In our first report of the Renault Lodgy, we told you that we will analyse the potential of the car on the highway and in the city. So in the first month itself, we put our Lodgy to some mile munching activities. It mostly ran on highways in daylight hours and at night a few times. Let’s get straight to the most important bits.
There’s no doubt 589litres is a lot of boot space with the third row folded. But, forget about accommodating luggage of six occupants in the cabin. It cannot take bags of six passengers at one time. And this is even after filling up the 207litres of boot space and placing some bags in the middle row. One can anyway just buy a roof carrier to take care of the additional baggage if it’s the utmost need.
On the other hand, there is ample luggage space for four or even five occupants. And all of this without compromising on passenger comfort. The few fold and tumble options in the second and third row free up a lot of space inside the huge cabin. Then the full-sized, medium-sized bottle holders and plenty of stowage places add to the practicality.
The Lodgy easily accommodates six people and there is space for even a seventh passenger. The heavy seats in the second row tumble down quickly creating easy access to the third row. But, they require some effort to be put back in place. Two occupants in each row are pampered with oodles of headroom, shoulder room, knee room. They get separate seat belts, while dual front airbags add to the safety quotient.
The dual-tone leather seats feel firm, but none of the passengers complained about comfort issues. These seats recline, are supportive and have good under-thigh support. The materials used in the grey and beige interior are good for easy upkeep. Air vents in each row and large windows give the spacious cabin a very airy feel. Not once did any occupant feel claustrophobic. Then, the cabin noise is also very minimal.
The driver’s seat is also a good place to be in on long drives. The seating comfort and ergonomics are well-thought-of. This is clearly evident from the good posture, armrest for support, convenient placement of equipment and steering-mounted controls. Furthermore, cruise control has become my favourite feature for saving the effort in pressing the accelerator and cruising smoothly along the highway. However, this is also where the absence of a dead pedal is strongly felt.
Our Lodgy gets the 1.5-litre four-cylinder K9K diesel mill in the 108bhp, 245Nm state of tune. This unit is quiet, doesn’t have any irritating vibrations or annoying clatter. There’s ample torque available from lower rev bands to ferry around six people without a hiccup. Then it delivers power across the range to pull the big vehicle easily on the highway. Never did I feel a need to go beyond 3,000rpm. The steering and clutch feel a bit heavy, but not to the extent that it becomes a point of worry. The six-speed transmission has its gear ratios well spread out and working through the gears is smooth. The MPV easily achieved more than 650kms of range with a fuel economy of close to 14kmpl on the highway.
The brakes are good for such a big car, inspire a lot of confidence and ABS with EBD makes you feel even safer. Ride quality is pretty flat and the car is very stable in a straight line. Even when taking corners at high speeds, the Lodgy feels planted. So the overall ride on the highway is great and next month we will tell you how the MPV is to use within the city.
Date acquired: April 2016
Odometer reading when acquired: 16,000km
Current odometer reading: 18,500km
Fuel efficiency: 13-14kmpl
Pictures by Kapil Angane