Dacia Logan MCV

Is it an estate, or an MPV?

By Lucian Dumitrescu   October 20th, 2006 09:21 GMT
After building the cheapest sedan in Europe, the Logan, the Romanian manufacturer Dacia and its owner, the French Renault, decided that now it's time to conceive and launch the spacious estate version of the Logan.

The car is based on the well known Dacia Logan, the cheapest modern car in Europe, and is built by Renault in Romania.

The new estate version - MCV (Multi Convivial Vehicle) - is a car that has two big advantages, the first one being the price of the car - that is around 10.000 Euro - and the second is the gigantic space inside the car.

Well, if we look closer, this car is not quite a normal station wagon, but a combination of that and an MPV. We say that because the space could reach a value of 2.350 liters for the luggage compartment. Besides the big interior, the Logan MCV is really a great people carrier, because the top of the line version could quite comfortably accommodate 7 people. That fact makes this car the cheapest 7 seater in the world.

You will never find a brand new 7 seater that costs around 10.000 Euro coming also equipped with a diesel engine on the whole planet. Those where the good points of the car; but for that amount of money there are also some disappointing things about MCV. The first is the price of the car compared with the sedan version and the range of the engines.

OK! We could presume that the manufacturer wanted to build a new car with a big boot, but the actual price of the MCV is not so easily acceptable because - if you want to buy a full option MCV with a diesel engine - you will pay a price of over 13.000 Euro.

Even if that is a very good price in Western Europe, it's not quite the same in Eastern Europe, and especially in Romania, the native country of the Logan. The diesel engine is borrowed from Renault and it's the latest generation, with a 1.5 liter displacement, but the problem of this unit is the maximum output of only 70 hp and 160 Nm, which is not enough. For the sedan, this engine is an acceptable option as the mass of the car is 1065 kg, but the new MCV 1.5 dCI has a maximum weight of 1245 kg.

Those 200 kg are an important factor and the engine would be very stressed, even in normal driving. It is not understandable why Renault and Dacia didn't mount the 85 hp version of this diesel engine. With the current 70 hp, if we load the car, the total weight will reach a value of 1 860 kgs, and this diesel won't keep up.

The only engine that would be a good choice for this car is the new 16 valves 1.6 liter gas engine. This develops a maximum power of 105 hp and could make a top speed of 174 km/h, and reach 100 km/h in 10.7 seconds. The only advantage of the diesel engine is the fuel consumption. The competition for the new MCV in Western Europe is probably the range of small utility cars like Renault Kangoo, Peugeot Partner and the Fiat Doblo, but out of these, only the Doblo has an option of 7 seats, and the price is higher than that of the Logan.

Logan MCV could be an option only if you have more than 3 kids, or you own a small business that requires a multi functional car. The price is somehow justifiable, but the performance of the engine is not so good; however, overall the car is spacious and anyway, you definitely won't use it to make fast laps on the Nurburgring.

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Photo: Tudor Raiciu

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