2011 Renault Logan | road test
Posted on April 28, 2010 by Phill Tromans
AT A GLANCE
- Surprisingly comfortable
- Spacious inside
- Poor build quality
- Very noisy
- Not very safe
Although introduced in the region as a 2011 model, the Logan was actually introduced in Europe in 2004 as a Dacia model and it shows. It’s extremely cheap, fairly comfortable and boasts decent handling, as well as fitting four-to-five passengers and luggage without too much trouble. But it feels cheap, flimsy and generally nasty inside, is very noisy and isn’t very safe. We’d rather spend the extra money and get the much better and much safer Toyota Yaris sedan.
The Logan is powered by a 1.6-litre, 105bhp engine and it’s really noisy, unrefined and not particularly quick. The four-speed automatic gearbox is similarly agricultural and ponderous. The powertrain moves the car along, but that’s about the only positive thing to say about it.
HANDLING AND RIDE
While overall the Logan feels pretty bodged together, the ride and handling are actually pretty good. The suspension soaks up bumps and uneven surfaces well. The steering feel is somewhat rubbery, but not the worst we’ve experienced, and it handles decently too, taking roundabouts at a lick without complaining. There’s more body roll on corners than we’d like though.
There’s a huge amount of engine noise if you’re doing motorway speeds in the Logan. Refinement levels are as low as you’d expect for a 38,000AED car – build quality is on the poor side; everything is made from hard plastics and feels very flimsy. It seems little attention has been paid to fit and finish. One obviously has to factor the cost of the car into expectations, but even so it’s hard to be charitable.
Road, wind and engine noise are all high, but on the plus side the seats are both comfortable and supportive, which was a pleasant surprise. The few controls are fairly well laid out and easy to operate.
The Logan scores pretty well on the practicality front, with a good amount of room inside both in the back and the front. A couple of adults should fit in the rear seats in comfort, although three fully-grown people would be a squeeze. There’s an acceptable level of legroom for the size of the car (the same as a Megane, Renault claims), although don’t expect to be able to stretch out. The boot is sizeable at 510 litres, certainly bigger than a Yaris.
The front doors have some small pockets in them, two cup holders at the front and a storage pocket at the front of the centre console, a small glove box and a storage bin above it – no passenger airbag here. The back gets nothing – no armrest, no storage pockets, nada. Just seats and seat belts. The rear seats don’t fold down, which is a shame, although you can remove them and leave them at home if you need extra space in the boot. A big cross-member remains, so it’s not ideal, but it will help if you have some flat packed furniture to shift.
Only one version of the Logan is available and the features list reflects its market position at the very bottom of the new car ladder. The few features that the car does have include electric front windows and a rather terrible Blaupunkt stereo, connected to speakers that make a noise like a dying bluebottle in a plastic cup. There’s no auxiliary socket for MP3 players either. The Logan rides on 14-inch steel wheels.
Safety is very much an afterthought in the Logan, which comes with seatbelts, a driver’s airbag and not much else. There’s no ABS and no ESP, which goes in the face of Renault’s boasts that it puts safety as a high priority. ABS may be available as an option in the future, however.
The Dacia version of the Logan scored a distinctly unimpressive three out of five stars in the European EuroNCAP crash test programme.
In fairness to the Logan, the lack of safety features is something that’s common throughout this price bracket. The comparable models of Hyundai Accent and Chevrolet Aveo also only come with a driver’s airbag and no ABS.
The Aveo scored just one-and-a-half stars for passenger safety in the EuroNCAP tests a year after the Logan, although the latest Accent scored the maximum five stars in the US NHTSA crash tests.
However, the more expensive Yaris scored five EuroNCAP stars (for the hatch version) and the sedan scored four stars in the NHTSA tests. Even the most basic model comes with both driver and passenger airbags, ABS and Brake Assist.
At 38,500AED the Logan is undoubtedly cheap when compared with something like the Yaris sedan, which starts at 45,500AED, although the Yaris is a much better all-round product. Other rivals include the Hyundai Accent at 39,500AED for the automatic version, and the Chevrolet Aveo, which starts at 40,000AED. Both of these have smaller 1.4-litre engines but are based on a newer design than the Renault.
The Logan’s official combined fuel economy is 8.3 litres per 100km, which gives the Logan a theoretical range of around 560km from its 50-litre fuel tank.
The Logan comes with a three-year/100,000km warranty. Service information was not available at the time of writing – we’ll update this page with major service intervals and costs as soon as possible.
2011 Renault Logan
Engine: 1.6-litre, four-cylinder
Max power (bhp/rpm): 105/5,750
Max torque (Nm/rpm): 148/3,750
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Driven wheels: Front wheel drive
Kerb weight: 1,040kg (approx)
Price (AED): 38,500