A brief review of meeting with the new generation of the legendary model. Downgrade?! Does anyone really thought that aggression against Ukraine will be free of charge for him personally? So the necessity to "look for financially affordable" cars instead "choose the best" two years ago - it is only one of the price components.
Today we have MY2014 Symbol, basic grade, gasoline 1.2, manual transmission.
Model. The second generation of Renault / Dacia Logan created by Renault Design Central Europe and presented in 2012. Production of models under the names Logan (II) and Symbol (III) deployed in Romania, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Morocco, Algeria. Differences between the markets are mainly in the powertrains types and trim levels. The common base with new Logan shared wagon MCV / Break, hatchback Sandero and "lifted-up" hatchback Sandero Stepway.
Versions from Dacia have different optics and related body panels, as well as some details of the interior.
Exterior. The new design made the car looks more solid and "expensive" than old Logan. Car now stylistically corresponds to other model in Renault lineup. And finally small Renault sedan looks harmonious. Fortunately, the developers did not follow trends to low down the body, so visibility and comfort was not affected. Among the external elements can be chided in the door handles, hood hinges and the lower part of the front bumper.
Interior. New architecture also corresponds to standards of the current decade. Plastic quality - at expected low-end level. Seat fabric upholstery texture is acceptable and resistant to contamination. But unreal to clean the fleecy floor cover.
In our grade interior is monochrome black, but higher trim levels with more pleasant two tone finish are available.
Salon. Entry and exit are comfort and secure because of the high roof and wide doorways. Seats quite soft, overhead space is enough (hereinafter - for 6'1" height). As usual, lacking "command position", but seats are set not so low. Driver's position, as in the past, tied to the controls and is not comfortable, the steering wheel have only tilt adjusting within a small range, seat in low grade is not equipped with a lift, armrest is absent, longitudinal adjustment is sufficient... - in general, do not fit for long journeys, but for everyday driving (without long hours of traffic jams) will do. Space at rear is enough even beyond the driver's seat, and especially beyond the right chair.
Trunk. Visually impressive deep cave (510 litres), but a substantial part of the volume occupied by hefty loops and springs ("four wheels test" not passed), threshold and loading height is rather high. The rear seat backs are fixed in basic grade, but in the next one can be fold 2:3. Trunk lid have not trim, can be open by outside button only and opens too "aggressively".
Visibility. Due to the lack of design "improvings" visibility is generally good, the glasses square is not small, the excess thickness of the roof rack is not felt. Outside mirrors are too small, internal traditionally inefficient without panoramic. Caution is required for the large dead zone beyond the stern.
Meters. Combination meter does not look primitive and some dislike only French "odd" digitization (70-90-110). Coolant temperature gauge is lack (although it is clear that in all modern cars this device works nominally - with the pointer frozen in "normal warmed up" position the actual temperature can change within 30C). But totally inappropriate behavior of fuel gauge is really annoying. Positive - trip-computer with control button at the end of combination switch stick, sound reminders of lighting and open door, econolights (to switch gears up and down).
Climate. In simple grade the controls of air conditioner looks unsightly, but system struggling with the heat rather efficiently. The top grade is equipped by really automatic climate control.
A significant drawback and deterioration beside to the first Logan - the inability to close or at least to fully deflect the central air vents so that the thoracic area of the driver do not receive a part of the icy air stream.
Tellingly, in Dacia Logan II more practical deflectors remain.
Supplemental Restraint System. Driver and passenger frontal airbags are available, top grade have also side airbags.
Lighting. Low beam is at least disappointing - lights shine somewhere under front bumper. High beam allows to monitor the road and roadside, but its permanent usage is bad for karma. So we can only praise the unpretentious daytime running lights.
Media. The basic grade is equipped with CD / MP3 player with USB-port and remote control on the steering column (noting reasonable fixed position of control - on the column, but not on the rotating steering wheel hub). Of course, we could find more positive words, if the car was equipped with Media-Nav.
Electrical. "Basic pack" questioned the vital necessity in electric rear windows and mirrors, but irrelevant in the summer heaters would be useful in Russia. Central locking with remote control - good. Finally, the normal horn switch on the steering wheel pad - good. Combination switch - the force and clarity of switching is poor. At higher grades some options are added - cruise control, speed limiter, heating windshield (for rus), parktronic...
Paint and bodywork. Ordinary cheap enamel, sensitive to even light touch. During his short but active life vehicle was obtained with a lot of deep chips, but no rust appeared. With regard to metal thickness - at least the chips did not accompanied by severe dents, which often occurs on "body foil" of some modern Japanese cars.
Wheels and tyres. Wheels purely practical - narrow, with a normal profile (185/65R15), with a steel disks. About to the properties of tyres (Continental)... here the resistant to the sharp stones on the earth roads is essential than behavior on wet and slippery surfaces.
Engine. Older D4F, with a modest 75 hp and depressing 107 Nm. In russian specification it corresponds to basic 1.6 8V (but with a higher torque). No interesting features and advanced systems are in the engine, maximum torque at relatively high speeds, but at times engine "pulls" from low revs without detonation and jerks. The reliability and service life? - good reputation of Renault budget motors is well known. In our case, we only note active oil "sweating" and notorious rpm fluctuations at warming up (as seen inherent not only to russian-assembled cars).
In Europe, for the new Logan family Logan actively promoted turbocharged 3-cylinder, here - the diesels are popular, in Russia - offered a choice between the two versions of older 1.6.
Fuel efficiency. Many car owners have a false stereotype - "smaller engine is more efficient". Maybe - if it works only at idle, but in reality for natural aspirated motors all is exactly the opposite. Our test subject in a quiet provincial traffic, without jams and continuous idling, confidently consume up to 10 liters of RON95 (note, that using high-octane gasoline is mandatory even for rus-market versions).
And, speaking about Logan and fuel, we must once again to mention the brand folly with inconvenient fuel cap opened with a key.
Brake system. The security systems in Europe are not cut even at low grade, so had a complete set of ABS + ESC + TCS + EBA, although with simple rear drum brakes. The brakes are "normal" - rather sensitive and predictable. ABS - just works, ESP has not been tested. But car with manual gearbox sorely demands lacking "Hill Start Assist".
In Russia traditional disregard for safety, allows to produce and sell the versions without ABS even, whereas ESC is chargeable option for highest grade only.
Transmission. Clear that the feebleness of the engine could be compensated only by very short ratio gearbox. First gear - for maneuvering and uphill starting, but the car can starts at 2nd and sometimes at 3rd gear. Even vehicle speed 100 km/h at 5th gear is some noisy due to 3000 rpm. Short transmission forced to make extra gear shifts during maneuvers at crossings and turns. But the reverse gear is not enough short - too noticeable traction difference beside to 1st. Engine braking at lower gears is more than effective. Econolights advices are in his own right, but often not corresponds to the traffic situation a step further.
Lever strokes are real large, selectivity is poor. There are no problems during upshift, but downshift is too hard - not only unpleasant, but also dangerous. Reverse gear have not normal locking, engages with difficulty and often requires clutch dual operation.
The clutch pedal has tremendous stroke and is completely uninformative. On the other hand, clutch forgives the careless and sometimes even humiliating attitude.
At rus-market there are two alternatives - primitive in all respects automated mechanical gearbox (robot) Easy'R for 1.6 8V and nondurable classic AT DP2 for 1.6 16V.
Performance. Due to the gearbox specs, the dynamics in the "permitted" speed range even surpasses expectations and allows not to fall out from relaxed local traffic. But nominal 0-100 in 14.5 sec looks sad at big city, not to mention on the highway. However, the right lane and patience solved the problem of not too far marches.
Suspension. Deservedly considered as the main advantage of Renault cars. The most comfortable in the class and "undestructable". However, not so gentle beside to the old Logan - early perfectly smoothed all roughnesses, but now minor road irregularities are transmitted to the body.
Steering. Despite the hydraulic power steering (not electrical), there is no feeling of "clarity and transparency". Steering efforts are relatively easy (may seem hard even in comparison with the old Japanese cars). But in any case, suspension character and dynamics abilities do not cause the desire to perform any active maneuver.
Off-road. Excellent geometry of the rear overhang is discordant with the front bumper lower part, which forces to pay attention to the road kerb height. At conventional "cross-country" condition in the first place is not enough torque for crawling. For the same reason the car do not like loose sand. Moment of glory for Logan comes at rocky dirt road, where the car goes at full speed passing by premium brands slowly looking for better road.
Reliability. "Proven quality" - since the second generation is built on the same units as the first, then we can assume the absence of critical weaknesses and generic diseases. Our year-old car (but with impressive mileage on the odometer) required only wheel balancing.
Prices. The basic grade is very expensive here - from $14.000 (equipment level between Confort and Privilege grades for rus-market). Warranty - 3 years or 100.000 km. Additional costs - only the optional spare wheel for $100 and insurance for about $100 a year.
But in today's Russia manufacturers still hold phenomenally low prices (in dollar terms, of course) to increase market share - so similar grade cost only $8.700 (basic grades - from $6.500 - not recommended even to watch) and the top one $11.000. However, competitors are not asleep - the most interesting alternative (Kia Rio with AT) also fits in $10.000.
Summary. The car bravely endured the hardships of acquaintance with the author and made a generally positive impressions. Simple. Nice. Suitable for a provincial environment. Obviously without critical problems. Not ideal, but worthy.