Dacia Jogger Hybrid review

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

We drive the new full hybrid version of the Jogger – Dacia’s fantastic family car…

If ever a model epitomised Dacia’s value for money philosophy, then the Jogger is it.

In fact, it’s hard to believe that the Renault-owned Romanian budget brand only entered the UK market 10 years ago.

Launched just as the cost of living crisis began to bite in 2022, the basic petrol-powered Jogger couldn’t have been better timed.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

Starting at just £17,295 it’s the cheapest seven-seater on the market by far and has wowed the critics.

Its trophies include Best Large Family Car at the 2023 UK Car of the Year Awards and Best Family Car at the Autocar Awards 2023.

Now the petrol-engined Jogger has been joined by a hybrid version – a first for Dacia.

Priced from £22,595, the Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140 pairs a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a couple of electric motors and a 1.2kWh battery.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

Delivering up to 56.5mpg with CO2 emissions of 112g/km, it’s able to travel at speeds of up to 43mph on electric power alone.

In fact, Dacia claims it will run in silent all-electric mode up to 80% of the time on city roads, saving up to 40% on fuel compared to an equivalent petrol-only model.

And because it’s a full (or self-charging) hybrid, there’s no need to plug it in because it charges the small battery as it drives.

Just like the rest of the Dacia range, it’s been treated to the company’s bold new brand identity – a reflection of the company’s confidence.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

Some 250,000 vehicles have been sold in the UK since 2013 and Dacia’s growth shows no sign of slowing with sales up 55% in 2022.

At first sight, the Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140 is much the same as its entry-level sibling, which is no bad thing.

It’s hard to categorise though, because it’s the length of an estate car, has the ground clearance of some crossovers, and yet boasts the interior versality of a people carrier, or even a LAV (Leisure Activity Vehicle).

It shares its attractive front end, complete with straked LED headlights, with the Sandero and Sandero Stepway, while its profile is distinctive and clever.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

The rear gently rises up, allowing stacks of headroom and visibility inside for passengers in the stadium-style second row of seats, where there’s already impressive legroom.

The huge tailgate opens to reveal just 212 litres of cargo space with the third row of seats in place.  However, as a five-seater, you get a massive 699 litres of space. Fold these down and remove the third row of seats (easily done) and there’s a van-like 2,085-litre load bay.

What’s more, the battery is positioned under the boot (where the spare wheel goes in the regular Jogger), so there’s no loss of interior space.

Remarkably, the Jogger can genuinely seat seven people (I’m just under 6ft and I can fit in the third row), which is more than you can say for some other supposed seven-seaters for more than twice the price.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

The Jogger also features Dacia’s clever roof rails, which swivel around to create a roof rack.

And a special mention for the new Sleep Pack accessory. Simple, removable and affordable, it turns the Jogger’s spacious interior into a bedroom for two in a matter of minutes!

The front cabin will be familiar to Sandero drivers, which means that it’s pretty basic and there’s no shortage of scratchy plastic, but it does the job. My only gripe is that the Jogger’s driving position is a little on the high side for my liking.

Apart from the obvious economy boost (I achieved 50mpg without even trying over a mixed driving route), the big difference is that the potent hybrid powertrain makes the Jogger experience a more relaxed affair.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

The basic 108bhp 1.0-litre turbo petrol version is a punchy performer, but runs out of puff at higher speeds and probably struggles with a full complement of passengers.

The Hybrid 140 (138bhp) is a second faster to 62mph (10.1 seconds), more refined and easy-going. It also gets a clutchless automatic gearbox (the entry-level petrol makes do with a less than slick manual gearbox).

Always starting in pure electric mode, it can cover a brief distance at lower speeds before the combustion engine kicks in.

Switching between the petrol and electric motors is reasonably smooth and it’s satisfying watching EV mode flash up regularly in the driver’s instrument display, particularly when coasting along or going downhill.

Overall, it’s easy to drive with light steering and good visibility, while body lean is surprisingly well controlled when it’s hustled on twistier roads. Keep it sensible and the lightweight Jogger is nimble and good fun to drive.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

There are no drive modes as such, but you can press an Eco button for extra efficiency, It dulls the driving experience, but probably makes sense in town or on motorway runs.

The automatic gearbox performs better than the CVT (continuously variable transmission) systems fitted to most hybrids, only occasionally getting caught out on hills.

If you want extra brake regeneration (useful downhill or coming up to junctions), simply slip the gear lever to ‘B’ and watch the battery charge indicator creep up.

The Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140 is available in two trims – Expression and Extreme SE. Expression includes front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, blind spot warning, keyless entry, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, automatic wipers and automatic air conditioning as standard. It also gets an 8.0-inch media display, with the benefits of DAB radio, smartphone replication, Bluetooth, four speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

The range-topping Extreme SE version adds 16-inch black alloy wheels, sliding tray tables, heated front seats and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with integrated navigation.

The only fly in the ointment for the Jogger at launch was its low Euro NCAP safety score. It was marked down for lacking some safety kit and driver assistance technology.

For the record, all Jogger models feature six airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), anti-lock brakes (ABS), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with ASR (Traction control) and Hill Start Assist (HSA) and a blind spot warning system. In other words, it’s still far safer than millions of older cars on the roads today.

It’s a shame to end on a negative note, because the Jogger is a superb all-round package, especially when every penny counts.

Verdict: The all-new Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140 doesn’t just offer fantastic value for money, it’s economical, easy to drive and a genuine seven-seater.

Dacia UK

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

Dacia UK marks its 10th anniversary

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Dacia celebrates 10 years in the UK

Value-for-money car brand Dacia is celebrating its first decade in the UK.

The first UK-registered Dacia was a Sandero in January 2013. Since then, a total of 240,010 Dacia vehicles have been sold.

The rugged Duster is the UK’s most popular model, recording 88,488 registrations.

Dacia’s success shows no sign of slowing as the brand enters 2023 having achieved an increase in year-on-year sales of 55% last year.

When Dacia launched, David Cameron was the Prime Minister and the last word in tech was the release of the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C.

The year was also be memorable for the birth of Prince George, while Sir Alex Ferguson retired as Manager of Manchester United.

Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Sandero

The Sandero supermini and Sandero Stepway soon complemented the Duster and a decade later the trio still feature in the Dacia range. The Sandero Stepway has notched up 71,236 sales, while 59,987 examples of the Sandero have been sold.

The growing number of accolades the Renault-owned brand has received include several wins at the What Car? Car of the Year Awards, Auto Express New Car Awards and Auto Trader New Car Awards.

Today, Dacia commands an impressive 3.1% retail market share, a remarkable achievement for a brand that has only been in the UK for 10 years.

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Fuel tax cut for UK drivers ‘among lowest in Europe’

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
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The UK languishes near bottom of list of European countries which have acted to ease the burden of high fuel prices, claims new RAC research.

Motorists in the UK are paying as as much as 20p more per litre of petrol than drivers in France, for instance.

Out of 13 EU countries that have cut tax on petrol in order to ease the spiralling costs faced by drivers every time they fill up, only one – Luxembourg – has done less than the UK Government, with a duty cut in April worth the equivalent of 4.52p compared to the 5p duty cut announced at the UK Budget in March.

It’s a similar picture for diesel, with only Croatia doing less for its drivers than the UK, with a cut worth 4.5p.

The UK Government’s intervention back in the Spring looks paltry when compared to most other European nations, with Germany taking the equivalent of 25p a litre in tax off per litre of petrol on 1 June, Italy 21p, Portugal 16p and both Ireland and the Netherlands nearly 15p.

In addition, as an alternative to cutting fuel duty, governments of other countries in the EU have introduced fuel discounts at forecourt tills with Spain taking off 20 cents (about 17p) and France 18 cents (about 15p), while some fuel retailers including TotalEnergies in France and BP Spain have discounts running of up to 40 cents per litre (about 33p).

Of the remaining 15 EU states that haven’t taken steps to lower pump prices since March, all but six already charge less fuel duty than the UK even after the UK cut fuel duty by 5p in March’s Spring Statement, and almost all are cheaper at the pumps.

Although UK pump prices have finally started to fall in recent days – after significant pressure from the RAC on retailers to reflect the fact wholesale fuel costs have been falling for seven straight weeks – the average price of a litre of both petrol and diesel is well above the current EU averages of 159p and 161p respectively.

The UK is currently the joint-second most expensive country when it comes to the average cost of a litre of petrol (186p) – behind only Finland (190p) with Denmark also at 186p – and the second most expensive for diesel at 195p per litre, with only Sweden charging more (201p).

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Dacia Sandero review

Dacia Sandero review

Brace yourselves badge snobs, you’re in for a shock. You see, we’ve just driven the all-new second-generation Dacia Sandero and it’s something of a revelation.

Priced from just £7,995, the Sandero is still the UK’s most affordable new car, yet the latest version sports fresh new looks, a jump in quality, more tech and it drives surprisingly well.

What’s more, it offers supermini space for significantly less than the cheapest city car on the market, plus low depreciation.

Dacia Sandero review

Based on the same platform as the impressive Renault Clio (the French car giant has owned Romania’s Dacia brand since 1999), it’s no surprise that the Sandero is a much-improved car.

The shape may be familiar, but it’s much sharper than the outgoing model with horizontal Y-shaped daytime running lights that flow into the chrome bars of Dacia’s corporate grille, a moulded bonnet and new rear lights.

It’s both longer and wider than its predecessor, which has boosted space inside the cabin and in the boot. There’s now 328 litres of luggage space (1,108 litres with the back seats folded) and there’s plenty of room in the rear for adult passengers.

Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Sandero

As before, you can choose between the standard Sandero or the Sandero Stepway which has a more rugged appearance, a raised ride height and clever roof rails which cleverly convert into a roof rack to carry loads up to 80kg.

The Sandero is better equipped too. Entry-level Access models come with LED headlights, front electric windows and a phone docking station. Mid-range Essential gains air-conditioning, cruise control and remote central locking, while the range-topping Comfort gets electric rear windows and an 8.0-inch central infotainment touchscreen.

The cabin generally is more appealing than before, but it’s still fairly basic with hard plastic surfaces. That said, the seats are comfortable, the driving position is good (avoid Access trim which has no height-adjustable driver’s seat), while visibility is average for its class.

Dacia Sandero review

Powered by a range of three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engines of varying outputs (64bhp and 80bhp), plus a 99bhp Bi-Fuel option which can run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as regular unleaded and is capable of more than 800 miles of range when both tanks are full.

We tried the Bi-Fuel Sandero in top-grade Comfort specification, which is capable of up to 52.3 mpg (petrol) or 39.8mpg (using LPG which is around half the price of unleaded).

Emissions are 123g/km for the petrol engine and 109g/km when operating on gas. With a 0-62mph time of 11.6 seconds, it’s no hot hatch, but quite adequate for everyday driving. It’s also smooth and refined for its size.

Dacia Sandero review

It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox (the base level 64bhp engine only gets a five-speeder), which works well. The ride isn’t the most sophisticated, but it’s perfectly comfortable, while the handling is composed, if on the soft side.

We also tested the Sandero Stepway in top-of-the-range Prestige trim, which came with an 89bhp petrol engine and six-speed CVT automatic gearbox.

For us, the bigger-selling Stepway variant doesn’t just win on looks, but it also offers a more engaging drive. The automatic gearbox is just the job, especially for easy city driving, and it offers fuel economy of up to 45.6mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 139g/km.

Dacia Sandero review

So, the reality is that despite its headline-grabbing entry-level price point, there are lots of reasons to avoid the smaller engines and lower specs, meaning your end purchase is likely to cost between £10-15,000.

Still, even in that price bracket, the Sandero siblings easily undercut other (base-level) superminis.

Dacia Sandero review

The only fly in the ointment is when it comes to safety. Euro NCAP awarded the Sandero a disappointing two stars out of five.

Among the criticisms was that the car’s radar-only Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system reacts to other vehicles, but lacks the capability to prevent crashes with pedestrians or cyclists.

Euro NCAP also criticised the Sandero for not being available with active lane-keeping assistance.

This safety rating shouldn’t be a deal-breaker though because the tests were carried out after the more stringent safety regime was introduced in 2020. A year or two ago, the Sandero would have been a high-flier. Dacia also deserves praise because AEB is standard across the range.

Verdict: Overall, the Dacia Sandero and Sandero Stepway represent fantastic value for money – compelling, no-nonsense propositions, offering practicality, comfort, low running costs – and now some much-needed kerb appeal.

Dacia UK

Dacia Sandero review