The Renault Lodgy is an MPV that puts forth an interesting proposition of both - a big family car and a comfortable taxi operator. Three and a half months ago, when this MPV arrived in our long term fleet, I started taking things in a decidedly different direction for its periodic reports. Apart from the city and highway reports, the Lodgy was put to different tasks including transportation, off-roading etc. After a crazy run for this span, we figured out some of its positive traits and some negative ones.
The good bits
This MPV is a huge vehicle and that has translated into oodles of space. The low ingress levels and large doors provide easy entry and exit of passengers in the spacious and quiet cabin. Six passengers can sit comfortably without feeling claustrophobic. Also, thanks to the low loading lip and huge tail gate, loading the luggage becomes stress-free. Speaking of which, I would also want to point out that the different seat fold and tumble options make way for stacking good amount of stuff. So much so, that we even managed to put in a two-wheeler and transport it.
Our top-end variant is well-equipped with infotainment and communication needs. Adding to the convenience is the touch screen system, which is practical, ergonomic and easy to use. It also comes paired to a rear view camera with guidelines that grants good visibility while parking. Any which way, parking the long car isn’t difficult due to the good frontal and rear visibility.
The 110PS K9K diesel mill powering the car has enough potential for city rides or even the highway runs. Fuel efficiency in the city came down to 11-12kmpl (from highway figures of 14-16kmpl), which is fair enough for a 1,368kg MPV being driven in peak traffic. The diesel engine's clatter does seem a bit loud outside, but one can barely hear the motor inside. The ride is flat and side-to-side movement of passengers is minimal, making every occupant feel comfortable and safe in any seat.
The not so good bits
Driving a hugevMPV in a traffic-infested town like Mumbai with narrow roads is not really an easy task. One has to be careful about its length while cutting through traffic or even in bylanes. The steering is big and the clutch is a bit heavy for continuous driving in city traffic. Even though the engine is refined, the turbo lag under 1,800rpm is very apparent.
Access to the third row isn't much of an issue barring the effort required to lift the heavy middle seats. Still squeezing three adults in the third row only means adding to the discomfort of the otherwise two happy occupants. Also, one will have to think of adding a roof rack for the additional bags as the boot won't suffice for the luggage of six occupants.
Renault had launched the Lodgy in India to take the competition squarely to the segment leader - Toyota Innova. It couldn't put a dent on the former's sales, but it does become a strong contender, especially now when the new Innova has become even more expensive. Renault is also offering many discounts and added benefits on this MPV's variants, which make it a better package. Sure the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio are cheaper, but they are also smaller than the more spacious, feature-rich and comfortable Lodgy.
Spacious and quiet cabin
Discounts on price
Big car to drive around in city
Less space for luggage for six people
Warranty reduced from 5 years/one lakh km to 2 years/50,000km