MAHINDRA RENAULT’S PRODIGY ISN’T JUST A SHALLOW ALTERNATIVE TO A FIESTA, IT IS MUCH MORE. PHENOMENAL IS WHAT IT IS FOR THE PRICE…
The Mahindra Renault Logan by theory is supposed to take on the likes of the Indigo’s and the Petra’s and give them a real run for their money.But in reality there will be the Verna’s and the Fiesta’s who will be sweating their guts out.Of course there is some real stiff competition in that sense from these new,increasingly fiery,increasingly sophisticated diesels with their nose-up sense of prestige.The Logan of course is the Great White Hope for the mega tie-up between Mahindra and Renault.
An initial glance at the specifications shows you 65bhp from a 1.5-litre diesel which may not be even a scratch on the Verna’s brow,but it does manage to closely match the Fiesta’s 68bhp power output.But the Logan D’s biggest virtue is the fact that you can buy one for Rs 5.5 lakh! Most other diesel saloons which offer near as much space and comfort,except for may be the Indigo,cost almost an additional Rs 2 lakh.
The Logan’s wide stance makes it look like a stubby nononsense vehicle,more like a hardworking middle class man rather than a flamboyant design in motion.The interiors are functional and all controls are ergonomically placed except for the bonnet release lever,which is still on the passenger side.There are a couple of strange details:the tacho surprisingly has no redline and the driver’s seat height-adjust needs you to get off the seat for the seat to adjust.
The diesel hearted Logan seems agile and sprightly in motion.It feels nippy for the moderate 65bhp that it produces.It responds well to throttle demands and the evenly spread torque band, peaking at 160Nm,means overtaking is not a problem.The clutch and gearbox are light,with enough feel,and the brakes do a reasonable job although a bit more bite would make them nicer.The engine is quite refined,although it does get a little rough as you close in on the 4,000 plus rpm redline.But then again it is the Logan D in question,not a supercharged drag racer.With the floor mat sorted and the accelerator going all the way to the floor the Logan certainly moved with much more enthusiasm.
Seating comfort is also quite good with very sculpted front seats at the front and a wide rear bench at the back. Under-thigh support however could have been better at the rear to make longer drives more comfortable. Spec for spec and number for number,the Logan might not be much of a match for the executive saloons.But there’s one little detail,the Logan D starts at Rs 5.47 lakh (ex-showroom,Mumbai),and goes up to Rs 6.43 lakh for the top-end model,and it changes absolutely everything.That price is INSANE.
This is car-you-need territory.It isn’t exactly an aspirational object,it isn’t meant to be.Aspirational objects do not make numbers,but cars like the Logan do - and that is the basis of the Mahindra-Renault venture of course.This is a family car for people on a budget,not a teenybopper-mobile.There’s an engaging honesty about it:you know it’s a low-cost car and will function accordingly.The other end of the stick is the Indigo,which wants to be a limo but is a cheap,unsorted car that sells on price and space.Now the Logan starts to grow on you.And doesn’t stop.It takes little more than a short drive to convince you that the Logan is brilliant at everything it does.
Sometimes we auto hacks can get our heads up our own backsides.We yap on too much about the things that we like, things like a zillion bhp,F1-like cornering ability,and some more bhp.And you don’t always need that.Even stuff like ‘perceived’quality is just fluff - if the car doesn’t fall apart,it’s good quality,never mind how soft the dash plastics are.
And the height adjust and the tacho without a redline - it’s cool that you get them at all at the price.The dash is clear and practical.The design may look plain,but it makes for a vast rear seat,with bus-like windows. It isn’t bad to drive.For one,it rides well.Correction.It rides incredibly well.The Mumbai-Nasik highway isn’t velvet,and the Logan deals with potholes without any complaints. It handles competently too;there’s a hint of body roll,but nothing to complain about.It’s stable at high speeds,and doesn’t skitter on the now-choppy Expressway.And it’s efficient:19kpl is an astonishing figure for a saloon this big. At the price,you can’t even expect a better car.
India is an eccentric market.Talented cars don’t always succeed,but well-judged ones do.India’s list of requirements is simple,and the Logan covers most of them:
A) Make it inexpensive.(Yes)
B) Make it efficient.(Yes)
C) Make it spacious.(Yes)
D) Give it a good ride.(Yes)
E) Give it a flexible engine so it works well in traffic. (Yes)
F) Give it a big boot.(Yes)
G) Make it tough.(Yes)
NB: We have said inexpensive,not cheap,because the two things aren’t the same.The Logan doesn’t cost much to buy, but it doesn’t cut corners.It doesn’t give you anything you don’t need,but as transport,it’s next to flawless.
(Courtesy :- Times Drive, The Timers of India)