Motoring review: Renault's Dacia Logan is an immigrant that even Finchy would admire

 

Dacia Logan MCV Laureate TCe 90

Price: Range from £6,995 (£11,150 as tested)
Engine capacity: 898cc turbo-charged petrol
Power output (hp @ rpm): 90@5,250
Top speed (mph): 109
0-62 mph (seconds): 11.1
Fuel economy (mpg): 56.5
CO2 emissions (g/km): 116

If some of our politicians and the more feral elements of the press are serious about tracking down the supposed hordes of Romanian immigrants invading our shores, intent on stealing jobs and children alike, then I suggest they do what I did last week and get themselves into a Dacia.

This brand, unfamiliar here, is the proud automotive symbol of the resurgent Romania, named after a "lost tribe" that settled there 2,000 years ago. Some of the modern descendants of the tribe have come to Britain for work, and they can be easily detected because when they spot a Dacia they point, and some take pictures of it.

These are chaps in what I would call working clothes, and not obviously tourists. There aren't that many of them, truth be told, and, as it happens, I am entirely in favour of unrestricted Eastern European immigration, on economic grounds. You see, not all motoring journalists are reactionaries.

That is about the most attention you will receive, though, for this model from Renault's budget arm. Its unpretentious styling is a model of form following function: so it is a big inside.

To me, as a "proper" estate car, this makes a change nowadays. You see, years ago, the point of an estate car was to carry stuff around in, and the manufacturers usually bolted the biggest glasshouse on the back they could get away with. Then someone decided that an estate car shouldn't be too obviously a vehicle for lugging samples around, and middle-class types much preferred the "lifestyle" image, so space didn't matter. Such cars are badged as "sportbrake" or "sportback" or even the archaic "shooting brake".

Not Dacia's. Its estate is called an "MCV", for "maximum capacity vehicle". It has a capacity, rear seats down, of 1,500 litres, about the same as a BMW 3-series Tourer, but in a smaller package and about a quarter of the price). It's appropriate that its television ads are voiced by the talented actor Ralph Ineson, best known as the appalling salesman Chris "Finchy" Finch in The Office, and whose Leeds accent will be familiar from varied roles and voiceovers (I think he may have been the voice of Gaviscon for a while).

Finchy, you may recall, had a fairly animalistic approach to life and love, and "a bloody good rep" with an IQ of 142, according to his boss, David Brent. (Brent's obvious admiration for him didn't stop Finchy from accusing Brent of having spent an evening "having a Pot Noodle and a wank", a memorable television moment).

What would Finchy think if Wernham Hogg provided him with a Dacia Logan MCV? Well, like me, he wouldn't appreciate the piggy-like squeak from the front passenger seat, (I mean with no one occupying it), and he would be upset that the rear wiper didn't work.

However, he would enthuse about the superb engine, a tiny turbo-charged affair that revs all the way to 7,000rpm and is one of the nicest power plants on any car at any price. I can't think of a suitably crude but printable Finch-style epithet for this, but you can imagine.

In the end, I suspect even no- nonsense Finchy would demand that Brent replace his Dacia with a second-hand BMW 320d Touring, perhaps after he had been pointed at by a few too many Romanian economic migrants.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    General Cover Teacher

    £120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: The Job:TEACHERS REQUIREDWe are...

    Year 6 Teacher

    £100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    £60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Special Needs Teaching Assistant ...

    Year 4 Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is urgently recruiting...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?