Dacia Jogger long-term test

The Dacia Jogger is one of the cheapest seven-seaters you can buy, but how will it fare as a photographer's apprentice? We're living with one to find out...

Max with Dacia Jogger long-term test car

The car Dacia Jogger 1.0 TCe 110 Extreme SE Run by Max Edleston, senior photographer

Why it’s here To show that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a spacious and practical seven-seater

Needs to be Capable of swallowing all of my luggage, comfortable over long distances and able to function as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 18,612 List price £22,595 Target Price £22,595 Price as tested £22,595 Test economy 44.5mpg Official economy 48.7mpg Dealer price now £15,238 Private price now £13,545 Running costs (excl. depreciation) £1780.41 (fuel)

29 February 2024 – All-Purpose Vehicle

Royal Marines commandos are considered to be among the most versatile of soldiers, able to throw themselves into almost any situation and thrive. And after covering more than 10,000 miles over the past six months in my Dacia Jogger, I reckon it’s the automotive equivalent.

Beyond the fact that it looks like it could pass as a military vehicle, with its rugged, functional styling and my car’s olive-on-black paintwork, there’s the sheer adaptability. Whether I used it as a mobile office, a photography shooting platform or a storage depot – and sometimes all three within the same day – my Jogger didn’t disappoint, although practicality was particularly impressive.

Dacia Jogger with Max in different positions

Its huge boot was able to accommodate all manner of lighting kit, cameras, tripods, flight cases and clothing with space to spare. And that’s before I’d removed the rearmost seats, which in effect turns this MPV into a small van.

Indeed, with its rear row of seats safely stored in my garage and the middle row folded up towards the fronts, the Jogger helped me to move house, easily swallowing my bed’s large mattress. And while I doubt you’d get an actual car into the back, I liked that I could carry a carload of people comfortably and still have room for all their stuff.

Ah yes, you might think, but the Renault Kangoo that I ran previously – an actual van – had even more space available. However, that could accommodate only two occupants and was far less pleasant on long trips.

Dacia Jogger boot open

Indeed, while the Marines are comfortable being uncomfortable, my Jogger meant that I didn’t have to be. Its driver’s seat offered all the adjustment I could want, and even after hours behind the wheel, I didn’t need yoga sessions to stretch out my back before getting to work.

I also appreciated the fact that the Jogger has lots of proper, physical controls inside instead of burying everything in the infotainment screen. There are chunky knobs for the fan speed, temperature and airflow, as well as a row of buttons above to control everything from the engine’s Eco mode to the heated front seats.

Those heated seats are just one of a number of luxuries you get with my car’s range-topping Extreme trim. But the mid-range Expression model is also worth considering, because it makes the Jogger’s price even more tempting and still gives you all the essentials.

Max driving Dacia Jogger

You should know, too, that there were some niggles that reminded me of the Jogger’s budget ethos. It let in more road noise than you’d find in rival MPVs, for example. And while the keyless entry and exit worked well at the start, there were instances later on when I walked away from the car and it didn’t locked itself.

In addition, while I realise that this is a small issue, the fact that the Jogger has one large cupholder and one small one means that it’s hard to have two drinks on the go, as I tend to do if I’ve got a long drive ahead of me.

Getting up to speed on faster roads required working the manual gearbox a lot, but this wasn’t really a chore, due to the pleasing shift action. And besides, going for the 1.6-litre hybrid model with its automatic gearbox would have pushed the price up by thousands.

Max next to Dacia Jogger engine

As well as costing vastly less than MPV rivals to buy, my Jogger helped me to keep bills down; my overall average fuel economy of 44.5mpg is close to the car’s 48.7mpg official figure, and is especially impressive when you remember the weight of what I asked my car to carry.

I reckon my Jogger has truly earned the title of Multi-Purpose Vehicle, and if the Marines are in need of new transport, I know where they could get a great deal on a lightly used version that’s already got the right colour scheme.

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