PART of me feels a little angry at the Dacia marketing bods for naming its all-new MPV-cum-crossover-cum-estate car the Jogger.
It will not help attempts to shrug off the impression that investing in the market’s cheapest seven-seater has come at a point in your life where the pace is winding back, the excitement waning.
I can almost envisage a middle-aged, beige-clad fella doing a Peter Kay-style “dad run” into their local dealership to collect their new car.
This is selling the Jogger short, though. Quite simply, criticising a seven-seat car that starts at £15,345 in the current market is a tough ask.
Essential, Comfort, and Extreme SE trims are available, the range-topping version tested here with a 110PS one-litre turbocharged petrol engine coming in at £19,640.
Dacia said it is “careful” about the specification it makes to deliver best value.
That said, my test car came with an 8.5-inch infotainment system with sat-nav and Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, a reversing camera, cruise control and active emergency braking.
The one-litre engine claims 48.7mpg fuel economy, which I bettered with an indicated 52mpg, while CO2 emissions stand at 130g/km.
Acceleration to 62mph takes a steady 11.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of 114mph.
The Jogger defies its 4.5m length to deliver a genuinely habitable seven-seat cabin, the second row of seats folding and rolling forwards to provide reasonable access to the third.
A useful 212-litres boot rises to 699-litres with that third-row folded.
What’s more, the interior is the best I have seen in a Dacia — bettering some more expensive rivals.
Woven fabric adds texture and a tactile feel to the dash and door inserts while the three climate control dials join the other controls in being stylish and easy to use.
Practical and value-focussed it might be, but I was impressed by the Jogger’s quality and design.
Where its relative lack of technology costs is in its Euro NCAP safety rating. It received just one of the industry body’s five possible stars due to a lack of various active safety measures.
Dacia insists that the Jogger is its “safest ever” car, however.
Value is where Dacia majors and the Jogger its new champion. Perceived quality is up, the passenger count is up and it should also prove frugal to run.
Naff name aside, seven-up it’s a pretty good place to be.