What Car? says...
The Dacia Jogger is the cheapest new seven-seater in the UK, so if you have a big family and a not-so-big budget, this MPV is very much worth a look.
To put the Jogger's price into perspective, the entry-level car costs about half the starting price of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the Mercedes B-Class and the VW Touran. The next cheapest seven-seat MPV available is the van-based Ford Tourneo Connect – and that will still cost you around £10,000 more.
And while the Jogger comes with a petrol or hybrid petrol engine, the Citroën e-Berlingo, the Peugeot e-Rifter and (as its new name suggests) the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric are all electric now.
For families on a budget needing more than 150 miles of real-world range, the Jogger may be the only new option. But is the Jogger cheap at the expense of all else or great value for money?
That’s what we’re going to find out in this Dacia Jogger review, as we tell you how we rate it against the best seven-seaters. Read on to learn more...
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Dacia Jogger engine range starts with a turbocharged 109bhp 1.0-litre petrol, and it’s our pick of the range.
Badged the TCe 110, it keeps costs down but still has enough power to go from 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds. True, that’s much longer than the 8.9 seconds it takes the 1.5-litre petrol VW Touran but it's easily quick enough to keep up with the flow of traffic.
It isn’t the smoothest engine, mind. The power delivery is quite abrupt, with lag at low revs before the turbocharger kicks in and pushes you into your seat. Pressing the Eco button on the dash could be the solution – it softens the engine response to improve fuel economy, and also results in a more relaxed style of driving.
If you want more power or an automatic gearbox, you’ll want to go for the 138bhp 1.6-litre hybrid petrol (badged TCe 140 Hybrid). It’s punchier than the TCe 110 and has a surprising amount of poke off the line, with official figures suggesting it’ll get from 0-62mph in 10.0 seconds.
Suspension and ride comfort
You won’t be fielding any complaints from your passengers about the ride, because all Joggers come shod with sensibly sized 16in wheels, so you get tyres with generous sidewalls to help absorb bumps.
Essential and Expression trim brings steel wheels, while Extreme has alloys, but all versions soak up the worst of speed bumps and potholes around town better than a car in this price bracket has any right to.
The Touran is even more supple and isolates you from bumps with less thump, but then you’d expect that given the difference in cost.
The Jogger's raised ride height gives it 200mm of ground clearance, and you might expect it to become a bit floaty at speed. However, it deals with lumpy B-roads well and provides decent body control over undulations on the motorway, so car sickness shouldn’t be an issue.
If you’re expecting the Jogger to lean over like a drunken sailor, don’t worry. For a tall car, it remains on a remarkably even keel. It also grips the road well, giving you confidence as you drive along and can even carry a bit of speed through the bends.
If you're looking for a people carrier that’s more enjoyable to hustle around, try the Ford S-Max.
The Jogger’s light steering means it’s easy to pilot around town, but the slightly slow response makes it a little tricky to place when cornering on faster roads. The steering on a Touran is more direct, which makes it less effort to drive.
Noise and vibration
There’s more engine vibration, thrum and turbo whistle from the Jogger's three-cylinder petrol engine than with the entry-level Touran’s smoother four-cylinder 1.5-litre.
The hybrid is much quieter when it’s running in electric mode, but when the 1.6-litre petrol engine kicks in, that too is quite loud and coarse, and you also get a slight vibration through the pedals.
Regardless of which version you're driving, the engine noise settles down into the background when cruising, but passengers will notice quite a lot of wind, suspension and road noise. Thankfully, it’s not loud enough to feel as though you’re in an echo chamber over long journeys.
The entry-level Jogger’s manual gearbox’s action is slick enough and its clutch is nicely weighted. It’s better than the automatic, which takes a second or two to drop down a gear when you ask for a sudden burst of power. The brakes, meanwhile, feel a tad spongy regardless of version.
Strengths Easy to drive; comfortable ride; decent performance
Weaknesses Slow auto gearbox; spongy brakes; more engine noise than rivals
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
All versions get seat-height adjustment, but the seats themselves are rather flat and could do with a bit more side bolstering and lumbar support adjustment. They’re not the best if you’re looking to cover long distances.
A front armrest, fixed to the centre console, is standard if you go for Expression and Extreme models. Electric seat adjustment isn’t an option, but you do get heated seats as standard with the top trim level.
The dashboard layout is highly logical, and the air-con controls are within easy reach. In fact, the automatic climate control system fitted to mid-range Expression and above is particularly straightforward to operate.
In the TCe 140 Hybrid, you get a 7.0in digital driver’s display that shows similar information to the 3.5in display you get with the TCe 110, but extra information about the hybrid system and regenerative braking.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
With its higher driving position and relatively narrow windscreen pillars, the Jogger gives you good forward visibility. The over-the-shoulder view isn’t as good, but that’s mitigated by the blind-spot warning system you get on all but the entry-level trim.
Surprisingly for a seven-seater the car doesn’t feel that big, probably because of its small car origins (the Jogger is based on the same underpinnings as the Dacia Sandero and Dacia Sandero Stepway).
When reversing, the large rear windows make it easier to spot obstacles, but the rearmost pillar is quite wide and limits the rear view slightly.
The standard-fit rear parking sensors do help mitigate this, though, and mid-range Expression trim adds a camera and front sensors to assist you even further. You get LED headlights as standard.
Sat nav and infotainment
The Jogger's entry-level Essential trim includes Bluetooth, a USB slot and a dashboard cradle for your phone, but for infotainment on this version, you need to install an app on your device and connect it up. Doing so allows you to continue the use of the stalk near the steering wheel to control the stereo volume and radio stations.
Our favoured Expression trim level gives you an 8.0in colour touchscreen system. It includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring so you can use apps from your phone for calls, music and navigation. On Extreme versions, you also get wireless Apple CarPlay and a built-in sat-nav system.
The touchscreen is mounted high up on the dashboard and is tilted towards the driver, with touch-sensitive shortcut buttons down the side.
Although we’d prefer physical shortcut buttons, the Dacia operating system is easy to get used to and responds relatively quickly to prods and swipes. There aren’t too many sub-menus and flipping between the radio and sat-nav is a doddle thanks to direct shortcuts to each other. It’s easy to store your favourite stations, with very few processes required.
Judged against the whole MPV class, you’ll find that the Jogger has more in common with van-based models than the Ford Galaxy or VW Touran. That’s all due to the masses of hard plastics used throughout, but given the affordable price of the Jogger, it's to be expected.
The build quality itself is pretty good for the money, and the doors make a decent thud when you close the doors. In the hybrid car we tested, though, there was a rattle noise from behind one of the rear pillars.
In fairness, though, the interior detailing does have some tasteful cloth trim covering part of the front doors and dash, with satin chrome accents on air vents, door handles and dials. Still, when you compare that with all the soft-touch materials found in the Galaxy and the Touran, you’ll be in no doubt that the Jogger is at the value end of the market.
Strengths Good interior quality for the money; comfortable driving position; easy to use infotainment system
Weaknesses More hard plastics than rivals; seats would benefit from more side bolster
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
You won't find yourself yearning for more room in the front of the Dacia Jogger, but it gives you space to stretch out in all directions. Head room is excellent, to the point that you could probably drive in a top hat if the mood took you. In the MPV class, only the Ford Galaxy is broader.
While the VW Touran doesn’t offer any more actual space, it does have more hidden storage areas throughout the interior.
Even so, the Jogger does give you a good-sized glovebox (where you’ll find the tool to unlock the roof bars fitted on Expression trim and above) and some storage within the central armrest. The door bins are also a good size.
Most rear-seat passengers will find that the Jogger seven-seater gives them good head and leg room, making journeys comfortable. Taller occupants, on the other hand, will wish that the middle row of seats could slide backwards, because knee room is slightly limited.
The same can be said about those sitting in the third row seats, where they’ll have no issues with head room and enough leg room to get comfortable.
Width is good, though, and the rear doors have big storage pockets and the second and third rows each get a 12V outlet plus two cupholders.
Passengers in the second row get extendable picnic trays with the top-spec Extreme trim, and there are moulded armrests and pop-out rear windows for third-row occupants.
Seat folding and flexibility
The second-row seats are split 60/40 and can be made to tumble forwards using pull hoops, making it easier for passengers to get to the third row.
You can also use those split-folding seats when you need more boot space but, because they don’t fold flat into the floor, they give a slightly lifted load bay. The 60/40 split isn’t as versatile as the S-Max’s 40/20/40 split, which allows you to poke longer items through from the boot.
Likewise, while the S-Max’s rear seats can be slid fore and aft, the Joggers are very much stationary.
With the third row of seats in place, the Jogger has a similar amount of boot space to the VW Touran, but it doesn't have that car's underfloor storage.
If you've got a big load rather than people to carry, you can fold down the second-row seats and remove the two back ones to create a van-like cargo area that’s one metre wide and two metres long up to the front seats. The rear-most chairs weigh about 10kg each and come out fairly easily.
In the Expression and Extreme SE trim levels, the Jogger gets a modular roof-rack system with an 80kg capacity. Dacia will sell you various accessories to make use of it, including a two-person pop-up tent.
Strengths Loads of interior space; big boot
Weaknesses Less versatile rear seats than the Ford S-Max
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
As the least-expensive new seven-seater you can get in the UK, the Dacia Jogger was never going to get anything less than five stars here – especially if you check out our Jogger deals.
Finance costs for the Jogger are also temptingly affordable, thanks to the car’s strong predicted resale values, with PCP monthly costs far lower than for the base VW Touran.
The Jogger's fuel economy is respectable for the MPV class, with the TCe 140 Hybrid proving particularly efficient around town, with more than 60mpg easily achievable.
On average, though, we only managed 44.7mpg on a route that consisted of town, A-road and motorway driving, which is less impressive for a hybrid. We also had a go in the TCe 110, and found the average fuel economy to be not too far behind that of the hybrid.
If you only cover short distances, it's worth considering the all-electric alternatives: the Citroën e-Berlingo, the Peugeot e-Rifter and the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric. They'll be even cheaper for BIK tax (but far more expensive as a private buy).
Equipment, options and extras
The Jogger's entry-level Essential trim comes with quite a lot of equipment, including 16in steel wheels with wheel trims, keyless entry, cruise control, rear parking sensors, LED headlights, manual air-conditioning and basic infotainment.
Even so, we’d recommend going for Expression trim if you can – it’s still amazing value, but comes with front and rear parking sensors, heated and electrically-adjusted wing mirrors and automatic windscreen wipers. It also adds an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment, blind-spot monitoring and a helpful reversing camera.
Extreme adds 16in wheels and a copper exterior and interior trim package, heated front seats, second row seat-mounted trays and wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay. If you enjoy outdoor pursuits, the Jogger is also available with the optional Sleep Pack, which adds a 220-litre storage box that can fold out into a bed.
We don’t yet have information for the Jogger itself, but Dacia as a brand managed a very respectable 11th place out of the 32 manufacturers in our 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey.
That places it above all of its direct competitors, with Citroën placing below in 14th place, Ford way down in 17th and Volkswagen down in 22nd.
The Jogger comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, and that can be extended to six years or 100,000 miles for a reasonable cost. The TCe 140 Hybrid also gets an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for the battery.
Safety and security
Now, while everything has been sounding pretty good up to this point, the Jogger scored a very disappointing one star out of five when it was tested for safety by Euro NCAP. It was deducted a star for the lack of a seatbelt reminder for the third row of seats, and did badly for pedestrian protection and safety assistance.
Every Jogger is fitted with tyre-pressure monitoring, six airbags, hill-start assist, Isofix child-seat mounts for the outer two places in the second row, and e-Call emergency assistance. Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is included too, but it doesn't recognise pedestrians – another factor in the one-star rating. Mid-range Essential trim adds blind-spot monitoring.
Strengths Low cost; well-equipped; good reliability rating
Weaknesses Poor safety rating
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Yes. By removing the rearmost seats and folding down the middle row, you can lay out a sleeping bag in the near 2m of space between the tailgate and seats. A four-person tent option you can clip on to the back might be available as an accessory in the future.
|RRP price range
|£18,295 - £23,995
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|MPG range across all versions
|48.7 - 57.7
|Available doors options
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£1,082 / £1,220
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£2,164 / £2,440