I like cars that have their own individual name, like the Dacia Jogger that I drove last week. Sometimes people can get a little confused with numbers, e.g. Renault 4, Mercedes 220, BMW 5 series etc.

Jogger is a great name for a car, and it must be a sub-editor’s delight. Colour is also important and I think Slate Grey didn’t do much for the Jogger. I much preferred the photographs of the red version which were available on the Dacia website.

The attraction of the Jogger is that it’s a seven-seater, but naturally there is not much boot space when all seven seats are in use. This is the first time I have seen where the third row of seats are slightly higher than the second row, only a few millimetres higher, but enough for the third row passengers to get a better view of the road ahead and their surroundings.

Dacia is owned by Renault, and I was reminded of that when using the key fob. When you walk away from the car you get a ‘beep’ telling you the car is locked. And then you go back to the car the doors unlock, once the fob is in our pocket or handbag.

The ‘beep’ is a little bit loud, but I don’t think it would upset the neighbours late at night unless they are very light sleepers.

I think it’s fair to say that Dacia is a brand that is growing in the Irish market year on year. Cars like the Duster and Sandero are popular with Irish car buyers and are known for offering good value for money.

This is Dacia’s first seven-seater and at the Irish launch back in May the company also introduced their new logo and branding.

Inside there is a neat infotainment screen on the dash. Black was the dominant interior colour, but there was a touch of grey on the seats to brighten the décor.

I didn’t have any reason to use the third row of seats. Not surprising no spare wheel, but I thought that Dacia might have slotted a spare wheel underneath the car.

When the Dacia range was introduced to Ireland ten years ago, it was described as being shocking affordable, it still is. Price for the Jogger start at €24,9540 or €218 per month PCP, but my TCe110 manual petrol version with goodies like heated front seats, wireless smartphone mirroring and built-in sat-nav, came to €27,185. The version I drove is called the Extreme SE. Road tax is €210.

Prices for all consumer items have risen since Covid/Ukraine war. This is definitely Ireland’s most affordable seven-seater car. I didn’t think the Slate Grey did anything for the car, but it’s a hugely practical and versatile. Dacia has stayed true to their roots and brought a good seven-seater to market at €25,000. 

It’s only problem is the low Euro NCAP ratings where the Jogger got only one star out of a possible five in the rating. To keep the costs down, the Jogger comes without some of the more advanced safety features like lane keeping assist. It was also scored down for missing seatbelt reminders in the third row. A Hybrid version is due next year.