Renault launches Lodgy MPV in India, priced between INR 8.19 - 11.79 Lakhs

Renault’s Indian portfolio might comprise five models ranging from the Pulse hatch to the Koleos SUV but it is only the Duster that sets the cash registers ringing for the French manufacturer. Ignore Duster’s sales and Renault would just be a fringe player in the Indian market with less than 1000 units sold each month. The Lodgy MPV (Multi-purpose Vehicle), launched today with prices ranging from INR 8.19 to 11.79 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi, might change that scenario altogether.

At first glance, the Lodgy appears to have what it takes to replicate the success of Duster in India. Like the Duster, the Lodgy is a Dacia model rebadged for our market. To make it look upmarket, the Lodgy gets some subtle design changes and chrome bits, again similar to the Duster. It is built on the same platform, shares the same robust underpinnings and is powered by the same 1.5-liter K9K diesel engine. Both states of tune, the 85 PS mated to a 5-speed manual and the 110 PS paired to a 6-speed manual transmission, are offered too. What is different from the Duster is the MPV body-style and the all-important additional row of seats. 

Compared to the Dacia-badged model on sale in Europe, the front end of the Lodgy is significantly redesigned for India and looks classy. The hexagonal grille with a healthy dose of chrome is all-new and, we have to admit, appeals instantly. Stretched-back headlights, circular fog lights with chrome surrounds and a large trapezoidal air dam at the bottom are the other highlights up front. Except for the mildly-flared wheel arches and the chrome inserts in rubguards, the profile is devoid of design-enhancing elements and looks bland. The uniquely-shaped taillights with that ‘bulge’ in the middle keep things a bit interesting at the rear as does the upward-sloping kinks in both the bottom edges of the rear windshield. The license plate garnish is a thick bar of chrome in which the ‘Lodgy’ name is inscribed.

The Lodgy, undoubtedly, looks big from the outside and all that visual bulk translates to excellent interior space. When we spied the Lodgy inside out last November, we were impressed with the space on offer and the official pictures of Lodgy’s cabin confirms that impression. The cabin shares most of it’s components with the Duster, with the steering wheel, air-conditioner vents and center console all reminding us of Lodgy’s association with its sibling. Both 7-seater and 8-seater options are available in the top RXZ trim with the former coming with captain seats for the middle row. People-movers like the Lodgy are all about practicality and that’s where this Renault packs a punch in the form of dedicated air-conditioner vents, cup holders  and 12V charging sockets for all three rows. The middle row, in fact, gets foldable plastic trays too. 

Features like Air-conditioning, power steering, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) are standard on all variants while the top-spec RXZ trim has driver and passenger airbags, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear view camera and sensors and a touchscreen-enabled music system with satellite navigation.

MPVs are one of Renault’s biggest fortes back in Europe and the Chennai-based manufacturer would be hoping to build on that legacy in India with the Lodgy. Currently dominated by the high-priced yet top-selling Toyota Innova, the Lodgy has a tough task ahead trying to usurp the leader. Given that Maruti-Suzuki and Honda couldn’t make a dent and Tata failed spectacularly trying to do so, Renault would be having their fingers crossed. We have ours too. Should the Innova be worried or will the Lodgy make its own space like the Ertiga and Mobilio did? We’ll see soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment