If the Skoda Fabia Estate is too expensive for you, the new Dacia Logan MCV Stepway Diesel Estate is a cheaper alternative. It’s essentially a tougher version of the Logan MCV, which means that it’s practical, rugged and pretty damn big.
It looks assertive too, but while it looks as though it has serious off-road credentials, it doesn’t come with the option of four-wheel-drive.
The big question on everyone’s lips, however, will be this: Can a large family car that costs less than £12,000 really be any good? OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about in our 2018 Dacia Logan MCV Stepway Diesel Estate review.
This is certainly not a driver’s car, with Dacia putting the focus very much on three things before anything else: Practicality, tough aesthetics and value for cash.
As such, it fails to live up to much of anything on the road, and it won’t excite you.
On the other hand, a soft suspension setup means that ride quality is good, while the elevated ride height ensures good visibility.
Bigger potholes will present an issue, as will badly scarred roads, but for the most part, the Logan MCV Stepway does a good job at smoothing out most surface imperfections.
If you drive the car sensibly for the most part and take it easy, you won’t have anything to worry about. It’s far from intimidating and offers a hassle-free driving experience. Just don’t expect anything else.
In terms of the engines, there isn’t much to choose from for diesel fans. A 1.5-litre unit is the sole diesel option. It will suit high mileage drivers, can get you from rest to 62mph in 11.8 seconds, and has enough power to pull the car along on a full load.
It’s noisy when you rev it hard, but it has a laid-back nature that suits the car.
Alternatively, you could take a look at the Logan MCV Stepway petrol variant. This is a turbocharged 0.9-litre three-cylinder engine that completes the 0-62 dash in 11.1 seconds. However, because it doesn’t have as much power as the diesel to cope with the car on a full load and is more expensive, it’s hard to recommend.
You can’t expect too much from a car that costs less than £12,000, and indeed the Dacia’s interior is very basic.
That said, it was recently given a makeover, and now benefits from some upgraded materials as well as a brand new steering wheel that actually looks pretty smart.
Of course, it’s still very utilitarian on the whole, still fairly bland and nondescript to look at, and you’ll still find lots of harder plastics here and there, but it all works and we have few complaints. You get what you pay for.
Is the Dacia Logan MCV Stepway Diesel Estate practical? MCV stands for “maximum capacity vehicle” and practicality is the car’s forte. All passengers except those seated in the rear middle get plenty of head and legroom, and there are lots of storage spaces dotted about the place.
It’s a really accommodating car with a large 573-litre boot that’s one of the biggest in this class. It can even put rivals from the class above to shame.
You need a key to open the boot, which diminishes its usability somewhat, but fold the rear seats and you can increase it to 1,518-litres – which means you can almost treble its size. The back seats don’t even fold all the way back either!
Standard kit is very good when you consider this car’s price. For less than £12,000, you can get your hands on a Logan MCV Stepway that comes with sat-nav, a seven-inch infotainment screen, all-round electric windows, a digital radio, air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control and 16” wheels.
When you consider that a lot more expensive cars don’t chuck the likes of sat-nav into the standard kit, this is a very impressive effort by Dacia.
Optional extras include metallic paint (£500) and leather seats (£500).
In terms of how safe the car is, Euro NCAP awarded it just 3/5 for its crash test performance, which matches the scores “achieved” by most other Dacia’s. That’s an uninspiring score, with the testers saying that the car’s “passenger compartment suffered extensive deformation and could clearly not withstand any further loading.”
Prices for the new car start out from £11,495 and rise to £13,895. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, there’s just the one diesel engine available, a 1.5-litre unit that returns 80.6mph. That’s an impressive figure, although it will be hard to reach that number on a regular basis. However, it’s still more efficient than many of its rivals.
Road tax is £140 a year, and the car has a BiK rating of 22%.
Prices start out from £11,495, which makes this the most affordable Estate car on the market.
Despite such a low asking price, the car is very well equipped, with all models getting the likes of Bluetooth, sat-nav and a seven-inch touchscreen.
The boot alone measures almost 580-litres, and the MCV Stepway is spacious and usable.
Lack of Four Wheel Drive
This could cost Dacia in the eyes of some buyers, as plenty of this car’s rivals come with all-wheel-drive.
Euro NCAP awarded the car just 3/5 for its crash test performance, which will alarm some buyers.
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Dacia Logan MCV Stepway Diesel Estate review.
The new Skoda Octavia Scout is a more rugged and practical alternative to the standard Octavia. It’s comfortable and can offer a very large boot.
On the road, it has good manners, and unlike the Dacia, it comes with four-wheel drive. This is handy for a few reasons; it adds more grip, ensures that the car can be taken off-road, and it also helps to overcome the car’s handling limitations that were brought on by its elevated ride height.
The Scout, then, is a pretty versatile and even at times formidable vehicle. It comes with other tech too, including hill-descent control that further enhances its off-road prowess.
On the other hand, body lean is an issue, while its light steering won’t inspire much confidence once you’re outside the city.
In terms of its engines, those hankering for a manual gearbox will have to stick with the 148bhp engine as the bigger 181bhp variant is automatic-only. The 148bhp model completes the 0-62 dash in almost 9.0 seconds flat and has enough power to make overtaking on the motorway a cinch.
The 181bhp variant, meanwhile, has been brought over from the muscular Octavia vRS. It has a 0-62 time of less than 8.0 seconds but it costs a bit more to run.
The 148bhp model can return as much as 56.5mpg, while the 181bhp variant manages the 55.4mpg economy on a good day. Both are more expensive to run than the Dacia and a lot more expensive to run than the standard Octavia.
Inside, it’s worth pointing out that this is technically the range-topping Octavia. As a result, you can expect a top-notch interior that’s rich in quality.
A sophisticated suspension setup means that ride quality – and therefore comfort – is good, while insulation is excellent, too.
The design of the dashboard is tasteful, the controls are easy to read and use, and plenty of high-quality materials have been used. All models come with a wi-fi hotspot and a responsive capacity glass screen.
Is the Skoda Octavia Scout practical? Its 610-litre boot is even bigger than the Dacia’s when all the seats are up while folding the rear seats extends it to a whopping 1,731-litres. It comes with a handy false floor for even more storage should you need it, while interior space is excellent for all.
Thanks to its four-wheel-drive system, the Octavia Scout also makes for a very useful tower.
Dacia – £11,495 – £13,895
Skoda – £27-185 – £30,020
The new Volkswagen Golf Estate AllTrack is a springier, slightly tougher and more practical version of the VW Golf Estate.
Like the Skoda and unlike the Dacia, the AllTrack benefits from four-wheel-drive. Its off-road credentials are good, and it doesn’t wallow around in bends like it used to, with VW ensuring that it feels just as composed as the VW Golf Estate.
It’s comfortable too, with its 20m higher suspension doing a good job of ironing out most road imperfections.
In terms of its engines, a pair of 2.0-litre TDI engines kick things off. The 148bhp is our pick of the range; it comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, covers the 0-62 sprint in 8.9 seconds, and has enough shove to ferry the car around on a full load.
There’s also a 181bhp variant of the same engine available, and it comes paired up with a DSG semi-automatic transmission. It has a 0-62 time of less than 8.0 seconds, and we can’t argue with how smooth it is – but it is a tad on the expensive side.
VW recently introduced a 1.8-litre petrol engine to the AllTrack. It produces 180bhp, covers the 0-62 sprint in 7.5 seconds but isn’t as affable to run as the diesels.
The 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel can return 55.3mpg economy, the 181bhp variant manages 54.3mpg, while the petrol engine can only return 42.2mpg at best.
Inside, the AllTrack is just as classy as the VW Golf. In fact, its layout and design are almost identical to its hatchback sibling. A raised suspension, of course, means it’s able to smooth out broken roads better, while lashings of chrome on the dash help to distinguish it a tad from its stablemate. Standard kit includes gloss-black trim panels and a central armrest.
Is the Volkswagen Golf Estate AllTrack practical? It’s raised ride height and four-wheel drive system give it a degree of versatility, while its 605-litre boot edges out the Dacia. Fold the rear seats and you can increase it to 1,620-litres.
It’s got some clever practical touches too, including a sliding boot cover, lashing points and bag hooks.
Meanwhile, a big glovebox, a pair of cup holders and seat back storage pockets contribute to excellent storage spaces.
VW – £29,240 – £31,525
It’s basic, it’s no frills – but it does a job. The Logan MCV Stepway is the latest arrival in the Dacia family, and it’s a bit more niche than we’re used to from the brand known for their budget cars. A strong rival to the likes of the VW Golf AllTrack, it grabs the headlines with its super low asking price.
However, there’s more to it than that. The new Dacia Logan MCV Stepway is hugely practical, comfortable, smart-looking, very well equipped, and we highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a bargain but doesn’t want to sacrifice too much quality.