I’ve driven Britain’s CHEAPEST seven-seater- Dacia. It’s fantastic value – as long as you have the right number of kids

 

DACIA is having a very good year in Britain.

It has just announced a new design and sales were up in the first half of 2022 versus the same period in 2021, as more people look to it for affordable motors in these tough financial times.

Affordable, but also superb. The Dacia Sandero is a brilliant small car and the Duster is a stylish and competent 4×4.

And now there’s this Jogger too – a seven-seater that sort of combines elements of an estate, SUV and MPV.

Whatever it is, the bottom line is the Dacia Jogger is the cheapest seven-seat car on sale in Britain, starting from just £16,645 for the Essential model, or less than £250 a month.

Even the top of the range Extreme SE model we tried is only just more than £2,000 extra, comes loaded with kit and looks the business with a butch bodykit.

And our first try on UK roads revealed the Jogger still doesn’t look or feel cheap to be in or drive.

For such little money the plastics and switches are plush enough and it all feels built to last, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are possible from mid-rung Essential trim.

There’s only one engine for now – a 110hp three-cylinder petrol with a six-speed manual gearbox.

It’s a willing engine, is relatively quiet and smooth for a three-pot and will return 40mpg if you don’t drive like a berk.

The Jogger is no sports car, but what you need it to do it’s just fine. It’s comfy at all speeds and goes around corners confidently and without leaning this way and that.

The bad bits? The only minor complaint I have is that the reversing camera’s (standard on Expression and above) image quality is pretty poor.

The only major one is that with three young kids, the Jogger just didn’t really work for me.

There’s good space in the front, but only average space for legs in the middle row. That means fitting a rear-facing child seat requires pushing the front seat quite a way forward.

There are also only two Isofix points in the middle row, not on all five rear seats, and three full-size child seats don’t fit side-by-side safely across the middle three chairs.

It’s also a shame the middle row doesn’t slide back and forth to make getting at the third row easier.

And because there are two bulky chairs in the boot that don’t fold flat into the floor, getting everything you need for three kids in for a week away is trickier than it needs to be.

You can remove them, but then you need to store two bulky chairs somewhere.

So, the Jogger is a fantastic family car. Great value, well equipped, nice to drive and decent to look at.

But it depends on your family. If you have one or two kids it’s perfect. If you have three young kids like me, there are more practical choices.

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