This is the new Dacia Jogger. In among all the all-electric, autonomous cars of the future to break cover in recent months, it sounds just about the most relevant and relatable car to the modern family motorist we’ve seen in a very long time.
Underneath, it blends the new CMF-B platform that underpins the new Sandero, into a mixture of a seven-seat MPV, an estate and a crossover. On top of featuring the same petrol and bi-fuel engines, it will also eventually be the first Dacia hybrid, with an electrified variant due in 2023.
The Jogger seems to channel some of the innovative energy of Renault’s revolutionary early Espaces. It has modular roof rails with up to an 80kg carrying capacity, and configurable seating for up to 60 different arrangements. It’s claimed, perhaps optimistically, that seven adults can be carried comfortably in the Jogger. Making that claim much more believable is the Jogger’s healthy 4.5m length and 2.9m wheelbase. In the case of the latter, that’s only just shy of a Land Rover Defender 110’s 3.02m wheelbase.
Though the rubbery arches and the fact the name Jogger is supposed to “embody the brand’s outdoor spirit and sense of adventure,” it’s no mud-plugger. The Jogger leans harder on the obvious born-again MPV feel with the slabbed backside of an Estate, than the SUV thing.
The boot has around 213 litres of storage space with all the seats in place, which rises to 712 litres with the third row folded. Pull that third row out and fold the second row and over 1,800 litres of carrying capacity is freed up.
As for the cabin itself, it’s got not a lot more than you really need behind the wheel. As standard, you dock your phone for a multimedia system – likely the cleverest way to do it but for some a bit of a cop-out. Upgrade your Jogger and you get an 8-inch touchscreen loaded with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay thrown in.
The Jogger is available to order in November, with deliveries beginning at the beginning of next year. Like it? We do. There’s an honesty to the Jogger, an approach of gimmick-free problem-solving. We’ll reiterate: it feels like the return of the Espace. That’s a very good thing.