Despite the uninspiring nameplate and mishmash exterior design, the Jogger has the makings of a disruptor. More specifically, it will be the most affordable three-row car in Europe and the United Kingdom too.
Speaking to business publication Economica.net, product manager Andreea Guinea made it clear that Dacia intends to bring the seven-seat utility vehicle to market with an estimated starting price of 15,000 euros. Converting that figure to U.S. dollars isn’t relevant because the Romanian automaker isn’t present in North America, but for the more curious among us, the aforementioned stack of euros is $17,825 at current exchange rates.
How does the Dacia Jogger stack up against three-row competitors? The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer comes to mind, along with the Renault Espace and VW Touran. In their home markets, these multi-purpose vehicles are currently listed at 30,600 euros, 47,500 euros, and 32,915 euros, respectively. Even if you spend extra to get the third row of seats in the brand-new Jogger, the pricing difference between it and these rivals really is tremendous.
The Mioveni-based automaker kept development and production costs under control by using a lot of Renault-sourced parts as well as cheap materials for the interior appointments and relatively cheap labor by EU standards. You can get a sense of the low-cost approach by glancing over the displacement of the powerplants, namely 1.0-liter turbo three-pot lumps.
TCe 110 is how the most powerful engine is called, and 110 refers to metric horsepower. Prospective customers are further offered a bi-fuel option that runs on liquefied petroleum gas or unleaded gasoline. The latter develops 101 metric ponies and 170 Nm (125 pound-feet) of torque. As for the gas-only engine, 200 Nm (148 pound-feet) still is pretty bad for seven occupants and up to 213 liters (7.5 cubic feet) of whatnots behind the third-row seats.
Come 2023, the Jogger is getting a well-deserved upgrade in the form of a four-cylinder engine of the free-breathing variety with 1.6 liters of displacement, a couple of electric motors, and a multi-mode clutchless transmission. It’s not a continuously variable transmission, but a relatively simple design with four stepped gears. The first-ever Dacia hybrid packs a 1.2-kWh battery, which promises up to 80-percent electric driving in the urban jungle. If the fuel-sipping powertrain sounds a little familiar, that’s because it’s sourced from the Renault Clio E-Tech Hybrid.