The inaugural foray into hybrid vehicles by Dacia has been nothing short of a triumph. The Jogger Hybrid 140 possesses sufficient potency, thanks to the assistance of the electric motor, and exhibits exceptional efficiency that does not come at the expense of practicality in real-world scenarios. The Jogger Hybrid is also supremely comfortable and equipped with commendable features, particularly considering its modest pricing – a rarity among the fully hybrid cars currently available in the market.
Nonetheless, the conventional petrol variant of Jogger remains more economical, and in a time where financial resources for motoring are being constricted to an unprecedented degree, it may appear even more appealing to certain customers. Nevertheless, as a demonstration of Dacia’s approach towards electrification, the Jogger Hybrid is an outstanding accomplishment.
It may appear as though Dacia has been left behind in the race toward electrification, considering that the brand has only recently introduced its maiden hybrid model. However, the essential factor to bear in mind here is the concept of value. Let us also not forget that Dacia has the Spring, an electric vehicle (EV) designed for manoeuvring through the congested streets of European cities.
In order to make the acquisition of its vehicles feasible for its clients, Dacia has opted for petrol-electric propulsion solely when it deems the technology to be reasonably priced. As such, the Jogger Hybrid 140 inherits its powertrain from Dacia’s sister company, Renault, and has been optimized accordingly.
Commencing from £22,595 for the entry-level Expression automobile and soaring to £23,395 (with just two trims accessible on the Hybrid, in contrast to the gasoline version), Dacia asserts that the Jogger Hybrid is without a competitor. A cursory glance verifies this assertion.
For a full-hybrid seven-seater Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), expect to expend £40,000 with automakers like Hyundai. While the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports is priced at £31,545, it only features five seats, rendering it significantly less versatile than the Jogger.
The tried-and-tested Renault technology incorporates a 1.6-litre petrol engine, boosted by a 1.2kWh battery and a duo of electric motors. One of these motors is a traction motor that allows the Jogger to operate on electricity (up to 80% of the time in urban areas and at velocities up to 43mph), while the other motor is a starter-generator that ignites the petrol engine and charges the battery by utilizing the 1.6 unit while driving.
The electric motors are integrated into a multi-modal automatic gearbox that propels the front wheels. Although it isn’t the most crucial aspect here, the 0-62mph acceleration time is 10.1 seconds. What is more interesting is the Jogger’s asserted fuel efficiency of 56.5mpg. This is an impressive figure and 7.8mpg greater than the pure-petrol model. However, during our evaluation, we surpassed this number, with the trip display registering nearly 70mpg.
Driven in a relaxed manner, the Jogger Hybrid exhibits remarkable efficiency and comparatively good refinement. During normal cruising, the petrol engine activates to keep the state of charge at an optimal level, with the electric motor providing a considerable portion of the propulsion.
When both electric and petrol power sources work in unison, a humming sound emanates from beneath the bonnet. Additionally, our trial vehicle was susceptible to a resonant rattle emanating from the engine compartment. However, this minor lack of refinement only becomes an issue when requesting acceleration on a steep incline when the engine sounds strained. Nevertheless, with seven people and baggage, this factor may be more prevalent.
The powertrain is predominantly smooth, with the electric motor’s intermittent bursts of additional torque aiding in gear changes and providing a useful extra boost of acceleration at low to medium speeds when the accelerator is pressed. It is this assistance that proves beneficial in urban settings, and the Jogger’s straight-line performance is sufficient.
Albeit the regenerative set-up’s braking feel is present, it is unreliable and oftentimes, even a gentle touch of the brake pedal triggers an abrupt response from the brakes. The transmission has an additional B mode, which commands more energy back into the battery when decelerating. Regardless of the mode, the Jogger’s petite 1.2kWh unit replenishes swiftly.
The unit is affixed where an LPG-equipped Jogger’s ancillary tank is located, albeit this option is not offered in the UK. The battery takes up the space that the spare wheel occupies in ICE versions, signifying there is scarcely any compromise when it comes to practicality compared to its pure-petrol counterpart. Therefore, adequate legroom is provided in the third row of seats, though it is not the most effortless route to access them.
The second row is more expansive, providing ample leg and headroom, and the boot space is 212 litres with all rows of seats in place, 699 litres in five-seat mode (with the third row folded, but it is straightforward to remove them entirely), and a van-like 2,085 litres when optimized for maximum carrying capacity. The only drawback is the towing limit, which drops from 1,200kg to 750kg for this Hybrid 140.
The extra mass of the battery is inconspicuous, and the car handles with a great deal of composure. The steering is perfectly weighted for the Jogger’s size, providing confidence on winding roads and ease of use in the town, epitomizing the car. It is easy to drive and easy to drive resourcefully.
It is supported by a chassis that mostly absorbs bumps well. The uneven tarmac on the Portuguese test route is an excellent approximation of the rough back roads and uneven city streets encountered in the UK, and while there is some noise emanating from underneath Dacia’s chassis in the way it handles surface imperfections, the wheels never rebound harshly, although the ride can occasionally feel slightly jarring on exceptionally uneven roads.
All vehicles are equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with built-in sat-nav included in the Extreme SE models. The system also includes a reversing camera on all models, while rear parking sensors are also included. The Hybrid 140 features a seven-inch digital dash that is unique to it (it is reasonably priced, but it could offer more flexibility in its display), and it also includes cruise control, keyless entry, and auto air-con. Additionally, it has numerous USB ports to keep one’s technology charged.
Extreme SE models come with heated seats, black 16-inch alloy wheels and door mirrors, and understated Extreme SE graphics. There is also the option of a new Shadow Grey paint colour that is solely available on the Hybrid.
It is worth mentioning safety as Dacia has received criticism in the past, but the brand only equips its cars with equipment that it believes buyers want and is essential for the market. Thus, while the Jogger may not include the latest advanced driver assistance technology, even the base Expression model has autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and six airbags.
If a value is what you seek, the Jogger Hybrid’s representative finance deal on the base car is £327 down and £327 per month (a four-year deal, 6k miles per year).
Undoubtedly, the efficiency potential is strong. However, returning to Dacia’s original assertion that the Hybrid 140 has no competition, we are not entirely convinced. In reality, the most significant competition comes from within in the form of the Jogger TCe 110 petrol, which is £4,150 cheaper trim-for-trim. Although it is not as economical, the savings made could purchase significant.
The wondrous Jogger Hybrid 140 from Dacia, an Extreme SE marvel of engineering priced at £23,395. At its core lies a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol hybrid engine, which imparts a potent power of 138bhp and a torque of 144Nm.
This mighty machine comes with a multi-mode automatic transmission, propelling its front-wheel drive with swift agility. In just 10.1 seconds, the Jogger Hybrid 140 can surge from 0-62mph with a top speed of 110mph, making it a true speedster’s delight.
But wait, there’s more! The Jogger Hybrid 140 boasts an impressive economy/CO2 balance of 56.5mpg/112g/km, making it a responsible choice for the eco-conscious. It’s now available for sale, so seize the chance to possess this magnificent creation!