We have driven the Renault Lodgy at a media drive event in Bengaluru on 15th of March 2015 and we spent over 5 hours behind the wheel of the car. We tested the car on the old Madras highway as well as in Bengaluru city and tested it under different conditions in driving seat as well as in the 2nd and 3rd row at times. We also played around with the features, experienced the space, features etc. and here we bring you our impressions on this car in our detailed Renault Lodgy Review. We have also done a comprehensive video review of the same which also is embedded below.
[box type=”shadow” ]Also See- Renault Lodgy vs Toyota Innova vs Maruti Ertiga vs Honda Mobilio Spec Sheet Comparo[/box]
Renault Lodgy Video Review
Exteriors & Styling
The styling of the Renaul Lodgy is nothing extraordinary, but at the same time, it is not dull. Renault has used contemporary European styling and added a lot of chrome to it just like India customers like it. There is plenty of chrome at front, sides as well as rear. The Lodgy badge in fact is all in chrome at the rear door. There is nice looking front fascia, the side profile is like any other MPV, but there is a dash of chrome here too in the form of side body mouldings. The rear gets very different looking tail lamp cluster and a chrome slat here too. Overall, I cannot say that it is an attractive car, but at the same time, it looks elegant considering that it is a full size 8 seat MPV.
Interiors & Comfort Features
This is where the car scores high, the interiors of the Renault Lodgy remind us greatly of the new 2015 Renault Duster with no dearth of premium feel. There is dual tone interior tone, tonnes of features like touch screen audio-video-navigation system, steering mounted audio controls, cruise control, tilt-steering, driver side seat height adjust, arm-rest for driver, lumbar support, plenty of cubby holes and storage spaces, deep door pockets, charging ports in all 3 rows, roof mounted AC vents for all 3 rows to name a few. The list of features is fairly long. It also gets safety features like ABS and Airbags. There is nothing very fancy here, but everything seems very practical.
Interiors space is a crucial factor on any MPV and the Renault Lodgy takes care of it very well. There is ample of space on the inside with a fairly long wheelbase (2.8m) and small engine bay freeing up most of the space for the cabin. The optimized space utilization frees up comfortable space for the occupants even in the third row. The floor height at the 3rd row is slightly higher compared to first and second row, but still it does not make you feel stuck in a tight space as the knees don’t bang on the 2nd row’s back. Also there is ample headroom in all three rows, which makes the cabin feel more airy and comfortable.
There are two seating options on the Renault Lodgy, a 7 seat option with two captain seats on the second row and an 8 seat option with a bench seat (for three) in the 2nd row. In both cases, there are two seats at front and 3 seats on the 3rd row. We personally find the 7 seat option to be more comfortable, but the 8 seat option is also good for not-to-heavy built passengers in the 2nd and 3rd row. We find the third row of the Lodgy better than the Ertiga and Mobilio whereas it is very close to Innova when it comes to seating in third row, in fact better in terms of leg space and height, but not so much in terms of width.
In terms of flexibility, you can adjust the seats in a lot of ways for various luggage needs. When there are less passengers on-board, you can fold some of the seats and free up more space for luggage (up to 1861 litres when 2nd and 3rd of seats are folded).
Overall, it is easily among the most premium feeling MPVs in the segment considering that the competing cars in this segment are not so impressive on the interiors front.
Specs & Engine Options
It comes with only diesel engine option and there are two variants in Diesel. An 85 PS model with 85 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque and a more powerful variant with 110 PS of peak power and 245 Nm of torque. The 85 PS variant is mated to a 5 speed manual transmission while the 110 PS model is mated to 6 speed manual transmission.
The engine line-up is somewhat same as we have on the diesel models of Duster and we have driven the 110 PS model of Lodgy. It has a slight turbo lag under 1800 RPM, but it is not very much of a trouble if you rev it properly at the launch and keep the revs around 2000 RPM or higher. The torque is enough to pull though most of the road condition with ease even with 8 people onboard. Also cruising in 6th gear on highway is fairly relaxed and keeps the revs around 2000 RPM at around 100 KMPH, which will deliver great fuel economy along with smooth and fast drive. To make the experience even more comfortable, just put the car in cruise control mode and you can be even more relaxed. In the nutshell the engines are capable and well suited for high speed commutes and relaxed driving.
Ride & Handling
This is another area where Renault Lodgy pleasantly surprised us with its well mannered dynamics. The suspension has been very well tuned to provide good handling and smooth ride. There is no body roll and it drives like an everyday car (even better than some sedans) in the city as well as on highway. The steering is well weighted, in fact slightly on heavier side, which gives you a confident inspiring road feedback event at very high speeds. In fact, we found the ride and handling very close to the Duster, which is well known for its superior ride and handling.
Price & Launch Date
Launch is expected in April 2015. As per our estimated, the base diesel 85 PS variant should be priced around 9 Lakhs and top of the line diesel 110 PS variant maybe priced around 12.5 Lakhs ex-showroom. These are estimated priced and we will update this section when the official price is revealed.
Verdict- Renault Lodgy Review
If you are looking to buy a family car where you can seat up to 8 people without making them feel squeezed, Lodgy is one of the cars which make a strong case. Yes, there is Innova, but in terms of pricing as well as features, the Lodgy is a more favorable choice. It is clearly more spacious than the Mobilio and Ertiga. Also it is one car which will not make you feel that you are driving something too big or bulky, it does handle well and accelerates quickly, keep it agile like a regular sedan while giving you space for the whole family.
What do you think about the Lodgy? Do let us know your views in the comment section below.