The Duster has been a runaway success for Renault India and it wants to continue with another segment-first product. The French automaker targets to have a five percent market share in India and for that it will have to introduce several new products and also have a better reach. To begin with, it has the Duster, Fluence, Koleos, Pulse and the Scala. By the start of next year, Renault will be introducing another Dacia product in India. This is the Lodgy and it is again based on the Logan platform like the Duster. We share the preview of this new MPV from the Renault stable.
The Lodgy is a Dacia product that has been developed to seat seven people in comfort. Our sub-continent won’t get the Dacia brand as even the Duster is sold under the Renault badge, and this product will called as the Renault Lodgy. To begin with, it doesn’t have sprawling dimensions, the design is compact and to the naked eye, it is a tad longer than the Duster. The styling of the Lodgy isn’t aggressive like the Duster, but we can expect the Renault badge and some more extra chrome to add the premium factor. The headlamp is hawk-eye shaped and it has matte black horizontal slates forming the front grille. The fog lamps get chrome surrounds to add a hint of intricacy to the fascia. The snout is somewhat similar to the Sandero than the Logan or the Duster. It looks like the grown-up version of this hatchback.
The Dacia brand has been built to a cost and it shows. It has the same mirrors on both the sides and no grab door handles. The profile is somewhat similar to the Duster, as it gets roof-rail and analogous DLO till the second door after which it forms an MPV like design. Even the wheel arches are comparable, however they are more subtle than aggressive as one has seen on the Duster. Now the rear is something that has mixed views. Some like it some aren’t fond of the styling. The best way to describe the rear is the Duster rear that has been magnified in an asymmetric manner.
Step inside the Lodgy and you will be welcomed be interiors similar to the Duster or the Lodgy. There are the same circular AC vents that we have seen on the Logan and the Duster. The instrument panel is the similar that have an orange-backlit. Three knobs to control the air-con and the same gear-knob too. The same three-spoke steering wheel, power windows and stalks have trickled down to the Lodgy.
Now, the question of space? The front row is spacious as there is sufficient row for tall people with decent side and thigh support. The second row too is spacious and offers decent thigh support too. Two people can sit abreast and the third will be a bit of squeeze. There is a headrest for all three people. The third row offers decent space with sufficient head-room and just fine knee-room. The boot too is large enough with rear seats up, and the seats fold flat. There is also stowage space and bottle holder in the third row too. There aren’t any AC vents for the second or the third row, however we expect Renault to add it for the hot Indian summers. Now coming to the engine options, the one India will get will be a 1.5-litre K9K engine that produces 85bhp and comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission and at a later stage a 108bhp with six-speed transmission will also be available. The UK market will get the petrol Lodgy too, so we can expect it to be launched too. The six-speed diesel might come in later as it doesn’t have any competition, even the Honda Mobilio is a five-speeder. So, we aren’t certain on the 108bhp engine.
As far as the suspension goes, it will have the same underpinnings like the Duster, with a tad softer for better ride and decent handling. The underpinnings will be the same as it shares the same platform with the Duster.
The Lodgy is a good option for India and a refresh with the existing options. The Honda Mobilio is a new entrant, however we can expect some competition from Renault as it will be priced similarity too. There is also the Nissan Evalia, Mahindra Xylo and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga in this competition and the Toyota Innova sits a tad above all when it comes to the pricing. We could see Toyota reduce its price or add more frills to the existing MUV to make it the ideal pick. The Honda Mobilio RS is also available in September with several add-on features like day-time running LEDs and more features on the inside too.