Dacia Jogger Hybrid adds extra zip to this affordable seven-seater

BUDGET motoring specialist Dacia has entered the world of hybrid motoring with a new electricity-enhanced version of its Jogger MPV.

Having already dipped its toes in the EV water with its funky looking all-electric Spring city car – on sale in Europe but not yet available in Britain and Ireland, where it's expected to become the cheapest EV on the market – the new Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140 is the Renault-owned Romanian car-maker's first ever pure hybrid electric model.

Priced from £22,595 (the standard petrol Jogger starts at £17,145), the Jogger Hybrid combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine borrowed from the Renault Clio with the twin electric power plants used in the Renault Captur E-tech – one 49hp motor and one high-voltage starter generator – a multi-mode automatic transmission with re-gen braking setting and a small 1.2kWh 230V battery which comes with an eight year/100k mile warranty.

The biggest complaint about the standard Jogger is its anaemic three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine, which makes just 108bhp with 150lb ft of torque and thus can struggle when under fully-laden seven-seater load.

On paper, the larger 1.6-litre engine with extra hybrid gubbins only gains you an extra 30bhp and a measly 1lb ft more torque, but you will definitely feel the benefit of it when you put your foot down to overtake. Accelerating from 0-62mph takes 10.1 seconds, which is over a second quicker than the standard Jogger with a six-speed manual gearbox, and it is capable of driving at up to 43mph under electric-only power.

Emissions-wise, the Jogger Hybrid offers up to 56.5mpg combined (WLTP) – around 7mpg more than the 1.0-litre petrol version – with maximum Co2 emissions of 112g/km, compared to 130g/km for the pure internal combustion-powered car.

As with the standard Jogger, the Hybrid version can be configured to transport up to seven passengers (Dacia claim the split-folding seats offer 60 different seating arrangements – though I wonder has anyone ever been bored enough to actually check their sums?) and apparently the added electrified elements of the drivetrain are tucked away in the engine compartment and under the floor so as not to intrude on interior space.

The Jogger Hybrid is available in two trim levels, Expression and Extreme SE. The Expression features Dacia's faux-alloy Flex wheels and comes loaded with a respectable amount of equipment, including automatic air conditioning, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera, automatic headlights and wipers, blind spot warning, keyless entry, heated and electrically-adjustable door mirrors, an eight-inch touchscreen media display and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Pony up £23,395 for the Extreme SE and you'll get Extreme SE-specific upholstery with red stitching, heated front seats, Extreme SE floor mats and boot tray, tilting rear quarter glass, fold-down seat-mounted trays for second-row passengers and an upgraded touchscreen media system with navigation, an additional USB port and six speakers.

As the name suggests, the Extreme SE is also a more rugged, sporty looking car courtesy of blacked out 16-inch alloy wheels and other black exterior trim elements including black door mirrors, black shark-fin antenna, protective door strips and contrasting front and rear skid plates.

Dacia claim that the only option available on the Jogger Hybrid is metallic paint at £650 – which you'll definitely be paying, unless you really want a plain white one (Shadow Grey and Terracotta look best, I reckon) – but there are some 'accessories' available at extra cost. Three, in fact: front door sills (£70, with embossed silver 'Jogger' logos), front illuminated door sills (£175 with light-up 'Jogger' logos) and a black rear roof spoiler (£185).

This means the very top-of-the-range with all the extras Jogger Hybrid you can buy will still set you back less than £25k. While that's a chunk more change than you'll spend on the petrol-only version, you will know where your extra money has gone whenever you need to use the right-hand lane – and, indeed, when you fill up at the pump.

Hopefully, a pure hybrid version of the Duster is also on the way, along with the long-awaited Spring, but in the meantime the Jogger Hybrid is available to order now for delivery in the second half of 2023.