Parkers overall rating: 3.2 out of 5 3.2
  • Dashboard feels solidly built
  • Cheap materials less easy to forgive in 'premium' Stepway
  • Some layout quirks

The Logan MCV Stepway feels like a step back in time when you climb in – and not necessarily in a good way. Firstly, you’ll notice the proliferation of hard, mottled grey plastic. Now, this isn’t a huge complaint in lower-specification models, but the Stepway positions itself as Dacia’s premium offering – and the low quality, rough edges and unpleasant textures of these plastics feel like a cost-cutting step too far.

Another way Dacia achieves its low prices is through the use of old Renault switchgear. Neither company is best-known for the quality of its fittings and it shows in the Sandero. Though nothing feels like it’s going to fall apart, certain items such as the flimsy air vents and loose-fitting indicator stalks aren’t very reassuring. Even at this low price, we’d like a bit more quality.

More to the point, Dacia has proven with the very latest Duster that cheap can be cheerful, so we'd like to see some of that straightforward charm carried over.

A further side effect of using old Renault switchgear is that the layout of controls inside goes from the slightly odd to the downright awkward. The pinnacle of this is the cruise control, which has to be activated by a switch located low down on the dashboard, rather than a steering-wheel button or stalk like nearly every other option.

Though the Logan MCV’s mid-life update did at least move the front window switches to the driver’s armrest, the rear electric windows – where fitted – are also activated low down on the dashboard.

Other cost-cutting measures include identical instrument clusters for petrol and diesel models – so the latter has a huge area of wasted space on the rev counter where the needle will never reach – and a bulky, non-folding ignition key.

Logan MCV Stepway models are only offered in the two most expensive trim levels available – Comfort and Techroad. The latter is as close as Dacia gets to a prestige model, and comes with unique styling touches, really quite pleasant chequered upholstery in a red and black colour scheme that conjures up more than a hint of Volkswagen GTI. Not a comparison one’s ever likely to make again.

Comfort

  • Soaks up bumps exceptionally well
  • Soft, unsupportive seats
  • Deals well with city potholes

The Logan MCV Stepway is quite an odd duck when it comes to comfort. It’s exceptional in some areas and really quite poor in others.

The seats are, unfortunately, dreadful. They’re soft but completely unsupportive, with wide, flat bases that don’t hold you in at all when cornering. They’re also not especially adjustable, while the steering wheel only adjusts for rake and not reach. That means some drivers may struggle to get comfortable.

The suspension’s also rather strange, and whether you find it comfortable or not will depend on your taste. It’s very soft, so it shrugs off speed bumps and potholes with ease.

On the other hand, it’s very roly-poly in corners and tends to wallow over dappled road surfaces. We wouldn’t be surprised if children in the back suffered carsickness as a result.

If you’ve a strong stomach, though, the Logan MCV Stepway’s easy-riding nature makes short work of city driving, as you’ll be able to breeze over the worst road surfaces with impunity.