What can I say? It was Goa, and it was with India’s Top 40 Bloggers, and well, it was for the Renault Lodgy – India’s best MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) according to auto experts like TopGear, CarWale, Zigwheels and others. Hence the social media frenzy was totally justified, right? Right.
I had spent the entire May planning a Goa-in-Monsoon trip with my sister and brother and husband and I had imagined beach shots I would take of my 3 year old and was browsing colorful beach cover-ups on shopping websites because let’s face it, after the kid I am in no shape to don a bikini. Sigh. I was still planning to Travel in Style, though. Anyway, none of the plans worked. Brother had to intern with a big ass firm, sister planned for Paris instead and the husband had to study. Yeah, you read it right – study. Let’s not even go there.
So. It was June starting and I was beginning to give up on my Goa in monsoon dream when Harish from Blogadda wrote to me about the event and for the first 2 days, I was convinced he was joking because how else was I to justify this? But hey, one of the top rules in Blogging 101 is: Never Question Harish.
And rightly so, because soon I got my tickets: 4 in total. Dehradun to Delhi – Delhi to Goa – Goa to Delhi – Delhi to Dehradun. I also got to try Air Asia after their expansion to few more cities, and it was a good experience.
The husband and I went to the Renault Lodgy website here, and boy, we were impressed! Renault’s success in India has become synonymous with that of Duster, but we felt that The Lodgy is going to change that for them. So both of us were excited about my trip!
My journey started on the 18th June at the Dehradun airport, amidst rains. Monsoon was here!
|Choppy Sea in Monsoons. Clicked at The Leela’s beach.
The next day, at the Delhi airport, I met Manjulika and instantly we went into a never ending conversation complete with giggles and snorts and hysterical laughter – and no one could believe that we haven’t met before! I also met the awesome Rekha Kakkar and together we set out for Goa.
|Air Asia flight from Delhi to Goa
On 20th June, we had breakfast and ventured out of the lobby to get the first glimpse of The Lodgy. And boy, we were stunned! The Lodgy does not have the boxy look that most MPVs have. Instead, it manages to look sharp and pretty smart.
It was auto-love at first site. Let’s face it, when you think MPV, you think of space and utility but you don’t generally think of a design that’s pleasant. MPVs are more often than not, boxy. The Lodgy manages to break free form this stereotype.
|Plenty of leg space. Picture credit: Parteek
Renault has given Lodgy a clean cut with a prominent chrome grille that’s stylish, and reasonably big headlamps that look smart. It has a cool dual-color chin with angled edges, and an angular rear with just the right size of tail amps. Because of carefully designed aspects, the Lodgy looks crisp and sharp.
|Picture credit: Gigidhar, who clicked pictures so awesome that I had to include one for the overall value of this post.
We were to drive from The Leela to The Lalit, a 37km drive amidst the beautiful rain-kissed Goa landscape.
While the Goa Rains continued to pitter-patter around us, we flagged off. Nirav drove The Lodgy nicely, while the rest of us along with Sushma from Blogadda, clued in to the Twitter activities. From finding a frog to clicking a crazy picture – we justified the team name of #LodgicallyCrazy and how! I did drive The Lodgy it for a short time, and my observation are below.
My review of the Renault Lodgy:
- It is a huge car with lots of leg space and three rows of comfortable seating for someone my size
- MPV tend to look boxy and let’s face it, not really sleek or sharp. This is where The Lodgy stands out – it looks sharp and not boxy at all.
- The chrome grille is stylish, and reasonably big headlamps look smart. It has a cool dual-color chin with angled edges, and an angular rear with just the right size of tail amps.
- Space is plenty in Lodgy! Even the third row is comfortable for an average sized person
- While driving it, I noticed that the backrest angle is good and comfortable
- The knee-room is more than adequate, if you’re in the co-driver’s seat or in the second row.
- The third row isn’t as spacious as the second one, but is comfortable for someone my size.
- The interiors are done up artistically with neat layouts and is airy and spacious.
- We drove the top RxZ model for our drive from The Leela to The Lalit, and it has a leather trim for the seats and it looks quite cool
- The dash board of Lodgy is quite similar to the Duster with a similar touchscreen multimedia system, but a reversing camera is an added feature and very helpful for a big car (and for a short driver like me.
- The features are innovative and well thought of. Like the air conditioning is fast and the roof air con for the rear passengers are very practical, at least in the North of India where the heat could practically kill you
- I sat in the second row for the return journey and noticed that the second row sits a bit higher than the front. This gives the second row passengers a slightly elevated view of the front and is hence, very practical. Everyone wants to see what’s going on in the front, yes? Well, I do.
- Phone charging sockets in all three rows is what made me want to shout in glee! My phone is always running out of battery and this was like the Gods of Automotive’s personal sign for me to go buy The Lodgy already!
- The sleek cup holders in all three rows are another minor yet oh-so-practical feature the Lodgy has.
- The indicator is at the left hand side, which is not I am used to, so I took a little time to adjust to that.
- The fuel tank of of 50 liters capacity and the ex-showroom price of The Renault Lodgy is somewhere between 8.19 to 11.79 Lakhs which is much lesser than its competition
- The wheelbase is longer than your regular cars
- The driver’s seat is adjustable in height as well, which is something I have begun to love in cars
- The accelerator response is good once you start driving it, though it feels a little slow when you start the engine.
- The drive is effortless. The Lodgy picks up smoothly at almost all gears, and doesn’t feel too heavy.
- I found the gear shift to be a little hard but maybe that’s just me. The clutch is smooth like butter.
- The Lodgy boasts of an engine that is mated to a slick six-speed manual gearbox that slots smoothly into any gear. The 84bhp version gets a five-speed gearbox.
- The cruise control, which is my favorite feature in our current sedan, is also offered by The Lodgy and is a pretty cool function
- Suspension is really good. I took the car on a bumpy road and we didn’t feel a thing.
- The Lodgy delivers a fuel efficiency of 21.04 kmpl which is essentially good in the segment
- Inside the car, you will not feel the high speed in terms of vibrations etc, and it is a good thing according to me
- The engine makes a fairly loud sound though, which is something I noticed only when I was outside the car. From inside though, you don’t hear a thing.
- The ground clearance is something I always look for because being an Army Wife, I know I will have to drive on in towns with unpredictable roads. The Lodgy has a ground clearance of 174 mm which is a great feature for a drive on Indian roads.
And Best Feature of all:
The Renault Lodgy is a perfect car for a family that travel a lot – like us. The car is perfect for a big family and also for a small one like us because we tend to take a lot of road trips – perks of Fauji life – and we still have no clue what ‘packing light’ means. We pack blankets, and pillows and toys for every occasion in a variety that can shame a toy store, and books and packets and packets of (junk) food. Also, the husband is VERY particular about not littering so we generally end up having a pile of discarded chip packets, tissues, cookie boxes and empty water bottles in our drives, until we find a proper place to dispose them off.
The MPV segment is slightly target-specific, at least in the Indian market. It is perceived as a logical purchase, because it is big (7 seater with huge leg space) with 3 rows of seats. But after experiencing the Lodgy drive, I am tempted to say that it might be a purely logical purchase for all those who love to take off for weekends, for those who love the travel more than the destination and for those, like us, who crave for a higher comfort in transit than the arrival.
In short, The Lodgy is just perfect companion for those who are addicted to travel.
I am sure the other blogger will agree.
We made a short video about the features of the Renault Lodgy that we each loved, and here it is:
The drive back from The Lalit to The Leela was smooth and I sat in the second row this time, relaxing and enjoying the huge leg space and oh, the overhead air conditioning vent! What a practical car, really.
The next morning after a hearty breakfast, all 40 bloggers headed to the airport for their respective flights and the #LiveLodgycal weekend came to an end. I flew to Delhi and then to Dehradun the next day, but Goa and The Lodgy are still on my mind.
|Delhi to Dehradun.
And, for all those who asked me about The Lodgy on Twitter, I hope you’ve got your answers. For more, head to the official Renault Lodgy website and you can also book a test drive in your own city.
Do it, I say. Check it out and then decide for yourself, because it’s not about anything as much as it is about the experience! My experience driving the Renault Lodgy was amazing because of the car, the company and the place, and I hope you have the same pleasant experience driving it. And do let me know when you do, okay? Okay.