Renault Logan

Logan a value champion

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This road test was first published in Cars in Action March 2009.

In a world where cars are getting more and more sophisticated despite buyers’ finances getting ever tighter, the Renault Logan marks a welcome return to simpler motoring. Envisaged as a robust and reliable but basic car for the masses, the Logan’s value proposition is hard to ignore. 

For a nudge over R100 000, it offers a 1.6-litre that’s almost as big as a Corolla-class car and well specified too. In fact, it’s been ten years since a 1.6-litre Corolla with comparable spec sold at this price level. 

So where’s the catch, you might ask?

Well, we drove a Logan around for a week and couldn’t find any major vices, as long as you’re prepared to live with a car that’s a decade or tow behind when it comes to refinement. And of course, offering nothing in the way of excitement. 
But for the money, we really can’t see much wrong with that.

The Logan is a true blast from the past. Its 8-valve 1.6-litre engine isn’t any more powerful than a modern 1.3 and like a typical old steering column at around 3000rpm. It’s a little noisy too, since sound-deadening material seems to have been skimped on. Overall, performance is acceptable for an entry-level car, but it’s not as quick as you’d expect a 1.6-litre to be. 

The interior is spacious and well appointed – aircon, power steering, remote central locking, electric windows and a CD/MP3 sound system are all standard fitment. It also has a driver-side airbag and ABS, and three-star EuroNCAP credibility – not totally reassuring, but we bet it’s safer than most rivals. 

The interior also feels solid and relatively durable, and there were no creaks or rattles while the car was in motion. But cost cutting is still very evident. The seats, while comfy enough, have nothing in the way of side support and they’re upholstered in the most hideous light-beige material we’ve ever seen – bet your grandmother would even call them fuddy-duddy and they’ll get dirty quicker that a pig in a monsoon. 

The seats are matched by a beige dashboard with ‘plas-teak-wood’ on the centre facia. This is probably the only colour scheme Renault SA can get from the Indian factory that builds it – no one here would have been dumb enough to specify it for our market. 

The Logan’s ergonomics are quite old fashioned too. The ventilation switches, for instance, are placed very low on the dash and quite far from easy reach. They also have a very rudimentary feel to them.

Out on the road, there’s really nothing offensive about how the Logan drives. Its ride quality is decent on most surfaces and the road holding is safe and predictable. Overall it’s an easy car to drive. The gearshift is smooth enough, if you’re not trying to snap change, and the engine produces plenty of torque low-down so you’re not going to be too busy with the gears in any case. 

If comfortable and fuss-free A to B transportation in a family-sized package is what you’re after, then unless you go the used route you’re not going to get better than the Logan for anything near the money. It’s outstanding value — Jason Woosey, Cars in Action magazine March 2009
LEGEND TEST: 2009 Renault Logan 1.6 Expression
Engine: 64kW 128Nm 1698cc petrol I4 
Drive: 6-speed manual FWD
TESTED (December 2016):
0-60km/h           4.72 sec
0-100km/h:                     11.21 sec 
400m:                          17.9 sec @ 131km/h
80-120km/h:                  8.58 sec
120-160km/h                 17.59 sec
Vmax:                       175 km/h
Fuel:                                 7.2/100km
CO2:                                 173 g/km
NEW PRICE 2016:             R107K 
RATED THEN:                    73% 
RATED NOW:                      73% 

Buy me now – R55K at Bob Ric Motors!