French car maker Renault is having a good run in India, its Duster SUV is doing extremely well since launch and continues to drive sales northwards. Renault however is aware that to maintain its sales momentum, it needs to keep on introducing new, quality products in the volume segment of the market. One such section it has identified is the people carrier or MPV segment.
Come next year and the company will be launching its Lodgy MPV, which like the Duster was initially a Dacia, but brought to India badged as a Renault with minor tweaks. The Lodgy is a smart looking people mover with huge dimensions. The front gets a big twin-slat chrome grille centered around the Renault logo and flanked on either side by neat, well-designed headlights. The grey finished front bumper is dominated by a large air dam, sporting small round fog lamps at either ends.The side profile is also tastefully done with a subtle shoulder line, swelled wheel arches, plastic door cladding and five-spoke alloys finished in gun metal. The rear design does not look awkward inspite of its upright design. The whole appearance of the car is pleasing to the eye, mostly due to the short overhangs and despite its enormous road presence.
The cabin quality and dashboard layout is likely to be similar to that of the Duster, with three rows of seats designed to carry seven occupants in comfort, with decent storage space. Engine options too from the popular SUV, will be found under the hood of the Lodgy. Both the petrol and diesel units will be borrowed, with the 1.5 liter dCi being available in its 84 and 108 bhp versions. The petrol mill will be a 1.6 liter unit, capable of 103 bhp.
Renault is banking on the practicality and spaciousness of the Lodgy to win over customers. And this is one area where the MPV trumps all others, with a wheelbase of 2810 mm, it is longer even than the popular Toyota Innova and with an expected 249 Nm of torque from its 108 bhp diesel engine will also be more powerful despite an engine displacing one liter less.With a launch expected by March 2015 and an expected asking price starting from 6 lakh rupees, the competition including the likes of Toyota Innova, Maruti Ertiga and Honda Mobilio have all the reasons to feel worried.