Long-term report: Picking up the pace with the Dacia Jogger
A lot of miles have passed under the Jogger’s wheels recently.
It’s been a busy few weeks for the Jogger. This might be a car that has practicality at its core, but for me, it’s been largely transferred into a mile-munching highway machine owing to some long-distance events I’ve been attending recently.
And actually, it’s surprisingly adept at this. I find the Jogger immensely relaxing to drive. Because it’s not overly quick, you settle into the journey better and leave the speedy driving to the rest of the motorway. The 1.0-litre engine is at its best at a gentle cruise and, when you do this, you get the best possible fuel efficiency too. I’ve been seeing well into the mid ’40s when it comes to miles-per-gallon, which means that long-distance drives haven’t been accompanied by sky-high fuel costs.
It still costs well over £60 to fill up, mind you, but I’d say that’s pretty on the money for this size and type of car. You definitely notice the added weight from a full tank of fuel in the Jogger, too; I filled it up from below a quarter of a tank to full and you could really feel the difference through the steering.
Speaking of size, the Jogger’s length has caught me out on a couple of occasions. It’s just quite a long car overall, so you do need to take your time with parking and positioning. It’s got sensors and a camera included on this particular car, but it’s still worth taking things easy. I have noticed that because of the Jogger’s upright rear screen and long length, cars travelling behind you can appear like they’re right behind you – even if they’ve actually left a pretty good gap.
Over the last couple of hundred miles, the Jogger has felt very well screwed together. Prices for the Jogger start from £16,645, which does put it firmly at the more budget end of the new car spectrum, but the way it’s all put together is decidedly un-budget. There have been no squeaks nor rattles to speak of, even as this car moves past its running-in miles by some margin.
And actually, that feeling of solidity runs through the entire car. Everything has a nice, chunky feel to it, from the steering wheel-mounted controls to the rotary dials for the heating and ventilation. In fact, those heating dials – which incorporate a display for the temperature into them – are one of my favourite features in the whole car. They sum up the no-frills nature of the Jogger in general, really.
Another great aspect is, of course, the seats. Having the option to flex between seven and five seats is really handy, while the ability to remove the rearmost chairs is great. They’re really light too, while putting them back into place is a breeze. My only issue with this process is the metal locking mechanism; it’s quite sharp and requires you to get your fingers quite close to the moving parts. If I had young children I’d be quite wary about them putting their hands near to the mechanism for fear of them getting a finger trapped.
I do like being able to completely remove them from the car and, once you’ve done that and folded the middle seats forwards, you’re left with a really large boot. It’s a shame that you’re left with gaps from where the seats mount to the floor, as these can often catch the items you’re trying to put in the boot. I imagine they’ll be a magnet for dust and detritus, too.
But the cabin in general is a pretty easy place to keep clean. I’ll fully admit that I’m not the best at keeping a car’s interior spic and span, but the Jogger’s variety of bins and pockets means that there’s plenty of storage to keep things tidy. I would quite like the cupholders to be a little larger, however, as they’re not really able to accommodate an average-sized water bottle.
Some recent trips have seen the Jogger thrust into work as Goodwood Revival transportation and even for a visit to a car boot sale which, in honesty, feels like this Dacia’s target requirement. Sadly we didn’t come away with any large antique furniture to test out the boot, but a number of trips to the tip have made up for this.
I imagine the rate of use for the Jogger won’t slow down for the next few weeks, but I’m sure that it’s up to the task.