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Old 15th April 2007, 16:01   #1
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Thumbs down The new logan 1.5 DCI DLS - test driven

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 changes.
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 again.
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 is.
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.

finally some snaps: (sorry got only two!)



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Old 15th April 2007, 16:06   #2
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! u r one lucky chap! this is the 3rd review of yours I am reading within 2 weeks!

great job
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Old 15th April 2007, 16:11   #3
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Agree with most of your points...

The Diesel is the best bet among the Logans. The mileage of petrols is more in the range of 7-8kmpl. The diesel scores on fuel efficiency managing 14kmpl and 19kmpl city and highway respectively. Its not out and out fast but has good tractability.

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Old 15th April 2007, 16:21   #4
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Nice one geeksrik!

Quote:
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,
This "may" make it a cropper. When its competitors are claiming something like 30kmpl, they should have done better.. In "claiming" I mean!

The console is a good, no, nice addition. Maybe something for others to look into.

P.S.- It was supposed to be a cheap car. But it looks that it has become a "cheap" car that is almost as pricey as a verna or a fiesta....
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Old 15th April 2007, 16:24   #5
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Quote:
This "may" make it a cropper. When its competitors are claiming something like 30kmpl, they should have done better.. In "claiming" I mean!
Haha they can't get too optimistic you see, when it actually returns about 7-8kmpl.

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Old 15th April 2007, 16:29   #6
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I see few logans out here.. but i dont think they are diesel versions...
I swear after reading ur review I wudnt go any where near that car...
Cool review... thanx
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Old 15th April 2007, 17:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekSrik View Post
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.
How can one buy it when you can get the Verna for 8.0 ish on road Banglore.
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Old 15th April 2007, 17:28   #8
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They have to do better to do Tata.
On the quality front Tata and Mahindra are looked at with same glasses, so unless logan does things better than indigo significantly it wont cut it.
Tata was the king of cost cutting, but looks like Mahindra wants to do a one up!
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Old 15th April 2007, 19:23   #9
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the fiesta TDCi costs 8L onroad the EXi model. Whats the price of the DLE model. I'm guessing that will be the one in demand.
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Old 15th April 2007, 19:32   #10
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Quote:
the accelerator is slightly more lower than brake in terms of height.
Thats done intentionally. For drivers who perform "heel n toe" braking, this can make a big difference. When you press the brake pedal, your foot should be inline with the acc. This makes it easier for the driver to slide his foot onto the acc and blip the throttle while braking.

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Old 15th April 2007, 19:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
Thats done intentionally. For drivers who perform "heel n toe" braking, this can make a big difference. When you press the brake pedal, your foot should be inline with the acc. This makes it easier for the driver to slide his foot onto the acc and blip the throttle while braking.
Yes, because the 1.5 DCI Logan with some 65 bhp is designed expressly for heel-toe braking. The new king of the Twin Ring...
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Old 15th April 2007, 19:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter View Post
Haha they can't get too optimistic you see, when it actually returns about 7-8kmpl.

Drifter
And how did you come to that conclusion? Have you heard it from someone else? And is that mileage for the 1.4 or 1.6 ?
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Old 15th April 2007, 19:56   #13
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Quote:
Yes, because the 1.5 DCI Logan with some 65 bhp is designed expressly for heel-toe braking. The new king of the Twin Ring...
Heel n toe braking is not limited to powerful cars. You can do it on any car with the right pedal setup. I do it on our Vtec, Innova and Wagon R.

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Old 15th April 2007, 20:01   #14
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Quote:
And how did you come to that conclusion? Have you heard it from someone else? And is that mileage for the 1.4 or 1.6 ?
Have tested these vehicles extensively for over a thousand kilometres. Interestingly the 1.4 was less fuel efficient that the 1.6. Too much weight and too little power seems to have had its toll. Both the 1.4 and 1.6 give in the region of 7-8kmpl in Mumbai traffic.

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Last edited by drifter : 15th April 2007 at 20:02.
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Old 15th April 2007, 20:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter View Post
Have tested these vehicles extensively for over a thousand kilometres. Interestingly the 1.4 was less fuel efficient that the 1.6. Too much weight and too little power seems to have had its toll. Both the 1.4 and 1.6 give in the region of 7-8kmpl in Mumbai traffic.

Drifter
Wow, someone I know wanted a review on the Logan before taking the plunge.And by review, I mean a review on the fuel efficiency.And you are probably right on the theory of 1.6 being more fuel efficient than the 1.4.My Palio 1.6 has been much more fuel efficient than my Palio 1.2.

But I think to be fair to the 1.6 Logan,the way the traffic situation is in Mumbai, most 1.6 petrol enigines return between 8-10 kmpl, except maybe the Baleno.
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