Renault launched the Lodgy MPV in 2015 for the Indian market. The Lodgy is also sold under the Dacia badge in the European markets along with Renault badging in some other parts of Europe, including its home ground, France. Dacia is the sub-brand from Romania, belonging to the Renault Group. Since it’s India entry, Renault managed to sell the Lodgy in small numbers, though this MPV Van sells in huge numbers in its home market. Now Renault is infusing some fresh blood into the Lodgy brand and also adding the Stepway badging to it. We drive this the 2017 Renault Lodgy Stepway on a very unique Night Drive around Mumbai to get you this first drive review.
Food for thought:
Dacia Lodgy was first showcased at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. Apart from India, the Lodgy is assembled also in Tangier, Morocco by Renault and Dacia. The Lodgy is based on the Dacia M0 platform. The nearest cousin of the Lodgy is the Dokker Van. In India, the Renault Lodgy competes with the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Honda Mobilio and the Mahindra Xylo to an extent. Though the Toyota Innova does not compete with it pricewise, it does compete with it being a MPV.
The Renault Lodgy more or less retains its original exterior design. What has changed on the outside, are a few cosmetic additions. The face gets an all-new center grill that has a sort of a jewel design on it. 18 Chrome rectangular shaped spotting on the grill, much like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, gives a bold and sportier look to the MPV. A thick chrome band runs horizontally on top of the grill just above the Renault badging. The front bumper also gets a redesign and now comes in dual tone finish along with a infused skid plate in silver finish. Round fog lamps are neatly placed on the extreme corners. Headlights retain the same shape, but get a different clear reflector on them.
The side profile also retains the same basic designing with a few additions. The wheel arches now come with fiber body molding that are left unpainted intentionally to give that rugged look. The doors also get fiber door protectors along with a chrome garnish strip placed on the lower section. The wheels get updated to stylish multispoke alloys in silver, that Renault call as Panache design alloys. Doing their job here are a set of 195/55 R16 spec MRF ZVTV tubeless tyres. The roof also gets a pair of chrome roof rails that make the vehicle look a bit taller than it actually is and also adds a bit of glam to the sides. Wing mirrors get body colored housing, but do not come with turn indicators on them. Just below the wing mirrors, a neat looking STEPWAY decal is placed. Door handles still continue to be the lift type ones. The windows get black masking around them.
The rear profile gets a few changes as well. Tail lights carry the same basic shape and design, but get new clear reflectors in them. The rear bumper too, gets redesigned and now comes in dual-tone finish. Like the front bumper, the rear one too gets a faux skid plate in silver finish and a pair of reflectors on extreme ends. The boot lid gets a glossy chrome band with LODGY written on it just above the license plate. The rear windshield gets wash wipe, along with a defogger on it.
On the inside, the Lodgy has always been a spacious MPV. The basic layout of the cabin remains the same. Seats come in leather upholstery in beige and brown dual tone finish and get unique Gris Fume bolstering finish on them. Driver’s seat gets 8 way adjust and also gets a foldable armrest. The steering wheel remains the same and comes with manual adjust for height only. The dash board retains the dual tone color finish along with same instrumentation and a large closable storage compartment on the top of the dash. The center dash comes with a full color 7 inch touch screen AVN that has audio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and AUX, Navigation and also doubles up as the reverse camera screen when needed. This is the same unit that also does duty on the new Duster.
The climate control is a manual unit with AC blowers on the dash and on the roof for the middle and last rows. The middle row comes with a captain seat, while the lower variants get bench type seats. The captain seats get foldable trays placed on the back of the front seats. The third row seats can be accessed by tumbling down the middle row seats. Both the middle row and the last row seats get adjustable headrests. The boot capacity of the Lodgy Stepway is 207 litres that can be extended to upto 1861 litres with the seats folded down when needed.
The Lodgy Stepway retains its technical specifications as before. You have a choice of choosing between 85PS and 110PS from the 1.5 litre dCI Diesel engine. The 85PS engine comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, while the 110PS that we drove, comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Cruise control with speed limiter is also offered in the package.
On the move, as mentioned, the engine and transmission remains the same. These are the tried and trusted engines and gearboxes that do a mighty good job on the Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano, Nissan Sunny and the Nissan Micra. The dCI engine has a very good low end torque and lots of power available. Gear shifts are positive and the vehicle is easy to drive in busy traffic conditions. At high speeds, the vehicle feels very stable and planted. There is some amount of body roll due to its dimensions. The steering setup is tuned on the heavier side. The clutch pedal travel is not too long and pressure on it is slightly on the harder side but you get used to it in quick time. On the safety front the Lodgy Stepway comes with dual front air bags, ABS with EBD as standard.
The 2017 Renault Lodgy Stepway gets a host of cosmetic upgrade on the outside that makes it look a lot in-time now. The technical specifications are carried forward and they are tried and trusted. This upgrade make the Lodgy appear far more luxurious and should ring the right chords in the buyers minds and hearts with prices starting at Rs. 9.72 lakhs for the base 85PS RXL version and Rs. 10.38 lakhs for the base 110PS RXL version, both 8 seater versions. The fully-loaded 7 seater RXZ 110PS version that we drove comes in at Rs. 11.55 lakhs ex-showroom, which again is a good buy in the segment.
2017 Renault Lodgy Stepway Photo Gallery: