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Old 9th April 2015, 10:12   #1
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Default Renault Lodgy : Official Review

The Renault Lodgy has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 8.19 - 11.79 Lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• An all-rounded & practical 7 seater MPV. 3rd seat row is usable too
• Priced between the Ertiga & Innova. Top variant is ~Rs. 4 lakh cheaper than the Toyota
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction
• 109 BHP diesel is fast, refined & fuel-efficient. 84 BHP variant has superb driveability
• Outstanding ride quality. Comfortable over any kind of road
Car-like to drive. Balanced handling and dynamics
• Features: Touchscreen ICE, cruise control, navigation, adjustable lumbar support etc.
• Boot space of 207 - 1,861 liters. Innumerable passenger : cargo combinations possible

What you won’t:

• Limited 2nd row legroom. This seat lacks the fore & aft adjustment of its competitors
• 109 BHP diesel suffers from turbo-lag below 1,800 rpm
• Boxy, unappealing styling (especially the rear end)
• Low 3rd-row seat means you sit with your knees pointing upward
• 185/65 R15 tyres are too small for a people carrier. Same tyre size as the Swift!
• Renault's service network isn't a patch on that of Maruti or Toyota
• Owners of the mechanically-identical Duster have reported the occasional niggles

This review has been jointly compiled with Vid6639. Thanks to him for the expert observations!

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2015 at 16:31.
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Default re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Renault might not have a name in passenger cars, but the Duster has built its brand among SUVs. Other than the Duster however, Renault has really sold nothing in India. Its line of hatchbacks & sedans have flopped in our market. The company must be hoping that some of the Duster magic rubs off on the Lodgy. After all, the French do know a thing or two about MPVs. Remember the Espace? It was quite a gamechanger in the 80's.

The MPV market has vast potential too. There are currently only two players with sizeable volumes in the 7-seater segment...the overpriced & popular Innova (sales average for Mar '14 to Feb '15 = 5009/month) & Ertiga (sales average for Mar '14 to Feb '15 = 5269/month). Everyone else has to fight over the crumbs. Sure, the crude Bolero is king of the hill, albeit it's a very old vehicle which appeals to an entirely different type of customer. MPV buyers might be brand conscious, but they're also very sensitive to the value proposition on offer. Take a look at the Mobilio's unimpressive sales - Honda overpriced it and its sales have been in an unstoppable downward spiral. With the Quanto at one end and the humongous Innova at the other, the MPV market has something for everybody. Renault hopes to crash the party with a 'one size fits all' MPV. The Lodgy is bigger than the Ertiga & Mobilio, but smaller than the Innova. The French need a follow-up act to the Duster and are going to market the Lodgy aggressively. Wherever we went, cab drivers were excited at seeing the Lodgy, as were the folk at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet where we'd stopped.

Renault Lodgy : Official Review-renault-lodgy-specifications-pricing.png

Sold as a 'Dacia' (not Renault) in Europe, the Lodgy is a monocoque design. Where the Mahindra and Toyota offerings have a ladder-on-frame construction, Renault, Maruti and Honda choose modern car-based monocoque designs. These monocoque MUVs are much lighter than their body-on-frame counterparts, and incredibly car-like to drive as well. That said, they aren't as tough as traditional ladder frame UVs, especially in load carrying or abusive rough-road applications. The monocoques target not only the people-mover segment, but also potential sedan customers who might be drawn by the extra row of seats.

Launched internationally in 2012, the Lodgy is based on a stretched Duster / Logan platform. At 4,498 mm in length, it's 183 mm longer than its SUV sibling, and the largest of the monocoque offerings in the market. The Lodgy's bigger size lends it a certain amount of street presence. Importantly, its wheelbase is 60 mm longer than the Innova's, despite the overall vehicle length being shorter by 87 mm. Due to the monocoque construction, it is also a whopping 300+ kilos lighter than the Toyota.

The Lodgy's stance is totally MPV'ish. The long wheelbase & higher roofline make it rather boxy. No, she isn't going to win any beauty contests, and I must add that some of the typical French quirkiness is present too. That said, it'll be unfair to call the Lodgy an ugly duckling. Renault has incorporated various styling elements which make it an acceptable vehicle to look at. The Ertiga & Mobilio definitely wear more appealing clothes, yet the Lodgy isn't as bad as say, the Xylo. Just wish the Lodgy was equipped with the Duster's 16" rims. These 15" wheels look way too small for all that body bulk above them. We'll cover the rest of the design details via the pictures below.

Renault Lodgy : Official Review-renault-lodgy-features.png

The paint quality is good. Panel gaps are consistent for the most part, although they are wider than I would like in certain areas. The build quality feels superior to the Duster. As an example, the doors feel heavier, and not hollow like the earlier Dusters. There's no comparison to the light & flimsy Mobilio - the Lodgy feels more substantial. In terms of robustness, the Lodgy shares its platform with the Logan / Duster and has proven underpinnings. Hence, I'm reasonably certain that it will perform as a workhorse. After all, there are thousands of satisfied Logan taxi owners who have driven 200,000 kms (& counting) on their steeds.

Under the hood is the familiar 1.5L K9K diesel engine that powers a wide range of Renault & Nissan cars in India. Just like the Duster, there are two variants of the diesel - an 84 BHP version & the more powerful 109 BHP motor (the latter gets a 6-speed transmission). There isn't any petrol engine in the pipeline, which is surprising as the fuel's price gap from diesel has narrowed down. Let's not forget that, while body-on-frame UVs don't sell with a petrol engine, lighter monocoque petrol MPVs enjoy a certain following. If you desire a refined petrol, you'll have to visit the Maruti or Honda showrooms instead.

Neutral front-end design. The Renault Lodgy is branded as a Dacia in Europe:

Side profile shows off the Lodgy's long wheelbase:

Boxy rear is a turn-off. Generous amounts of chrome slapped on. Notice the hexagonal rear windscreen:

In comparison, the front view is neutral. Its styling won’t win any beauty pageants, but won't offend anyone either:

Rear is dominated by the uniquely-shaped, large tail lamps:

Lengthwise, it is longer than the Ertiga and boxier too:

Side-by-side with chief competitor, the Toyota Innova. The Lodgy's wheelbase is longer than the Innova's, even though the overall length of the vehicle is shorter:

Simple headlamp design. The regular bulb at the top is actually a 'daytime running light' which remains active at all times (when the car is on):

Oodles of chrome at the front, just how Indians love it:

Chrome grill looks neat! It has a distinctive design:

Intercooler and radiator are visible through the front air dam:

Foglamps do a good job of illuminating the area ahead. Notice the thick chrome surround:

Deep purple colour is very close to black; gives a premium feel to the car. Notice the concave bonnet design:

Windscreen washers are located on the bonnet. They should have been concealed:

Wiper fluid reservoir cap is visible even from the outside. In fact, it's even possible to open the cap from here!

185/65 R15 tyres are too small for all that body bulk. The Duster's 215/65 R16 size would have been more suitable. The boring alloy wheel design reminds me of the Civic's:

Wheel wells get partial plastic cladding & a coating which most likely helps with NVH levels:

Old school flap-type door handles and the 90's style separate keyhole don’t belong to a 2015 car:

ORVMs don’t get integrated turn indicators. The blinkers are on the front fenders instead:

Doors get chrome strips with plastic protective moulding below:

We found the 174 mm of ground clearance to be adequate, but didn't get a chance to test the Lodgy with a full load of passengers onboard. Therefore, we'll leave final verdict to our ownership reports:

Check out the roof rails. Ribbed roof for additional rigidity to the structure:

Uniquely-shaped, large tail lamps bulge out; susceptible to biker’s grazing them:

Plastic bumper line extends halfway to the wheel arch on one side, and tail lamp on the other. This is a massive bumper!!

The lower part of the bumper (front and back) is in black to contain the visual bulk. 3 rear parking sensors. No sensors on the side/edges of the vehicle though:

We drove the top RxZ variant:

LODGY badging on the thick chrome garnish (just like the Duster). Above that is the antique, press-type boot release + keyhole:

Reversing camera is well-concealed under the chrome strip:

Awkward rear washer sticks out like a sore thumb. It is prone to damage:

Steel spare wheel located under the body. Notice how it is protected from the exhaust can's heat:

The rear air-con's drip pipe is below the front seats. Don't be alarmed when you see a puddle of water below:

Heavy-duty engine & sump guard. Not plastic - it's a full-fledged metal plate:

Brake & fuel lines aren't exposed. They are protected in a metal casing:

In white. Beefed up wheel arch more visible in this colour:

Roof-mounted antenna is super long. For such a tall vehicle, it's easy for the antenna to get stuck. The antenna does have a hinge for folding it down:

Additional pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Better overall quality than the Duster:

Clearly function over form here. Rear is typical MPV:

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2015 at 16:36. Reason: Adding feature sheet
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Default re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

The high roofline, big doors & low floor height mean you simply walk into the Lodgy. Ingress & egress are effortless. Senior citizens will appreciate the fact that they don't have to 'climb into' the vehicle.

The first thing you notice from the driver's seat is the space. The cabin is big & there's no jostling for elbowroom either. Headroom is generous, thanks to the tall roof. The light coloured interiors & large glass area enhance the feeling of roominess, making the cabin seem bigger than it actually is! The interior colour combination is safe, but not everyone will like the use of brown. The touches of piano black (center console) & dull silver (steering) play their part in improving the ambience at the front.

If you've been inside a Duster, the dashboard will seem familiar, even though it is a new unit. Obviously, a lot of parts have been lifted from the Duster's parts bin. Some examples: it's the same steering wheel as the Duster AWD (Lodgy uses light brown instead of black) and the same gear lever (again in light brown instead of black). The air-con control knobs & vents with chrome surround are a simple cut-copy-paste job. In terms of design, the interiors are inclined toward function rather than form. The styling is definitely superior to the Duster's, yet there is no “wow” factor here.

In terms of quality too, the Lodgy feels a little more upmarket than the Duster. The dashboard plastics are better, as is the door trim. Even the insulating rubber beading - from the A to C Pillars - has been beefed up. It's a definite step up from its SUV sibling. Make no mistake though, this isn't a premium interior. Part quality is good in some areas, acceptable in most and poor in some (although not as poor as the Duster's rough edges). Interior quality is liveable, but it's not an area you'll brag about. If you are cross-shopping with equivalently priced sedans (like the Verna or City), there is no comparison with the Lodgy. This cabin has an abundance of hard & shiny plastics everywhere. Few parts feel like a million bucks, and you simply can't compare the quality to what you get in a VW Vento or Hyundai Verna. As two examples, the switchgear is economy-grade and the 7,000 rpm rev-counter doesn't even have a redline! Why is there a 7,000 rpm meter in a diesel? Because it's shared with the Duster petrol.

The front seats offer excellent support and are comfy! Our test car's leather upholstery had just the right compound; not too soft nor too hard. Unlike the Duster's cheap leather, the Lodgy's material feels plush & durable. In particular, the diamond-like stitching pattern on the seats is sweet. The driver sits tall and has a healthy view of the road ahead. Frontal & lateral visibility are superb. The A-Pillars aren't overly thick either. The ORVMs have good coverage, but the IRVM is too small! Rearward visibility is typical MPV stuff and you'll need those parking sensors & reversing camera when backing up. The driver's seat gets height adjustment. Unfortunately, you only get two settings - too low or too high! If you want to increase the seat height, you have to get off and pull on the bare metal lever (no plastic cladding provided). It's quite a rudimentary procedure! Of course, you can lower the height while being seated. Short drivers will surely need this height-adjustment feature. The front seat's fore & aft adjustment range is long enough to accommodate the shorter as well as taller drivers. The driver's chair gets adjustable lumbar support as well. The setting is progressive and provides you with adequate lower back support.

The steering gets tilt adjustment only (reach is fixed). The hornpad is XL-sized and makes honking easier. Good thing that it doesn't require much pressure. Right on the steering are buttons for the cruise control (only). There's a 'speed limiter' function which works above 30 kph. Can be useful if you want to restrict the top speed of the vehicle, especially if someone else is driving. I'm going to go against the tide by saying I actually liked the placement of the audio controls (behind the steering, to the right). Drive the Lodgy for a while and you'll agree that the audio controls are intuitive to use. This arrangement minimises clutter on the steering wheel itself. The simple instrument console is legible & easy to read. No temperature gauge though. You do get a full feature MID displaying the average speed, fuel efficiency, distance to empty and uniquely, liters used on the trip.

The driver armrest is big & how! Tall drivers will like using it. However, for short drivers, it's an ergonomic failure. Short drivers will obviously move their seat in the front. As a result, the armrest will interfere with their left hand when shifting gears. Even those of a medium height will prefer to fold the armrest away & not use it at all. Further, the front passenger doesn't get an armrest (even the 2nd row captain seats have armrests). You can bet your wife will be displeased with being the odd one out. On a related note, all 4 doors offer a comfortable place to rest your forearms on the move. Back to the driver, the clutch pedal position is awkward since your toe will keep hitting the steering column. The pedal's smaller size doesn't help much either, and the A-B-C pedals are placed quite close to one another. There's no dead pedal...placing your left foot in the available space will be tricky if you have a large shoe size. On the positive side, it's nice to see that the ORVM adjustment switch is back where it belongs - on the right side of the dashboard. The Renault Duster has it inconveniently placed below the handbrake!

The Lodgy's air-conditioner is effective. It's up to the task of keeping the cabin cool under a hot sun. There's also a proper roof-mounted rear air-con with a cooling coil, and vents for 2nd & 3rd row passengers. On hot days, they'll need that air-con singing. In fact, due to the large cabin, the driver might prefer to start the rear air-con even when there's no one behind. It'll help in keeping the cabin temperature lower. As good as the air-conditioner is, 'climate control' is sorely missed. Lodgy owners would naturally expect the feature after spending a million rupees.

The center console is neat and houses the excellent multimedia-navigation 7-inch touchscreen. This is a proper branded unit (LG), not the cheap double-din stuff we've seen in other recently launched cars. The splash screen no longer has 'LG' on it, you'll see the 'Renault' brand flashing instead. No CD player or SD card slot, but you do get the usual contemporary inputs (Bluetooth, USB, AUX). It paired comfortably with my smartphone and yes, you can stream music from your phone. Sound quality is acceptable, I'll give it a 6/10 for audio performance. The front speakers are adequate. The rear speakers however are smaller & weaker. This is among the better OEM head-units out there and the touchscreen is reasonably responsive to operate. The navigation system is intuitive too. Engage reverse gear and the head-unit doubles up as a display for the reversing camera. There are audible parking sensors as well. You'll need these aids when parking, especially if your Lodgy is loaded with passengers.

Storage areas are sufficient at the front. On top of the dashboard is a big, covered storage compartment. On the other hand, the illuminated glovebox is on the smaller side, but there is an open cubicle provided right above it. Ahead of the gearlever are two small cup-holders and a rectangular cavity to park your smartphone. The door pockets are medium sized and can hold water bottles. Rear passengers get door pockets, along with two nifty seatback pockets. You don't have to worry about depleting smartphone batteries in the Lodgy; each of the 3 seat rows is equipped with a 12v charging socket.

Steering wheel lifted from the Duster AWD. Dull silver brings character to an otherwise boring wheel. Large hornpad:

Only buttons you'll find on the steering are those for cruise control. The only other MPV with this feature is the Tata Aria:

Audio controls are behind the steering wheel like other Renaults. They're actually very convenient to access once you get used to them. Notice the wiper stalk above (MID's toggle button is placed on its edge):

Budget quality stalks. European orientation = headlight control on the left:

Basic instrument cluster with chrome rings. The rev counter is marked till a very optimistic 7000 rpm. No redline marking either. Why? Because it's shared with the Duster petrol. Check out the cruise control on the right. No temperature gauge here:

The Lodgy has a 'speed limiter' function whereby you can specify the maximum speed. The MID offers information on fuel used on this trip, average fuel consumption, instantaneous fuel consumption, distance to empty counter, distance travelled since the last trip, average speed & exterior temperature:

Gearshift quality is smooth enough, although some notchiness is evident. Where the short-geared Innova is noisy on the highway, the Lodgy's 6th gear makes for relaxed cruising:

Leather seats offer good support. Driver gets an armrest, front passenger doesn't:

Adjustable lumbar support too. All the better for the long drives this MPV will be taking:

Cheap seat height adjuster. No plastic cladding for it (similar to the Duster). You have to get off the seat to move it up!

Dual-tone quilted leather upholstery is of good quality. Superior to the budget leather we saw in the Duster:

The seatbelts are adjustable for height:

Doorpads get leather inserts & chrome (yes, more chrome) levers:

Driver's window gets auto-down functionality. No 'auto' marking, like in other cars:

The front door bins can hold a 1 liter bottle:

Additional beading on the doors positively affects NVH levels. These significantly reduce wind noise which was a gripe on the Duster:

Renault has really gone all out on improving the NVH levels:

Yikes! That's one primitive headlight level adjuster:

ORVM controller located in a more logical position (Duster has it below the handbrake). Small cubby area beneath:

No dead pedal here, and not much room for large shoes either. Clutch pedal is too small. Notice the weird contours in the foot well (behind the pedals):

Unlike the Logan, the bonnet opening lever is on the "right" side:

Steering wheel offers tilt adjustment, but nothing for reach:

Big & covered storage compartment above the dash. Seen here is a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for size reference:

Piano black finish with chrome highlights on the center console:

While the chrome looks good, it can be a major distraction while driving at noon. As this picture illustrates, the reflection of the sun can be blinding for the driver:

Central lock / unlock button and seatbelt reminder located between these air-vents. Air-vents can be adjusted any way you like, and closed too:

Touchscreen headunit - made by LG - is among the better OEM head-units. Bluetooth, USB & AUX (no CD player or SD card). Touchscreen is nice to use. I'll give the sound quality a 6/10 rating:

The Lodgy also offers satellite navigation with 3 years of free map updates:

Shows the number of satellites it's locked onto:

What's close by:

No climate control in such an expensive car! Basic air-con control knobs even on the top variant. That said, the air-conditioner is very effective. Look below and you'll see the weirdly placed cruise control and speed limiter button:

Tiny cupholders for European cappuccinos, not American Starbucks. 12V socket and a nifty cubby area ahead:

No storage space between the front seats:

Open storage space above the glovebox:

The glovebox itself is small. Has dedicated slots to hold the owner's manual, parking tickets etc.

Glovebox is illuminated. OBD port inside:

Single cabin light for front occupants; Bluetooth mic next to it:

Visibility through the rear windscreen is typical MPV'ish, and you need to be careful while parking due to the thick D-Pillars:

What you will need is this. Reverse camera display has a good resolution. How many cars allow you to adjust the display's brightness & contrast? Additionally, audible warnings are provided by the parking sensors. No, the guidelines don't move with steering input:

ORVMs offer good visibility (unlike the small IRVM):

Massive sunvisors do a great job of blocking sunlight glare. Some drivers might find them blocking visibility significantly, as the gap between the sunvisor & steering is only a few inches. Oddly, the ticket holder is placed on the left, along with a vanity mirror. Nothing for the driver:

Fusebox is located on the left side of the dashboard, behind a clip-on door:

A view of the rear air-con unit from the front. We looked inside those flaps (on either side) with a torch, but couldn't figure out their purpose. Perhaps, an access point of sorts?

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2015 at 16:37. Reason: Overtly > overly. Editing after reported post.
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Old 9th April 2015, 10:13   #4
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Default re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

The Middle Row of Seats

Rear ingress & egress aren't particularly easy. Yes, the doors are big & the floor low, thus you can walk into the Lodgy (no climbing like in the Innova). However, the problem arises due to the limited gap between the B-Pillar and the seat itself; it is cramped and if you wear plus size shoes, you'll need to twist your legs to get inside or out. BHPians will remember us reporting this problem with the Duster too (link to image).

The Lodgy offers two options for the middle row: A bench seat (8-seater variant) or captain seats (7-seater variant). In an effort to carve out space for 3rd row passengers, Renault has bolted the middle row seat in its place...a bit too forward!! Translated, you can't slide / adjust it front & back. This is a shocking omission as the middle row will surely be used more frequently than the last row. End of the day, why not give sliding seats here and let the actual passengers choose how they want to split the room up (between the 2nd & 3rd rows)? Why should middle-row passengers get compromised legroom when the last row is empty? This is the single biggest disadvantage of the Lodgy. Chief competitors - the Innova, Ertiga, Mobilio - all offer a sliding middle-row for the greater flexibility it provides.

Because the captain seats are fixed, legroom is mediocre. Tall passengers will definitely find it to be limited. The problem is compounded if there is a tall occupant on the front seat. To put things into perspective, legroom is comparable to an i20 / EcoSport. The Innova is in a different league altogether, offering significantly superior space when the 2nd-row is pushed behind. Lodgy owners would do well in looking for seat sliders in the aftermarket. It shouldn't be too difficult to implement.

Other than that limitation, it's all good news. Things are airy in here due to the big windows (note: they roll down fully). The cabin's width is good and if you opt for the bench seat variant, 3 can be seated in relative comfort. Renault measurements indicate that the Lodgy has the same rear shoulder width as the Innova @ 1,422 mm (Ertiga is far behind at 1,342 mm). No problems in the headroom area either. What elevates comfort levels is the adjustable backrest angle of the seats (captain & bench seats, both get it). You can set the seat to a lazy recline angle and chill. The planted ride quality will also keep rear passengers happy.

The 7-seater Lodgy has quilted pattern leather seats on its top spec model (8-seater available only with fabric seats). Both the captain seats get individual armrests that are a comfortable spot to rest your arms on. The seating is noticeably higher than the front; as a result, you get a good view of the happenings ahead. In the captain seat variant, middle-row passengers have fold-out food trays with cupholders. These cupholders might be useful, but considering the state of our roads, the food trays are best used when the car is stationary. Plus, there is a safety concern = the food trays could puncture your stomach area / chest in an accident. They're best folded away on the move.

The roof-mounted air-con is competent and keeps the cabin's rear half cool. If any passenger so wishes, he can shut off his individual air-vent. As mentioned earlier, there's a 12v charging point for your smartphone. In terms of storage, middle-row passengers get door pockets & useful seatback pockets. Within the door pockets, water bottles can be placed lying down.

The big rear door. Nice place to rest your arm on the move. While the side of the doorpad (in beige) has a leather insert, the base where you rest your arms doesn't:

Door bin for storage. Can easily swallow a 1 liter bottle horizontally:

Narrow area between the B-Pillar and seat, just like in the Duster. Will be a hindrance for passengers with larger feet during ingress & egress. I had to twist my foot every time:

Wide rear bench (8-seater variant) can seat 3 adults fairly comfortably (in terms of shoulder room). Limited middle-row legroom is the main disadvantage of the Lodgy. Don't miss the Fiesta & EcoSport style neck restraints that come down & over the seat:

The 8-seater gets fabric upholstery (no leather):

70:30 split rear seats can recline to a very relaxed position. Notice the armrest with integrated cup-holders:

Middle row has a flat floor making it comfortable for the 5th passenger. Thankfully, the rear air-con vents are roof-mounted (unlike the protruding floor-mounted unit of the Duster):

The 7-seater variant with comfy captain seats. Each seat gets an individual armrest. Notice the small foldable food tray with a drink holder. A little force makes it fold downwards:

Ignore the smile on Moderator Vid6639's face. The middle row isn't the place you want to be if you are a 6-footer (in this image, even the front seat has been set up for a tall passenger). In the interest of third row legroom, Renault has sacrificed that of the middle row. It's similar to a hatchback really. What's worse, the middle row doesn't slide fore & aft (all direct competitors offer a sliding middle row):

The minimum and maximum legroom. As you can see, minimum legroom is poor. The maximum legroom might look good, but it results in the driver's seat being unusable:

Middle row seats are placed much higher than the front row. This allows you to see over the front seats. No claustrophobia, but I found it a bit strange initially (especially with a short driver ahead):

Rear windows are huge. Makes the cabin's rear bright & airy:

Surprisingly, the massive rear windows roll all the way down:

Rear A/C with 4 fan speeds:

Both front seats get useful seatback pockets:

Handbrake console houses a bottle holder (500 ml) and 12V power socket:

Neat! The middle row gets 3 individual map lights:

A slot to secure the seatbelt buckle. Every time I got out from the last row, the belt buckle would get stuck in the door, and the door wouldn't close. After using the belt, it doesn't retract as much as it should:

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2015 at 16:41.
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Default re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

The 3rd Row of Seats

The middle row in both - the 7 & 8-seater variants - can be tumbled for access to the 3rd row. Getting to the last row is easier than in the Innova (7-seater) which requires you to contort your way behind. Renault wanted to maximize the available space on the 3rd row and it shows. Even a 6-footer like me was able to sit there. That said, the seats are on the lower side and you sit in a crouched position with your knees facing the sky. Because of the low seat, headroom isn't a concern. Renault claims that the Lodgy has 62 mm more kneeroom than an Innova, and 34 mm more headroom. Thigh support is lacking, still this seat is definitely useable. Its width is such that 3 kids can fit on it; there's even a lap belt for the middle passenger. 3rd row occupants in the Lodgy get 2 air-con vents, a 12V charging port as well as a cupholder + storage cubby hole on either side. The glass area lets sufficient light in, no claustrophobia here. Of course, as is the case with all MPVs, 3rd row passengers will experience more vertical movement (than the 1st & 2nd rows), due to their seat being at the tail end of the vehicle.

The Boot

The boot gives you 207 liters of space with the third row upright. That is 93 liters lesser than the Innova and 16 liters lesser than the Mobilio. The Ertiga trails far behind at 135 liters. You can fit a fairly large suitcase with all 3 rows in place (it's a squeeze though). The loading height is low, so it's easy to lift baggage in. The 3rd row has a 50:50 split, but only for the backrest (not the seatbase). The seat bottom is a single piece and it restricts luggage if you have only one passenger on the 3rd row. This is similar to the Ertiga and Mobilio; the Innova has an edge again, as you can fold one side up and lift it out of the way (example). With the 3rd row tumbled, you get 589 liters of cargo space in the Lodgy.

When you want to move house, the Lodgy is the perfect goods carrier. You can unlock the third row seat and completely remove it to use the full boot area. The seat is heavy, so it's more like a 2 man job. Even putting it back in isn't as easy since you need to align the clamps correctly. Remove the third row seat and you get 759 liters of cargo room.

The middle-row seat gets a 70:30 split, providing yet another passenger : cargo combination. Tumbling the 2nd row seat away results in a whopping 1,861 liters of boot space. Place a mattress and you can accommodate a double bed for camping! The spare wheel is located underneath the MPV. Surprisingly, the jack & tools are exposed and clamped onto the side. Other UVs have them neatly concealed.

A view from the third row showing the length of the cabin:

Second row tumbles forward for access to the third row. Easier ingress to the last row than the Innova. In the Toyota, the captain seats don't tumble; instead, they only slide forward:

This lever is all that's needed to recline the 2nd row, or tumble it forward:

Still, getting in and out of the third row isn't for the elderly. It's manageable by the younger amongst us:

The third row is wide, more so than the Innova too. Renault claims that it can seat 3. Possible if they aren't well-fed adults. 3 kids are an easy fit, as is an adult with two kids. Notice how 3 seatbelts are provided, along with 2 adjustable neck restraints:

Check out the legroom - it's adequate. However, the seat is placed low, so under-thigh support is nil. You sit in a knees-up position:

You can get maximum legroom in the Lodgy by folding the middle row away. Stretch those legs!

Air-con vents for the third row too. They can be shut if a passenger so wishes:

The rearmost reading lamps:

Both sides get a cup-holder as well as a small cubby hole. The left side also gets a charging port, making it a total of 3 power sockets in the Lodgy (one for each row of seats):

Rear quarter glass is fairly wide and doesn't make third row passengers feel claustrophobic:

Third row also gets a neat clip to secure the seatbelt:

Warning label: Third row passengers need to keep their feet out of the way when the middle row is being dropped back in its place:

207 liters of boot space with all 3 rows in place. The Innova offers ~50% more at 300 liters. Can hold a check-in size suitcase. See the pockets behind each seat? They house the straps you'll use to secure the seat when tumbled away:

That's a proper international travel size suitcase. There's still room on the side for a handbag. Yes, the boot hatch closed easily:

Pull the red latches to unlock the third row seats:

Third row gets a 50:50 split for the backrest only. Since the base is a single piece, you can't fold one side away completely like in the Innova:

What you can do is tumble away the entire 3rd row seat for 589 liters of cargo space:

Remove the seat and keep it at home if there are only 4 - 5 adults travelling. This gives you 759 liters of boot volume:

You can tumble away one of the captain seats...

...or both of them for a whopping 1,861 liters! Enough for moving a house or…

...taking a break from exhausting Team-BHP review drives. Put in a mattress and you get a full size bed!

The boot lid gets partial plastic cladding in the center. It goes up about 90 degrees:

Shockingly, the jack & tools are exposed & clamped onto the side pillar. Other UVs have these neatly concealed:

Last edited by GTO : 10th April 2015 at 10:19. Reason: As per reported post
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Default re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Familiar 1.5L K9K diesel is a cosy fit in this engine bay. Seen here is the 109 BHP variant. Doesn't get the engine cover of the Duster (image link). Lots of differences in the plumbing & the way that the ancillaries are arranged:

Just like the Duster, the Renault Lodgy offers you two diesel engine options. Both the variants have the same 1.5L engine, but they're running different states of tune. The 84 BHP diesel uses a fixed geometry turbo, while the higher powered 109 BHP diesel gets a variable geometry unit. This 'K9K' engine is used across a wide variety of Renault-Nissan products, right from the Micra & Pulse hatchbacks to the Fluence sedan. With a single overhead camshaft & 2 valves / cylinder, it's an old school motor...nowhere as contemporary as the Ertiga's 1.3L diesel or the Mobilio's 1.5L i-DTEC. Nevertheless, the K9K engine is an acknowledged workhorse known for its durability and high fuel efficiency. Additionally, the power output makes the Lodgy 109 BHP the fastest MPV in its class.

We test drove the Lodgy with 109 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 245 Nm of torque (1,750 rpm). The 84 BHP diesel wasn't available at the media drive. It is identical to the Duster 85 PS which we have driven earlier. You can read our review of the 84 BHP engine at this link.

Fire her up and the first thing you notice is how quiet the engine is. On a cold start, there is still some clatter on the outside, but inside the cabin, it's all muted. The double beading on the doors does a good job and you'll be hard-pressed to tell that it's a diesel. Renault has put in hard work on the Lodgy's NVH and it shows. At highway speeds, the Lodgy is significantly more refined than the noisy Innova. Overall engine refinement is top class.

Press the accelerator & the response you'll get initially is underwhelming. From a standstill, the Lodgy is a slow starter, with the turbo lag ever present, just like the Duster 109 BHP FWD. It might be recollected that the Duster AWD has minimal turbo-lag and a shorter lot of initial gears; we are surprised that hasn't been chosen for the Lodgy. After all, with a full load of 7 - 8 people onboard, shorter gearing & lesser turbo-lag are the need of the hour. The Lodgy has significant turbo-lag at low rpms. Only once the rev needle crosses 1,800 rpm will you see some action. Keep the Lodgy in the powerband and all is well. But when you are driving in the city, the lag will catch you out. Slow speed commuting in 2nd gear? You'll have to frequently downshift to 1st & bring the engine into turbo zone. The Lodgy's 2nd gear, in particular, feels weak. With a houseful of passengers onboard, the turbo-lag will feel more pronounced. The same inclines that the Innova easily climbs in 2nd gear will see a Lodgy driver engaging 1st. With time, you can get used to the lag and learn to drive around it, albeit it is unquestionably annoying. The Innova & lower-spec Lodgy 84 BHP are much friendlier in the city with their immensely luggable motors.

On the open road is where the engine shines. The Lodgy is easily the class-topping MPV in terms of highway performance. The 0 - 100 kph time of 12 odd seconds makes it significantly quicker than the Innova which is about 5 seconds behind! There is simply no competition here. Keep the engine on the boil and the 109 BHP Lodgy will reward you with brisk performance. When the turbo kicks in, you feel a mild boost and the engine accelerates clean thereafter. 3rd gear is a vital tool on single lane highways, and overtaking other traffic is effortless due to the punchy mid-range power delivery. Of course, before overtaking, make sure you are above 2,000 rpm . In the higher gears, anything below that isn't going to help at all due to the turbo-lag. This 1.5L diesel feels best between 2,000 - 4,000 rpm, after which there isn't much progress. The engine will rev to 5,000 rpm when required, but you'll do well by upshifting at 4,000 rpm tops.

The Lodgy 109 BHP gets a 6-speed manual gearbox that makes for relaxed expressway cruising. 100 kph in 6th gear has the Lodgy lazily munching miles with a barely audible engine note. Even wind noise is controlled, and you can be forgiven for thinking you are in a higher segment car. This is a crucial benefit over the short-geared 5-speed Innova which is too noisy & too busy on the highway. The Lodgy is so silent that you can effortless have conversations at 100 km/h!

The Lodgy's ARAI rating is 19.98 kmpl. That is far higher than the Innova (12.99 kmpl), but lower than the Mobilio (24.2 kmpl) & Ertiga (20.77 kpl). This 1.5L diesel has built a reputation around its terrific fuel economy and owners won't find any reason to complain in this respect.

The clutch is soft for a big diesel MPV. What makes it awkward to use is the pedal's small size. The gearshift is smooth enough, even if it has a slightly notchy side to it. All gears slot true and sharp.

Renault has hit the sweet spot with the suspension's ride & handling balance. Just like we saw in the Duster, the Lodgy's ride quality is truly stellar. In fact, it's so good that we were deliberately finding potholes (plenty in Bengaluru, let me assure you) to drive over. We tried all kinds = sharp ones which make your teeth rattle, deep ones which make you hit the roof and the never-ending ones which shake you to the bone. But....none of these things happened - the Lodgy took them all in its stride. This Renault flattens bad roads like few cars costing <40 lakhs do. It wasn't just the 'soaking' long travel ability that leaves an impression, but even the sharp bump absorbing capability amazed us. The Lodgy rivals the Safari when it comes to ride quality, and that too with small 15" tyres. The Innova, Xylo, Ertiga & Mobilio? Naah, they don't have a chance. This is indisputably the plushest riding MPV in India. Another strength of this suspension is that it doesn't make a noise when doing its work. There are no unnecessary clunks & thuds heard on the inside. The hardware is similar to the Duster 2WD. Where the Duster AWD has a superior independent suspension all-round, the Lodgy has a cheaper torsion beam rear.

What's more impressive is how they have managed to get this level of ride comfort without compromising on handling. Yes, that's the other ace up the Lodgy's sleeve. Unlike the RWD Innova, the Renault Lodgy has a front-wheel-drive (FWD) layout. This, along with the monocoque body construction, makes the Lodgy very car-like to drive. The steering is light enough in the city. At highway speeds, it weighs up adequately. Taking a fast sweeping corner on the expressway, hitting the concrete gap hard? No problem. Melting tar has created undulations? No problem. Keep her within the limit and the Lodgy will handle everything. That said, it is a tall design, so pushing it aggressively can cause a jiggle at the rear and bring some body roll (not excessive though). There is definitely some top heaviness felt at speed, yet for an MPV, the handling is good. Its dynamics are very safe & predictable, while straight line stability is par for the course. There is a fly in the ointment though = cross wind susceptibility. Gusting winds are its Achilles' heel and you need to make corrections on the steering wheel. This is also a problem when overtaking fast moving heavy vehicles like those Volvo buses. You have to grip the steering firmly as the Lodgy doesn't feel surefooted when you move in & out of the slipstream. All said and done, I would give the Lodgy a high rating when it comes to on-road behaviour. As competent as the suspension is though, the 185 mm tyre size is too puny for a large MPV that will be loaded with 7 - 8 passengers (even the small Maruti Swift Z variant has the same size!). Think about it, with 7 onboard, that's ~1,900 kilos of weight on those puny tyres. We strongly recommend an upsize to more suitable rubber.

Its 5.55 meter turning radius is a little wider than the Innova & Mobilio diesels (both 5.4m), and noticeably more than the Ertiga (5.2m). Expect some more 3-point turns than the Maruti. We found the 174 mm of ground clearance to be enough for rural roads. That's in the same ballpark as the Innova (176 mm). Surprisingly, the smaller MPVs have a higher rating here (Mobilio = 189, Ertiga = 185). The Lodgy has the longest wheelbase in its class, hence there are valid concerns over whether 174 mm is sufficient. Whatever roads we drove on, we faced no problem. However, we didn't test the Lodgy with a full load of 7 - 8 onboard, and will therefore leave final verdict in this area to our ownership reports.

Braking is standard fare. The brakes have adequate stopping power, with the ABS doing a good job. Just like the handling, the overall braking is safe & predictable.

Bonnet gets a gas strut:

You can barely see the road below, thanks to the sump guard:

Renault-Nissan badged Exide battery:

ECU sits behind the battery:

Notice the heavily insulated firewall! Renault has beefed up the sound insulation to achieve low NVH levels:

More damping under the hood:

Peculiar location of the windshield washer reservoir. Even with the bonnet closed, you can see the cap. It's easy to flick:

The recommended rear tyre pressure of 42 PSI seems rather high. 5 rows on this chart, yet the tyre pressures are the same across all of them. Could've kept it simple, no?

The 6th gear, sorted dynamics & superb ride quality make the Lodgy an able long-distance cruiser:

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2015 at 16:43.
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Old 9th April 2015, 10:13   #7
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Other Points:

• In terms of product capability & all-roundedness, this is the first real competitor to the mighty Innova in 10 years! The Ertiga is a size smaller, the Mobilio too cheap, the Evalia too commercial / basic & the Xylo too crude. In the Lodgy, the Innova has met its match. The Aria had a fair chance, but Tata botched up its price & positioning.

• What's with Renault & funny names? The Duster wasn't exactly an appropriate name (Duster = cloth used to dust furniture). The Lodgy isn't the nicest sounding either, is it?

• Standard warranty coverage is for 2 years & 50,000 kms. A 2 year extended warranty is available... and highly recommended. You'll remember that the Duster was originally launched with a 4 year standard warranty.

• Renault says that the Lodgy uses the new generation 'CMO 2010' wiring harness (newer CAN bus, more sensors etc.).

• The Lodgy 84 BHP's ARAI rating is 21.04 kmpl. That's 1.06 kmpl higher than the 109 BHP engine. Due to its lack of turbo-lag, there will be no need to unnecessarily rev or slip the clutch. Thus, the real-world difference could be more.

• Fuel tank capacity = 50 liters.

• If the Lodgy goes on to become a success, Renault will completely eclipse its partner, Nissan. Thanks to the Duster, Renault has outsold Nissan ever since the SUV was launched in India.

• Just like the (Dacia) Duster, the Lodgy has also received 3 out of 5 stars in the Euro NCAP tests (link to full report). Can't comment on its safety relative to the Innova, Ertiga, Mobilio, Xylo etc. as none of these competitors have been crash-tested by the NCAP.

• The 2nd generation of this B platform is used for cars like the Micra / Pulse, Sunny / Scala etc. The newer one is called the V platform.

• Renault's Mumbai design studio (link to pics) played its part in 'Indianizing' the Lodgy.

• The Lodgy will be built in Renault-Nissan's factory at Oragadam, Chennai. Since export demand has been a priority of this facility since day 1 of operation, you can expect Lodgy exports to start shortly.

• Simple key is the same as the Duster's (link to image).

• Yep, the doors auto-lock once you start driving. They will also automatically unlock in an accident.

• All windows get 'anti-pinch' protection.

• The navigation system comes with 3 years of free updates. You'll have to pay for the latest maps after that.

• What are the odds of us seeing a Nissan-badged Lodgy? Remember, Renault - as the parent company - will be unwilling to share the Lodgy’s limelight initially. The time gap between the Nissan Terrano & Renault Duster was over a year.

• Our test car had a decent dual-tone horn.

• The blinkers don't make that irritating 'beep beep' sound that the Duster did. Thankfully, it's a regular 'clicking' alert now.

• The bigger size, 3rd row of seats & other changes make the Lodgy 163 kilos heavier than the Duster 110 PS.

• Like most European cars, the Lodgy has an 'emergency brake warning' feature. Meaning, the brake light flashes under heavy braking.

Disclaimer: Renault invited Team-BHP for the Lodgy test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

• Hrithik Roshan is apparently the first Lodgy owner in India. He won't fit in the middle row, I can tell you that!

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2015 at 16:43.
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Lodgy versus Innova Face-Off

Renault Lodgy : Official Review-renaultlodgyvstoyotainnovacompared.jpg

Renault Lodgy : Official Review-renault-lodgy-vs-toyota-innova.png

Last edited by GTO : 9th April 2015 at 13:07.
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Default re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Chief Competitors of the Renault Lodgy

Toyota Innova

What you'll like:

• Indestructible build & durability. The Innova is known for its bullet-proof reliability
• Spacious, flexible interiors. An extremely comfortable long distance commuter
• Segment-best interior fit, finish & quality. Superior to the Xylo, Evalia etc.
• Diesel engine has excellent driveability on tap
• Balanced handling & road manners. Car-like to drive
• Toyota’s fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales

What you won't:
• Price just goes up, up, up with time! Direct competitors are substantially cheaper
• Garish front grille design! The earlier (2012) facelift was far more pleasing to the eyes
• Noisy diesel engine, especially over 110 kph / 3,000 rpm
• Gearing too short for highway runs. Taller 5th gear (or a 6th) would've been preferred
• Service interval of merely 5,000 kms (diesel variant). Inconvenient for those with heavy usage
• The same generation has been around since 2005 in India. Where is the all-new replacement?

Maruti Ertiga

What you’ll like:
• A 7-seater MPV at the price of a C segment sedan. The petrol variant, especially, is very well priced
• Car-like ride, handling & driving experience. Effortless to drive in the city and on highways
• Flexible seating & luggage options. Cargo capacity runs as high as 735 liters
• Competent petrol & diesel engines. The latter offers outstanding fuel economy
• ABS available on all variants, except the base petrol. Bigger brakes than the Swift & Dzire
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales service & wide dealer network

What you won’t:
• Not a spacious 5 seater if you fold down the 3rd seat row for luggage. Limited width for the 2nd row too
• 3rd row is best suited to adults for short trips, or kids over long trips. Not really a full-size 7 seater car
• Minimal 135 liter luggage capacity with all 3 rows of seats in place
• Diesel engine carries a hefty Rs. ~1.3 lakh premium over the petrol. On-road difference is ~1.5 lakh rupees
• Even the top-end ZXi / ZDi variants don't get climate control

Honda Mobilio

What you'll like:
• Great choice of engines. Both - the diesel & petrol - are fast and fuel-efficient
• Suspension offers compliant ride quality & neutral handling. 189 mm of ground clearance is a big plus
• Light controls, slick gearshift and easy maneuverability for the city. Effortless to drive
• 1st & 2nd row of seats have ample leg & headroom. Middle row beats most C2 segment sedans
• 3rd-row access is easier than in the Ertiga. 3rd row fold-down doesn't affect 2nd row space (like the Ertiga)
• Practical 223 liter boot with all seats up. 521 liters of capacity with the last row folded away
• Honda's reliability & fuss-free ownership experiences

What you won't:
• Low 3rd-row seat is best for kids or occasional usage only. This isn't a full time 7-seater
• Noticeably more expensive than the Maruti Ertiga
• The Brio's unconventional dashboard & interior design are too basic for this class of car
• Front styling is identical to its smaller siblings. Face should have been differentiated
• i-DTEC isn't as refined or high-rpm friendly as the Ertiga diesel. Also, overall NVH insulation is poor
• Brio-level cost cutting doesn't work at this price (thin sheet metal, slim seats, uneven shut lines, missing insulation & cladding)
• Many practical features missing (seatbelt height adjustment, adjustable front neck restraints, auto-locking doors, bluetooth connectivity, full MID etc.)

Mahindra Xylo

What you’ll like:

• A 7-seater UV at the price of entry-level sedans
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction. Rough road friendly
• Very spacious! Interior ranks high on practicality
• Diesel engine is fast, torquey & fuel-efficient
• Features include voice control, reverse parking aid, dual front armrests, lumbar adjustment etc.

What you won’t:
• Awkward styling. Design isn't proportionate either
• Bouncy ride quality. Unsettled over any type of surface
• Driving experience marred by excessive body roll and a slow, numb steering
• Lacks the quality & finesse of same-price hatchbacks and sedans
• Mahindra's after-sales service remains a gamble

Tata Aria

What you’ll like:
• Solid body-on-frame construction. Seemingly robust
• Futuristic styling, especially the face. Good street presence
• Spacious 1st & 2nd seat rows. Interior quality a big leap ahead for Tata
• Balanced road behaviour. Strong brakes too
• Premium level of equipment. Many segment firsts, including AWD
• Safety : Traction control, ABS, 6 airbags & all-round disc brakes

What you won't:
• AWD variants are very expensive
• Third row of seats best suited to kids only
• Unsettled ride quality at highway speeds (compared to the Innova)
• Niggling issues & problems persist, as reported by existing Aria owners
• Tata's un-premium after-sales service experiences

Nissan Evalia

What you’ll like:
• Light steering, gearbox and tight turning radius. Easily driveable in the city
• Fuel efficient 1.5L diesel engine is a proven workhorse
• Generous cabin space, very usable 3rd row of seats and a large luggage capacity
• Features include a colour MID, reversing camera, keyless entry/go, 3rd row air-con etc.
• Safety kit : ABS, EBD & BA are standard. 2 airbags on all, except the lowest variant

What you won’t:
• Boxy looks & sliding rear doors give it a commercial van look & feel
• Middle row missing basics like roll-down windows and door armrests
• Small 1.5L engine has mediocre highway performance. Overtaking needs to be carefully planned
• Thin 165/80 R14 tyres are a joke on an MUV of this size
• Nissan's patchy dealer network & service quality

Chevrolet Enjoy

What you'll like:
• A well priced 7-seater MPV
• Compliant low speed ride, matched to neutral on-road behaviour
• 1.3L diesel offers excellent urban driveability and fuel economy
• Compact size & light controls make it easy to drive in the city
• Equipment list includes leather seats, dual-airbags, ABS, EBD, dual air-con, parking sensors etc.

What you won't:
• Not as well-rounded as the Ertiga or Innova. Several loose ends that need tying up
• Uninspired interior design. Ordinary part quality too
• Poor NVH insulation. Refinement levels miss the mark
• Underwhelming 1.4L petrol. Weak low end torque
• Missing essentials (MID, dead pedal, steering-mounted controls, tumble-down 2nd row seats etc.)

Last edited by GTO : 9th April 2015 at 11:48.
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Old 9th April 2015, 13:59   #10
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Default Re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Tanveer & Vidyut, beautiful review of a competent MPV! Thanks for sharing - Rating thread a well-deserved 5 stars. @ Tanveer: Also wish you a very Happy Birthday. Have a fabulous year to come, buddy .

The Lodgy is positioned below the Duster internationally, and it's the same in India. The Duster 84 BHP base variant is nearly 1 lakh more expensive, while the top-end is about 60k. Surprising, as the Lodgy offers you so much more! Improved part quality, a 3rd row of seats, rear air-cons, reversing camera, individual armrest, lower NVH etc. Of course, the Duster has style & that lovely AWD option. The aggressive pricing shows just how much Renault needs the Lodgy to garner volumes.

I'm glad there is finally a worthy alternative to the Innova. That'll teach Toyota a thing or two about insanely increasing the pricing! You're no longer the only trick in town, Toyota. The more the competition, the better things are for us customers.
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Old 9th April 2015, 14:14   #11
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Default Re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Its happening every time now, there's a new launch and the review is up on Team BHP,at the very moment
What an review! Kudos to Team BHP team!
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Old 9th April 2015, 14:14   #12
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Default Re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Great review, Renault should be on a roll although Nissan will be flattened. There are some cheap rough bits to the Lodgy, thats because it was designed and built to a price. The local design folks needed to slap on some chrome and spruce things up to make it a Renault!
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Old 9th April 2015, 14:30   #13
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Default Re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Thank you for that beautiful review. The design is not that bad I would say, though it's boxy it gives a practical people mover look. Really loved the detailing with respect to interior quality.
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Old 9th April 2015, 14:35   #14
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Default Re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Thanks for the wonderful review. I wont get the same satisfaction of reading reviews in other websites as i get reading it here. Very very detailed one. Hats off.
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Old 9th April 2015, 14:43   #15
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Default Re: Renault Lodgy : Official Review

Over all a great package. Had the chance to see the same. Saw the 7 seater version with captain seats. Felt the second row of seats being a bit smaller. But I guess thats inline with the proportions of the car.
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