Inflation. Recession. Cost of living. All words guaranteed to have you looking out for a bargain if you’re on the hunt for a pre-owned tow car.
Let’s face it, plenty more people will be searching for one these days. And a brand likely to pop up frequently in search results when you’re looking for ‘budget tow car’ will be Dacia.
The Logan MCV is a prime example of Dacia doing what it does best – namely, providing simple, practical and worthy transport for an absurdly low price.
And that was when the car was new. Now it’s been on the used market for a decade or so, there are plenty of lightly used, cheaply priced examples out there.
- Our caravan towing tips guide offers the advice you need to help you enjoy a safe and comfortable experience on the road.
What’s it like inside?
You can carry yourself and four others, and that’s it. However, the good news is that everyone will have a fair amount of space. Yes, if the rear-seat passengers are particularly tall, they might find their knees hitting the backs of the front seats, but that’s only if those seats have been moved far back. There’s plenty of shoulder space for two adults (three would have to be on fairly convivial terms), although three kids would have no problem.
The boot space will always be a consideration when we’re looking for the best tow car. In the Dacia, the boot is a good size, too, offering 573 litres when the rear seats are in use, and 1518 litres when they’re folded down. There’s a step in the boot floor when the seats are down, but the low loading height makes sliding in large items pretty easy anyway.
Entry-level ‘Access’ trim is best avoided, because it came with pretty much nothing. For example, there isn’t even an audio system, just the wiring for one. A far better option is the mid-spec ‘Ambiance’, with central locking, Bluetooth, CD/radio, and electrically powered front windows.
If you want to shell out a bit more, the ‘Laureate’ trim is for you, because it adds alloy wheels, air conditioning, electrically adjustable (and heated) door mirrors, cruise control and electrically operated rear windows.
How does a Dacia Logan MCV drive?
The Dacia Logan MCV was initially offered with a couple of petrol engines – a 73bhp 1.2-litre engine which gives the car the verve of a glacier, and an 89bhp 0.9-litre turbo that’s much more enthusiastic.
However, if you tow regularly, the 1.5dCi diesel that arrived a few months down the line is the way to go. It’s strong enough for towing duties and makes the car feel quite relaxed on long motorway trips.
And the motorway is where this car feels most at home, mainly because it means you don’t have to change gear too often; the shift is notchy and imprecise.
The Logan’s suspension has been set up for comfort, too, which works on the motorway. The downside is that the body tends to bob, float, pitch, roll and sway on twisty roads – and sometimes all at the same time. The steering is light, which will help when you’re parking.
The towing limit of 1150kg falls to 810kg if the car is loaded to its full Gross Vehicle Weight, which reduces your options to very small caravans. Still, it’s stable when towing.
The Dacia Logan MCV is cheap, and you get what you pay for. So while it provides plenty of space, it isn’t particularly good to live with or to drive. And its towing capacity will restrict it to smaller vans only.
- Take a look at our round up of the best small tow cars for more lightweight towing inspiration.
What will it tow?
- Kerbweight 1165kg
- Towing limit 1150kg
- Noseweight limit 75kg
- 85% match 990kg
- Insurance group 11
- Annual VED £0
- Average economy 74.3mpg
- Interim/full service £90/£125
- Servicing prices by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262,
The Logan MCV might be cheap, but it certainly isn’t fragile, because it has been subject to precisely zero recalls throughout its life. That’s the benefit of Dacia using simple, proven Renault mechanical bits.
This also means that if you are taking a look at the Logan MCV as a possible next family vehicle and tow car, you can concentrate solely on the condition of the vehicle in front of you, and the comprehensiveness of the paperwork that comes with it.
What to pay
- High: Price: £9500; Model: 2017 1.5dCi Ambiance; Miles: 14,265
- Sweet spot: Price: £6795; Model: 2015 1.5dCi Ambiance; Miles 39,670
- Low: Price: £2995; Model: 2017 1.5dCi Ambiance; Miles: 162,000
Alternatives to the Dacia Logan MCV
Ford Focus Estate
If you enjoy driving, the Focus Estate handles neatly, steers accurately and is perfectly happy on motorways. The controls are light enough to make town trips comparatively effortless, too. The 123bhp 0.9-litre EcoBoost engine is strong. The Ford’s isn’t the biggest boot, but it has a wide, rectangular load bay with a low lip.
See our review of the 2019 Ford Focus Estate
Škoda Octavia Estate
The term ‘all-rounder’ can signify ‘mediocre’, but not here. The Škoda is good at pretty much everything. It’s big enough for five to feel comfortable, and they’ll be able to bring along all their luggage.
There’s a vast range of engines, but the 2.0-litre diesel is the best option; it’s strong, smooth and has a pretty light thirst.
See our review of the 2017 Škoda Octavia Estate
Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
The Vauxhall may not live up to the ‘Sports’ part of its name, but it offers space, comfort, plenty of kit, value for money and a keen driving experience. The boot is a good size (bigger than that of the Insignia Sports Tourer), with underfloor storage for valuable items. The seats fold flat, too. It’s comfortable, if a tiny bit dull when on the move.
See our review of the 2016 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
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