Dacia Logan 1.5 dCi

Ambiance MCV

Dacia Logan MCV, front, action
Dacia Logan MCV, front, static
Dacia Logan MCV, front
Dacia Logan MCV, side, action
Dacia Logan MCV, rear, action
Dacia Logan MCV, load space
Dacia Logan MCV, interior
Dacia Logan MCV, boot with bicycle
Dacia Logan MCV, rear seats

SO you've got less than £11,000 to spend on a car but it needs to be spacious to accommodate the family and have plenty of luggage room for the same reason.

So which used car dealer do you visit for the best deal?

Well if you have any sense you won't bother with any of them, as you can now get a brand new car that meets your criteria and comes with a generous three year, 60,000 mile warranty.

And best of all the car in question is powered by a beefy 1.5-litre diesel engine that will average a phenomenal 80 miles per gallon.

The car that defies financial logic is the new version of the Dacia Logan MCV, a generously sized, five-seater estate car with a boot area so large you could almost sleep in it. Fold the 60/40 split rear seatbacks down and the space jumps from 573 litres to a van-like 1,518 litres.

The clue is in the letters tagged on to the end of the name. MCV stands for Maximum Capacity Vehicle.

Appealing to cost conscious drivers who need something much larger than their budget would normally run to the Logan is available in three different trim levels with the Ambiance - looked at here - the middle of the range model at £10,895.

And for that you get a car that's not only spacious but comes with air conditioning, DAB radio, electric front windows, stop/start, remote central locking and daylight running lights. In fact all the things that most people would want.

Despite its budget price tag the Logan is well put together and when you get behind the wheel you find it's actually rather nice to drive too, with an impressive amount of torque and plenty of power in the lower gears.

There's a five-speed manual gearbox, although fifth is very much an overdrive gear ideal for cruising on the motorway when the rev counter is just hitting 2,000 revs at 70 miles per hour, ensuring relaxed, frugal motoring.

For fast overtaking you need to drop down a cog but when you do the Logan is quick to respond and happy to do so.

Petrol engined models are available - the entry level Logan is priced from just £7,295 - but the 1.5-litre diesel is by far the best performer.

The suspension is a little on the soft side but it handles well even when driven quickly through tights bends and provides a very comfortable ride.

In fact for me there are very few negative points on a car which - since the Romanian company was re-launched by parent company Renault in 2004 - is fast winning fans all over Europe for economy motoring. More than 100,00 Dacias have been sold in the UK since the company launched here in 2013.

Okay so on the Logan you have to adjust the side mirrors manually and you always have to use the key to open the boot rather than have a release catch and there is no height adjustment on the driver's seat - although for £50 you can have it as an optional extra - but apart from these the Logan Ambiance fills most people's requirements.

FAST FACTS

Dacia Logan 1.5 dCi Ambiance MCV

Price: £10,895

Mechanical: 90bhp, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph: 11.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 80.7

Insurance Group: 9

C02 emissions: 90g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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