Just as generous as Renault Duster is known for cabin space, Renault Lodgy MPV too will be soon known, as the MPV adopts a flat design overall to offer maximum room inside.To start with, Renault Lodgy MPV has good road presence and the chrome trims on the regular model add a layer of premium look. There is nothing much to talk about the exteriors, just that Renault has taken a risk of getting the product labelled too boxy, for making the cabin spacious.
Speaking of which, there is hardly any luggage space. A common shortcoming of MPVs in its segment. But leg room in third row is pretty decent and headroom is ample. There is hardly any distance between seat and floor, and there is no way to recline the last row of seats. That makes it uncomfortable for long journey, probably not for kids or pets.
Jumping to the second, one would feel that the seats offer good comfort. Shoulder, Leg and knee room are adequate, but given the lack of slider in second row, the driver and shotgun shouldn’t be very tall for the front seats to not touch the passengers’ knees.
Those who drive or ride up front, will enjoy the nipped and tucked dashboard layout. There are plenty of storage options and the touch and feel of plastics and equipment are appreciable. Another good thing is that back seat occupants would not nag or complain about AC or charging their phones, as both are offered separately for all three rows. But one thing is a bummer at the front, the touchscreen infotainment system has low display brightness, which makes it a hassle to read on a bright day. When the driver is alone, he would have problems using the built-in navigation system which actually works like a charm, because of the dull screen.
Once you move behind the wheel, you’ll notice that the driver seat does not come with a height adjust system, which is a big bummer, considering Renault Lodgy is a car for long distance trips in which case driver needs to be absolutely comfortable.
About comfort, the suspension is slightly on the stiffer side, which has proven to be good for high speed stability and control, but the body roll is not minimal. Ride quality is appreciable and all occupants would not have much to complain about bumps on roads. Ground clearance is high enough to avoid scraping and diving into potholes with ease.
On driving front, the engine in Renault Lodgy is very refined and there is not much diesel clutter sneaking into the cabin. There is good pickup and steady acceleration, and gear ratios of 6-speed transmission system are well optimised to avoid frequent handwork. The fourth gear is a charm, driving the Lodgy steadily from 30 kmph to 150 kmph without any trouble. Thanks to best in class torque rating of 245 Nm @ 1,750 rpm, in the 110 PS max power variant of the 1.5 litre dCi diesel engine. In the 85 PS model, peak torque of 200 Nm is recorded at 1,900 rpm; this version of same engine is mated to 5-speed gearbox.
Both versions offer good drivability in city and highway conditions, complimented by steering system with good feedback. The latter is lighter in low speeds, convenient to manoeuvre in city, and as vehicle speed increases, steering weighs up to help make precise turns. But it isn’t best in class. For long distance trips on highway, although Renault Lodgy comes with cruise control feature, the on/off switch is not ergonomically placed.
Renault Lodgy first impression verdict: Overall, the MPV scores high on functionality and good in looks too. While it may not dethrone the biggest nameplate in the segment, this surely is the way to throw a heavy punch.