Renault Lodgy Stepaway is a successor to the Lodgy MPV. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
The Indian MPV market has a vast array of products, starting right from the Maruti Suzuki Eeco, which is priced close to Rs 3 lakhs to the most sold MPV – Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, which is priced close to Rs 8 Lakhs and popular Toyota Innova which is priced upwards of Rs 15 lakhs. Renault joined the wagon of MPVs by launching the Lodgy Stepway a couple of years ago.
Renault, not too long ago, gave the Lodgy a makeover and named it the Lodgy Stepway, which is strategically slotted right in the middle of the MPV segment of India. We drove the car for more than 1000 kms and jotted 3 reasons why to buy Lodgy Stepway and 3 reasons why not buy the Stepway.
Here’s our 1000 kms impression for the Renault Lodgy Stepway!
Why to buy Renault Lodgy Stepway
Proper 7/8-seater cabin – Being an MPV, the first reason definitely has to be the space and this is what the Lodgy Stepway excels at. The MPV from Renault comes with a proper 7-seater cabin, which comprises of Captain Seats in the second row and a 8-seater cabin with bench type seat in the 2nd row. Then there’s the large glass area and the use of beige and light grey trim to add to the sense of roominess. Unlike some of the budget MPVs, Lodgy has a proper third row seating arrangement for adults. Most of the other MPVs offer third row seating good enough for children only.
Renault Lodgy Stepway gets a rear parcel tray and 3 row seating. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
Refined diesel engine – The second reason to buy Renault Lodgy Stepway should be its ultra-refined diesel engine. It comes with the Renault’s trademark 1.5-litre dCi engine with two states of tunes – one producing 110 bhp and the other one 85 bhp. We drove the 110 bhp model, and there was hardly any diesel clutter, no matter how hard you try to rev. The engine doesn’t feel like stretching too hard, and the 6-speed manual gearbox complements the engine well.
Renault Lodgy Stepway competes with Toyota Innova and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
Affordable Price – The third and most crucial reason to buy Lodgy Stepway is definitely the price. The Lodgy Stepway is priced for Rs 8 lakhs (base version) and goes all the way upto Rs 11.5 lakhs. While that’s pretty less than Innova, it’s almost same as the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. But then, the Lodgy has a full size 3rd row seating and also offers 8 seats, if someone requires more seating capacity in the car. If we analyze carefully, the Lodgy Stepway has a really affordable per seat cost.
Renault Lodgy Stepway jewel studded front grille. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
Why not to buy Renault Lodgy Stepway
Sub-standard Quality – Well, being cost effective means you have to compromise on one thing or the other. Where the Renault Lodgy Stepway compromises is the fit and finish of the materials, including the dashboard, which can be a bit of an issue. Even the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, which is priced a little lower than the Lodgy Stepway, offers a better quality interior. Though, the leather wrapped seats are a delight to sit on.
Renault Lodgy Stepway’s steering mounted audio control stack. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
Lack of Features – The second reason not to buy the Lodgy Stepway could be the lack of equipment in the MPV. Surely there’s a touchscreen system, but it’s not up to the mark and the driver side controls are oddly stacked in a square shaped boxy device below the steering wheels. There’s no auto climate control also. There’s cruise control, though, which is not a useful feature for Indian roads, as you need a constant foot on the brake to avoid any uncalled trouble. There are rear parcel trays, but no passenger side arm rest.
Renault Lodgy Stepway comes with cruise control system. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
Boxy Design – Last is of course the looks of the Renault Lodgy Stepway, which can be a bit of a let down factor for the buyers. Surely it is a big improvement over the previous gen Lodgy, and offers jewel-studded front grille and lots of chrome treatment, but it’s still the same boxy van like design, something that a typical buyer won’t appreciate. And that’s why most of the Lodgy’s buyers are the fleet owners.
Renault Lodgy Stepway comes with a powerful 1.5-litre dCi engine. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
At the end of the day, if you are someone who is looking for a full size MPV and is on a budget – the Renault Lodgy Stepway is a worthy car for you. But if you can’t compromise on quality, has an eye for good design and need a bucket load of features, you might want to check other competitors before making the final decision.