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Renault Lodgy long term review, fleet introduction


The Renault Lodgy joins us for the next six months and we'll be taking it places to find out if it's the next big travelling companion for the masses after the Innova

Renault Lodgy front static
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I’ve been driving the Duster AWD for the past five months and had clocked over 14,000km in the very able compact SUV in this time. I was genuinely impressed by its ability to gobble rough roads and make quick times on the highway. I also liked the way it handled but there were a few things I didn’t like and you can read them here. Now it’s gone since over a month and last week Renault replaced it with the Lodgy. I’m compelled to compare the two and find out if I leave aside the offroad bits, is it a better package overall.

In the past few days, I’ve barely driven the Lodgy but right away, the Lodgy seems to offer so much more for the price than the Duster. It’s obviously got seven seats with this captain seats variant in the middle row. It’s technically six since you will not be able to seat three in the third row. It’s still an extra passenger for a roadtrip over the Duster. Add leather seats, a rear parking camera, auto up/down windows for the driver and about Rs 1.7 lakh cheaper than the AWD, and Rs 60,000 cheaper than the 2WD RxZ and the Lodgy makes a lot more sense for a passenger car with the same mechanicals for someone who will confine it to road use. 

The gearing is better and more suited to city use. The lower gears are longer and the engine too is tuned to develop torque a lot sooner than the Duster. This essentially ensures that with a full load of six/seven passengers and luggage, the Lodgy gets off the block without much fuss. It will lose the upper midrange punch on the highway however I presume. We’ll get to that in the next report. 

What don’t I like? Firstly, the styling. Head on, it looks nice, but every other angle saps out its desirability. Secondly, the heavy clutch. It’s heavier than the Duster and a bit jumpy. And lastly it’s the poor quality JK tyres and the small and narrow profile. For this size of car, 15 inch 185mm wide rubber just doesn’t cut it. The chassis and steering work so well so a good set of tyres can make the Lodgy a much better handling package.

Logbook

Date Acquired: August 20, 2015

Starting Km: 790km

Cheers: Equipment, comfort, space, ride quality 

Sneers: Heavy clutch, tyres

Total Cost: Nil

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