Renault Lodgy is a versatile MPV offering utility, practicality and comfort in plentitude, notes MotorBeam.
The MPV space has turned out to be the next big volume spinner for several manufacturers in recent years even as Toyota leads the pack with its best-selling Innova.
While the Maruti Ertiga and Honda Mobilio are also the more popular offerings in this segment, Renault India feels that there is a potential space between the Innova and the rest where its newest offering the ‘Lodgy’ can make a mark for itself.
With the company known as the inventor of the MPV segment globally, is the Lodgy the next big thing for Renault India? Read on to find out.
Renault has always been safe with its design but with a dash of quirkiness and that is also seen on the new Lodgy MPV.
Designed to please all with a premium appearance, the MPV looks contemporary with a nicely done front fascia.
The front grille is split into four elements done up in chrome along with a chrome bar sitting between the round and large headlights.
The bumper gets a large air intake in the centre flanked by fog lights that have been finished with chrome bezels for the premium look.
The side profile is simplistic with minimal body moulds to gain your attention but gets chrome cladding on the lower half part of the body while the 15-inch five-spoke alloy wheels aren’t exactly exciting per se.
Now, the Lodgy gets boxy proportions in a bid to offer more space on the inside and the boxy design language is most evident at the rear with bits of chrome to keep things exciting.
The large tailgate houses the Renault logo in the centre and gets a chrome slat with the ‘Lodgy’ moniker embossed. The tail light cluster is extremely quirky and has been placed high up, and is anything but conventional.
Measuring 4498 mm in length with a wheelbase of 2810 mm, the Renault Lodgy is huge in every sense sporting a longer wheelbase than the Innova.
This in turn translates into better cabin space while the large glasshouse area also ensures that the cabin feels roomy at all times.
The ingress and egress is effortless, courtesy of the high roofline and the relatively convenient floor height of the MPV.
Despite borrowing several parts from the Duster’s bin, the Lodgy comes out as more premium with the clutter free dual-tone dashboard done up in beige and grey, piano black finish centre console and chrome bezels around the air-con vents.
The multi-function steering wheel houses buttons for cruise control and audio system and the instrument cluster is a three-dial unit with a MID screen displaying distance to empty, real-time fuel economy and overall fuel efficiency of the MPV.
The overall quality on the Renault Lodgy is good to use and also gets salient features including 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, USB, AUX, Bluetooth connectivity, 12V sockets, roof mounted AC vents for all three rows, automatic climate control and also small storage spaces all around to store everything from bottles, tickets to loose change.
You also get additional features like lane changing indicator function, rear-parking camera with guidelines and parking sensors that is a must for a vehicle of this size. What you do miss out on is a dead pedal, which would be needed on long journeys.
Coming to the main purpose of this people mover, the Renault Lodgy is available in 7 or 8-seater options based on the captain type or bench type middle row seats you opt for.
The seats have been upholstered in a dual-tone colour theme with diamond pattern stitching for that extremely premium look to the cabin.
The seats are extremely comfortable with adequate cushioning and good back and thigh support.
The second row also gets tray tables with cup holders that are a nice touch while both the captain seats and bench type seats get individual arm rests, which are surprisingly not available for the front seats.
With the tall design, headroom is hardly a problem while the legroom too is sufficient across all three rows. Coming to the third row though, the space offered can easily accommodate two average-sized adults; three might be a squeeze.
Mounted a bit too low, the third row does not offer under thigh support but comes with all the essentials otherwise seen in the first two rows.
The several foldable options on the Lodgy put it to good use. The second and third-row seats are completely foldable and can also split into 60:40 (second row) and 50:50 (third row) configurations.
In fact, the last row can be completely removed in a bid to maximise interior space for those cargo hauling days. With all the seats intact, the Lodgy comes with a boot capacity of 207-litres that can be increased to 1861-litres.
Powering the Renault Lodgy is the tried and tested 1.5-litre four-cylinder dCi diesel engine available in two states of tune – 85 PS and 200 Nm of torque, paired to a 5-speed gearbox as well as 110 PS and 245 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed gearbox.
Impressively refined with stellar NVH levels, the motor offers retractable power while also being fuel-efficient.
You do experience turbo lag under the 2000 RPM mark, but it is in the mid and top range that this gem of an engine performs its best.
With the MPV expected to do highway duties more often, the Lodgy will be a confident mile munching machine right from the word go.
The 110 PS version with the 6-speed gearbox makes for an ideal highway performer with the longer sixth gear bringing the RPM down to 1900 RPM at a speed of 100 km/hr.
In terms of performance, the top-end 110 PS variant does the 0-100 km/hr dash in 12 seconds and has a top speed of 170 km/hr; whereas the 85 PS variant does it in 13.3 seconds and has a top whack of 163 km/hr. In terms of fuel efficiency, the Lodgy boasts of an ARAI claimed figure of 19.8 km/l on the 110 PS trim while the 85 PS trim returns 21.04 km/l.
Based on a monocoque chassis, the Lodgy gets McPherson struts at the front and torsion beam at the rear equipped with anti-roll bars, which aids in high speed stability and also reduces body roll offering more confidence around corners.
The steering feedback is inconsistent though and does not weigh up as desired at high speeds which a big letdown.
In terms of ride quality, the Lodgy is just brilliant and takes up all undulations with ease, also thanks to the 185/65/R15 tyres.
Braking performance is good courtesy of the front discs and drum brakes at the rear while the stopping distance from 80-0 km/hr is 35.26 metres.
The Renault Lodgy offers utility and convenience in a compelling package along with modern exteriors.
With the styling tweaked for the Indian market, not only does the MPV look fresh but comes with a good build quality and well upholstered interiors for that premium appeal.
Moreover, you also get an extremely flexible cabin that can be put to more uses than one can imagine while the driving dynamics hardly feel anything like that of a conventional people mover. The Lodgy has what it takes to be a success in India and become the next best selling model in Renault’s lineup.
What it does need is an equally strong dealer and after sales service network that the company is working upon.