Renault Logan Diesel 1.5 DCI, test driven

Original photo credit :

Today I got a call from Vijai Auto Sales in the afternoon for a test
drive of the logan from renault. was a pleasant surprise them calling
people registered with them earlier for a TD, that too on a sunday
afternoon. Since that was the only car left out by me without a TD, me
and my father decided to check it out. We reached the showroom, and a
lady there prompty started off her blabbering about the car in full
tempo. Meanwhile I dediced to check out the car first hand both hands
off and hands on, and here is my report!

I saw and drove a 1.5 diesel DLS (the highest end model) with airbags but no ABS!

Hands off:

1. Looks big, and roomy, colours are boring renault couldve done better.

2. Dashboard is clean and uncluttered, rather straightforward design

3. Renault perhaps would be paying their workers Rs.10000/- per month i
guess even in france, hence the severe cost cutting on the car itself –
the power window switches were my biggest put off. its ****ty in the
front and placed on the dash, to distract the driver or passenger every
now and then and at the back its even more horrible with the power
window switches at the middle passengers foot area. renault, we ll ask
anand mahindra to award you at the next COTY for this “feature”

4. the accelerator is slightly more lower than brake in terms of
height. the clutch is as sensitive (read that hydraulic) as the palio
itself if not more painful. But what i found more disturbing is that
the floor under the clutch area has a raised profile which makes me
uncomfortable in depressing the clutch fully to the floor. This is
perhaps another big put off as most of the time i had to raise my heel
from the floor to depress the clutch fully, and hence missed many gear

5. there is no proper “handle” for the doors to shut them once you are
in, renault seems to have laid off a few workers to put in a feature
where they have moulded the body itself into a handle to save costs

6. remote fuel cap is present, good. no remote boot release – bad boy renault.

7. the beige interiors arent as horrible like in the palio, and is more sober and good to look at.

8. The dash is somewhat usable, but could have been better off like say the swift or other cars.

9. the rear is big and roomy, can seat three adults comfortably (dont
believe those photos on renault website showing three slim girls
sitting at the back, the indian population is of a differnt kind!),
with the middle person keeping his foot on the power window switch,
good now everyone can say “wow power windows – my foot!”

10. nothing more for the rear seat except three headrests – mahindra, good work here.

11. cost cutting again, no remote boot release, so opened the boot with
key only – and almost 2 people can sleep in the boot, great work!

12. ground clearance – 155, horrible, luckily never had to go on a hump
of the size of a skyscapper in bangalore. god only knows whats the
state of the car at this rate!

13. the rear is well, a rear. the lights are like those of the old alto
(non clear ones), and awkwardly positioned. guess mr. ghosn’s son or
daughter decided based on inky pinky ponky where the lights will be.

14. the headlights are ok, nothing contemporary, and there are side indicators as well

15. there are internally adjustible side mirrors and the rear view mirror is small and crampy. i hate them.

16. no tilt steering (you gotta be kidding renault! at that price) but
height adjustible driver seat which only puts you

more deeper in the
car which i found of no real use! i would anyday prefer tilt steering.

17. no fog lamps, if there is fog use the headlamps itself!

Hands on:

there is always a difference in perception between a hands on and
a hands off. so i took the drive to find out about the car more:

1. started the car, super silent diesel, good

2. tried to slot the reverse gear since i had to take it out a bit, but
the clutch issue i pointed out made me miss my gear and frankly thats
very annoying.

3. the power steering is a breeze and i was able to manouvre as i wanted to freely.

4. the engine isnt exactly peppy, but there is no unpardonable lag either. i would say i am satisfied with the engine

5. the a.c is excellent (more on the likes of fiesta) and there is no
noticeable lag in engine performance, which is full marks to renault on
that count. i know how it feels when you are loaded with passengers and
the pickup goes down. this time it was my dad and back seat, driver
(me) and test drive facilitator next to me. still there was no
perceivable lag in performance with ac which is good.

6. first gear doesnt allow me to go much. so slotted into second, here
too i was unable to go much maybe 50-60, then third and fourth. on a
plain stretch of road, i was able to manage 100 on one way, and on the
return about 110-120. the car does not eagerly pickup like swift, but
its not bad either. its a tad bit sedate.

7. at about 110-120 the lateral rocking is high and noticeable as my
dad straightaway told me my palio was better at higher speeds, man fiat
cars do talk for themselves! perhaps renaults cheap materials add to
this sway, but its not confidence inspiring at higher speeds and makes
the car feel like its floating and swaying.

8. the clutch is a bit hard to use, but becuase of the earlier
mentioned problem it feels much more terrible than it actually really

9. the turning radius is good for a big car like logan. and effortless turns too.

10. the brakes arent spot on like swift or palio, but not too bad either, just right.

11. the indicators and wipers are interchanged like in the chevy cars.

12. since the wipers are on the right now, there is a switch at the end
of the wiper handle, upon pressing this switch each time, the dashboard
console displays useful information like distance to empty (ford fiesta
pioneered?), litres left of fuel, balance litres, odometer, etc etc. i
liked the console a lot, other cars can add some cheer to customers
learning from renault. after all we are in the digital age where we
need to be informative! instead of stupid seat belt warning chimes and
door open chimes, these kinds of things are more useful in the longer
run. the console has lot of IQ.

13. driver side airbag is good, but no abs, you gotta be kidding giving
one without the other! but something is better than nothing.

14. mahindra gave me a questionnaire which i prompty filled with negatives and positives for the logan.

the final thought, at 7.6 lacs on the road for logan high end dls
diesel 1.5 would i buy it? – NO. my mind does not permit me to pay 8
lacs for a renault. i d rather buy a honda city or fiesta for the
refinement levels in the respective cars. sorry renault for the obvious
design mistakes, i would not spend so much on your car.

the claimed mileage for petrol is 10 with ac in city, and diesel is 14
(with ac in city ), and 18 on highways. to sum up the logan,

– practical yet unintuitive except for the console

– good engine and space

– too pricey for the many design flaws and cost cuts.

i think it retails in france for 6k euros, at twice the price here, one expects more.