Dacia has proudly flown the super-budget flag in the UK for about 10 years now, with its Renault-derived vehicles being aimed at those who want a car that will simply get them from A to B.
Over those 10 years, the brand has rather successfully noodled around with almost every market segment, from the Duster SUV, to the Logan MCV estate, to the Sandero supermini. And the Jogger seven- seater might just make the most sense out of any vehicle it's ever produced, being the cheapest seven-seater money can buy.
Let's start by discussing what it's not. It's not sleek and sexy, it's not jam- packed full of fancy kit, and it's not particularly refined. But so what?
Although the interior feels more van than vogue, it's certainly at the better end of budget. Dacia has clearly thought long and hard about how to mask any whiffs of cheapness, with fabric inserts and coloured highlights helping add some cosiness and car-like familiarity to the cabin.
Sure, there's lots of dark, scratchy plastics, but for families, this will likely scream practical and durable more than anything else.
Kit levels are rather meticulously put together by Dacia, with the mid-range Expression model offering DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic air con, front and rear sensors, an 8-inch touchscreen and even a reversing camera. Given the price, we'd say that's pretty impressive. It's worth noting however that entry-level Joggers do feel significantly sparser when it comes to essential kit.
The rear seats of the Jogger aren't anything special, but they do offer space for three adults side-by-side, a great view of the road ahead thanks to a jacked- up rear bench, and there's enough head and leg room to sit and shuffle about comfortably.
These rear seats offer a surprisingly capable folding mechanism to access the rearmost seats in the boot too. Whereas many seven-seaters have a lean and slide configuration, the Jogger's rear seats fold and roll forward, giving you plenty of space to climb in. And once you're sitting in the rearmost seats, space is surprisingly impressive. Your knees don't sit too high and there's just enough room to extend your legs a little and take the strain off your knees. Head room is on point too.
The two boot-mounted seats can actually be completely removed from the Jogger. And while it's a bit cumbersome to do so, once removed, you're left with a cavernous 1,807 litres. Overall, the boot is really practical, with a low load lip, square shape and numerous seat configurations to accommodate cargo. The only real downside is its huge tailgate, which will be a nuisance for those with a short driveway... Or for those that ever want to visit a supermarket.
Although a lot of brands have moved away from 1.0-litre three-cylinder units, Dacia still offers a 1.0-litre three-cylinder 109hp unit in the Jogger. There's also a hybrid option, although it is significantly more expensive than the three-pot petrol.
The Jogger's 1.0-litre three-cylinder certainly feels like one of the better downsized units, with plenty of pep when revved out. You will have to drop at least two gears to execute an overtake however - especially if you have passengers - but thankfully the six-speed manual gearbox it comes mated to is capable enough. We actually managed to achieve 50mpg with this unit fairly easily, too.
If you can learn to tame its rugged engine, the Jogger is actually quite pleasant to drive, with light, accurate steering and a cushy suspension. It drives like many family cars double its price.
Dacia Jogger Expression 1.0
Residual value: 40.2%
Service, maintenance and repair: £1,676
Cost per mile: 35.69p
Fuel consumption: 48.7mpg
CO2 (BIK%): 130g/km (31%)
BIK 20/40% a month: £99/199
Luggage capacity: 160 litres
Engine size/power: 999cc/109hp