Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Cars

I drove the £18k petrol & £22k hybrid Dacia Joggers – they both look the same and have 7 seats but which car is better?


I’M pretty sure a Dacia Jogger will win this match-up, but which one? Let’s find out.

The orange car is a regular petrol Jogger costing £18k, or £8 a day. The grey car is a petrol/electric Jogger hybrid costing £22k, or £11 a day.

The orange Dacia is a regular petrol Jogger costing £18k, or £8 a day

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The orange Dacia is a regular petrol Jogger costing £18k, or £8 a day
The grey Dacia is a petrol/electric Jogger hybrid costing £22k, or £11 a day

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The grey Dacia is a petrol/electric Jogger hybrid costing £22k, or £11 a day
The hybrid is 140hp, adds another 8mpg to 56mpg, and sets off smoothly and silently like an electric car

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The hybrid is 140hp, adds another 8mpg to 56mpg, and sets off smoothly and silently like an electric car

Both look the same.

Both have seven seats.

Both carry the same amount of stuff.

Which is unusual. Boot space is normally smaller in a hybrid, to house the battery tech.

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Here, you just lose the spare wheel underneath.

Both are properly versatile, with more than 60 seating configurations and roof bars that switch 90 degrees, across the width of the car.

Remove the rear seats, tip the middle row forward and you’ve basically got a van with a two-metre load length.

We like that.

Now we get to the crucial part of this head-to-head. Engines.

The 1.3 petrol is a solid Renault engine that’ll do up to 48mpg. Six-speed manual gearbox only.

I will say 110hp is a bit weedy in a seven-seater, especially if it’s full and you live at the top of a hill.

But keep it in the right gear and it’s fine.

The hybrid is 140hp, adds another 8mpg to 56mpg, and sets off smoothly and silently like an electric car.

The battery recharges on the go.

It’s the same 1.6-litre hybrid that you’ll find in the latest Renault Captur. Automatic gearbox only, which a lot of Dacia buyers ask for, apparently.

KEY FACTS: DACIA JOGGER HYBRID EXPRESSION

Price: £22,595

Engine: 1.6-litre petrol, 2 e-motors

Power: 140hp

0-62mph: 10.1 secs

Top speed: 110mph

Economy: 56mpg

CO2: 112g/km

KEY FACTS: DACIA JOGGER EXPRESSION

Price: £18,445

Engine: 1-litre 3cyl turbo petrol

Power: 110hp

0-62mph: 11.2 secs

Top speed: 112mph

Economy: 48mpg

CO2: 130g/km

Easy winner, then. Hybrid all day long? Actually, no. I don’t think it’s worth the extra £4,150, £82 a month, for the hybrid.

And here is why. We averaged 50mpg over 130 miles on a mixture of town, country and motorway driving. So not 56mpg.

The extra 180kg weight doesn’t help. We all run better with less timber, don’t we?

But more than that, the hybrid and automatic gearbox don’t blend well.

It’s as if the gearbox has a mind of its own, randomly changing up and down gear when you haven’t asked for any more.

There was just no consistency to it. Climbing a hill, it was gasping like a couch-to-5k jogger.

On the flat it was lazy to react to your right foot.

Both Dacia's look the same, have seven seats and carry the same amount of stuff

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Both Dacia’s look the same, have seven seats and carry the same amount of stuff
Both are properly versatile, with more than 60 seating configurations and roof bars that switch 90 degrees

5

Both are properly versatile, with more than 60 seating configurations and roof bars that switch 90 degrees

That said, plodding around town was easy-peasy. That’s where this car was happiest.

Other observations?

The gearstick doesn’t line up very well with the markings. You think you’re in Drive, when you’re actually in Neutral. And you think you’re in Reverse when you’re in Park.

Also, the rear-seat picnic tables (this applies to all Joggers) are kinda pointless. You can’t pull them up if you’re in the seats, as your legs are in the way. But you can’t get in the seats if they’re already up.

Positives?

We like the phone cradle positioned up high beside the driver’s binnacle. We like the new DC badging on its nose.

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Most of all, we like Dacia for giving us tidy family transport at rock-bottom prices.

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