Test Drive: Dacia Logan 2 1.5 dCi Laureate image

The second generation of the Dacia Logan has been unveiled back in 2012, during the Paris Motor Show, and now we’ve gotten the chance to take it for a spin.

Engine and Transmission

The 2013 Dacia Logan is coming with a choice of three engines, two petrol burners and a diesel in two outputs. The 1.2-liter 16-valve engine is offered with the cheapest version and this is good for 75 HP. The TCe 90, from the Twingo and Clio, with its three-cylinder turbocharged is also available for the Logan, producing 90 HP and 135 Nm of torque. Diesel lovers now get the same 1.5 dCi as the previous generation, but thanks to upgrading to the Euro 5 emission standards, these have gained a small powerboost, 75 HP and 90 HP. All engines are mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

The version we drove came with the 1.5 dCi diesel burner, which has 90 HP produced at 3,750 rpm and it has a peak torque of 220 Nm available at 1,750 rpm. Power is being sent to the front-wheel drive through a five-speed manual transmission. The diesel burner in the top of the line version should be the obvious choice when ordering the new Dacia Logan generation but this is almost twice as expensive as the entry-level. We won’t start talking about the 0 to 100 km/h sprint or the top speed because they are irrelevant in this segment.

Fuel Consumption

When I said that the dCi 90 engine should be the unit of choice when it comes to the new Dacia Logan I wasn’t kidding because the average fuel consumption indicated in a crowded urban environment stood at approximately 6.3 – 6.4 liters / 100 km in an alert driving style. The official figure is 4.4 L / 100 km and this is not a lie because this is an achievable number. On the highway, Dacia says that the new Logan is averaging 3.7 L / 100 km and we’ve managed to do 3.9 L / 100 km at just under 100 km/h, with the cruise control on. Yes, the new Dacia Logan has a cruise control option and this is a “must” when ordering the model. The average figure indicated by the trip computer stood at 4.5 liters / 100 km, and this is actually brilliant because the engine wasn’t kept in a warm fluffy bed cover. The official number is 3.9 L / 100 km, so we weren’t that far away.

The Ride

The 2013 Dacia Logan is riding on the same platform as the first one but while the brakes and the steering seem to be carried over, the suspension has been improved and the ride height and high driving position mean that you won’t notice every hole in the asphalt or speed bump. The steering is doing its job just like it should in a car in this segment, the brakes are good but are not brilliant and my advice is to push the mid-pedal before going around a corner at high speeds because you may be in for a big surprise. Again, this is irrelevant because the Logan doesn’t have a sports chassis and it has been made for day to day use with a minimum budget. And I have to tell you that the car will give you the impression that it has been made to last. And I’m sure that this isn’t just a simple impression.

Interior Design

Critics who expect a premium car just because it has USB, AUX, Bluetooth or a GPS system will tell you that this is a “sub-premium” car, and that it’s probably rubbish. Wrong, for a budget car, the Dacia Logan is offering enough, and more. There are comfortable seats with some side support, you have where to put your mobile phone, especially if it has a 4.3-inch screen, because Dacia has made such a support under the hand brake lever, you get an “Eco” button to show you when to change gears, you have the new MediaNav system from the Lodgy which incorporates Bluetooth functions for the phone, Radio, USB, AUX input and a GPS system which will show you what you’re interested in. And if you leave the road, there is also a digital compass, which will let you know where North is.

The interior design has been drastically changed compared to the previous generation of the Logan and when I say drastically, I mean drastically. Starting with the air vents, with the instrument cluster, with the steering wheel, with the seats, with the door covers and so on. Dacia tried to keep a small manufacturing price so you will still find the front operating windows buttons on the center console and the rear ones behind the hand brake lever, so those of you who have driven a Logan before will have a “déjà vu” sense. Nothing bad in this, because you will discover that reliable vehicle which will take you from A to B on any given day.

The new Dacia Logan now has a cruise control system, “borrowed” from Renault, just like the control buttons fitted on the steering wheel. This is doing its job just like it should and it will make you relax on the highway. You also get electrically adjustable side mirrors, controls for the audio / Bluetooth behind the steering wheel, identical to those used on other Renault cars, some chrome rings wrapped around the air vents and the instrument clusters, a nice storage space on the top-mid dashboard, two cup holders which are rather small but you will find that the doors can gladly receive small bottles, air conditioning, central locking operable through a button fitted on top of the MediaNav, again, borrowed from Renault, and that feeling that you have made the right choice when you have bought the car and not turned into the competition.

Small families will soon find that the Dacia Logan 2 is “children proof”, you have a button to disable the front passenger airbag, you get an ISOFIX system and the back end of the front seats is covered in a material which can be cleaned easily, so you can give your kids their juice back. There is enough legroom and headroom in the front and on the rear seats, the luggage space is generous and you also get a normal sized wheel jack.

Likes / Dislikes

If you’re used to driving your car in a sporty way, you will be disappointed in the steering of the Logan 2, and in its braking system, but if you’re a normal 40-, 50-year old man / woman who doesn’t thinks he / she is in a premium / sporty car, you’re good to go. Also, it would have been nice for Dacia to add a front armrest between the seats. As for the “Likes” category, we can mention enough, starting with the interesting engine with enough torque, and going through the fuel consumption, which is truly impressive, to the “Eco” button, the Cruise Control, the MediaNav system, the Aux / USB inputs, the GPS navigation system and that new looks, on the outside and in the cabin. Add these up, put them together with the 6,700 euros starting price (just over 12,000 euros for the model we tested) and you’re good to go. And if you think that the new Logan is expensive, think Skoda. The cheapest Rapid is almost 12,000 euros.