance at the list price and the lack of UK history may lead you to conclude that the Logan should be avoided at all costs. That’s before you realise the extent of engineering crossover between Renault and Dacia, which is most obvious when you check out the engine – which is exactly the same 90 bhp 1.5 dCi unit that you’ll find in the ever popular Renault Clio.
Of course something does have to give, to deliver a brand new car at this price, and Dacia has chosen material quality. The interior is low rent and the basic design wouldn’t have looked out of place 20 years ago, but evidence from mature European markets suggests that reliability is actually a strong point as behind the cheap interior you will find Renault mechanical kit.
One element that no one can take issue with is practicality. The Logan MCV boasts a very impressive 573 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place and a massive 1,518 litres with them folded down. These figures are even more impressive when you consider that the Logan MCV is a touch shorter than many small family estate cars at 4.49 metres long.
There are sacrifices to be made when buying the Dacia, namely it is devoid of style inside and out, the interior feels as cheap as it looks, and there aren’t many toys. However if you can look past this it is stunningly cheap, has an efficient and modern turbodiesel engine, an admirably low kerb weight, sensible performance, and a three year warranty. If you need a no-nonsense estate but are on a very tight budget the Logan could be the answer.