Renault Lodgy Long Term Review
The Renault Lodgy is a very under-rated people mover, our 5000 kms drive in this MPV made us love its practical nature
Utility vehicles seem to become a forte of Renault India, first it was the Duster which captured the market and made the French company a serious player in the domestic market and then it was the Lodgy and Kwid. While the Kwid isn’t a UV by any means, it’s made to look like a crossover with its SUV inspired styling and the Lodgy, well, that shares a lot with the Duster and is an MPV which wasn’t able to do much for Renault initially. The Chennai based firm then corrected prices of the Lodgy, reducing them by up to Rs. 1 lakh while also launching the World Edition to get more buyers interested. We have the Renault Lodgy in our long term fleet and there is a lot to like about this MPV.
The Renault Lodgy is a long car with a length that is just under 4.5-metres, this makes it imperative for one to be careful in city traffic as maneuvering it around town is all about getting used to the dimensions. The design is neutral so it won’t catch attention but neither will anyone take offence. Our test car is white which is the best colour for the Lodgy. Yes we do wish our long termer was either the Stepway or the World Edition as both those models bring some excitement to the otherwise mundane looking MPV.
Ours is a 7-seater, top of the line, RxZ trim which gets all the features you would expect from a family vehicle. The interior is finished in airy dual-tone beige and grey and there are plenty of storage bins which makes this a very practical car. In all three rows, there is a 12V charging socket and the captain seats in the second row have their own armrest and trays making family trips that much more comfortable. What we would have liked though, is a sliding function for the second row of seats. The third row has decent amount of room as well, so this is a proper 7-seater. One can remove the last row completely and use this car as a 5-seater with a big boot.
The Lodgy is high on comfort for all passengers and has flexible seating
Build quality is very good and our test car which has done 27,000 kms doesn’t have any sort of rattles. The dashboard components being shared with the Duster mean this is a functional cabin with easy to use functions. The 3-spoke steering feels nice to hold, the vehicle has cruise control for comfortable long distance driving and the seats have good all-round support. The touch-screen infotainment system has a lot of features but the Bluetooth doesn’t seem to be working with all phones as one of the team member’s OnePlus 2 connects but disconnects soon after.
Our long termer is powered by the Renault-Nissan diesel hero, the 1.5-litre dCi unit. Being the higher 110 PS tune, it outputs 245 Nm of torque and is matched to a smooth shifting 6-speeder although the clutch is a bit heavy. When we were doing our VBOX tests on the car, we got a mileage of 9 km/l but as soon we started driving sanely, the efficiency numbers have improved considerably and the vehicle is currently returning 14.5 km/l. Power delivery is linear after one deals with the low-end turbo lag, this MPV has more than enough grunt.
NVH levels are good and the motor gets loud near its 5000 RPM redline but you rarely go there as the strong mid-range helps you get your overtakes done without any fuss. Cruising is where this car excels as one can simply slot this MPV in sixth gear and munch on the miles. What could boost the Lodgy’s proposition in the market is the Easy-R AMT gearbox that is offered on the Duster facelift. An automatic MPV which is affordable too could really help boost numbers for this Renault vehicle.
The steering of this Renault is decently responsive for a vehicle of this size and type so if you are in the mood for some fun, the Lodgy won’t disappoint. The car remains very stable at speed and while it can whizz past 150 km/hr with little effort, it’s best to not exceed 120 km/hr, keeping both mileage and safety in mind, this is after all a family vehicle. Where the Lodgy really excels is the ride quality, it simply glides over the worst of roads, giving a comfortable experience to its passengers. However, when you are driving alone, the ride gets a bit bouncy. Our test car’s tyres have worn out and the pads too have faded so braking confidence is lacking as the pedal feels spongy.
The Renault Lodgy definitely deserves to sell in better numbers as the recent price revision has made it an attractive bet in the MPV segment. With the second generation Toyota Innova going the premium route in terms of pricing, the Rs. 10-15 lakh MPV segment doesn’t have many options which can match the Lodgy in terms of performance, comfort and ride quality. This vehicle might be under-rated but once you live with it and get used to the practicality it has to offer, there is little which can replace this MPV in the aforementioned price range.
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