Dacia Logan I, the almost mythical car enters the AlmostCars ring. A car loved by Europeans and hated by Romanians, Dacia Logan I is a car of controversy. Is a Dacia Logan I worth it nowadays? Find out in today’s article.
The Dacia Logan I was the first car built by Renault from scratch. It wasn’t the first car under Renault’s umbrella, this award is reserved for the ancient Dacia SuperNova, however Dacia Logan I was a car that divided the Romanians and made the Germans stand in line at the dealerships and made the British jelly of the rest of Europe because they didn’t have the Dacia Logan I.
Dacia Logan I – The seed of discord in the Romanian car community
You’d expect the Dacia Logan I to be driven by the kind of man who lives in the countryside, has a sleeveless wool vest, is constantly red faced, takes off his cap when he goes into the church, and still listens to music on the cassette and has a beaded seat cover that matches all the crosses on the windscreen. I have to disappoint you and tell you that this kind of man is usually found behind the wheel of a Ford Mondeo II.
So, who bought the first Logan?
There are two types of people who bought the Dacia Logan I. The first category was the people who wanted a new car. There’s a whole discussion on the subject, a discussion that deserves its own article. The second category was the people who wanted a cheap, new car that they could fix up in their backyard and that would do the job with dignity. However, the very low purchase price also came with minuses, because you can’t have everything.
Dacia Logan I – David of the car world
A new car from a Romanian brand has managed to sneak in and make a splash in the automotive world. With the money you could spend on a VW Lupo you could buy a car as big as a VW Golf. Not at the same quality, but at about the same size. Even though many Romanians said they would rather buy an old BMW than a new Dacia because the Romanian is too poor to buy something cheap, the Dacia Logan I went ahead and enjoyed the same success as a Turkish soap opera: Something simple, uncomplicated, for the masses.
Dacia Logan I Engines
- 1.2 MPI of 75-horsepower – Coming in 2009 for the facelift version, the arch-devil1.2 came to replace the antiquated 1.4 MPI. It too is an antique, as the 1.2 was originally launched in 2000. Lacking any issues or vitality, you just have to be careful to change the timing belt in time and keep an eye on the oil consumption.
- 1.4 MPI of 75 horsepower – The infamous “1.4 Tear the tarmac'” on the Dacia Logan I certainly deserves its meme. As anemic as a student walking home for the first time after 8 months of college, the old 1.4 MPI launched in 1995 was capable of even 2 km/h speeds. Instead, it’s saved by its almost ridiculous reliability. The worst issue is the stepper motor which costs a whole 5 euros.
- 1.6 MPI of 95, 100, or 105 horsepower – I’ve driven a Logan with a 1.6 MPI with 105 horsepower. It was a comically fast car. If you want thrills for cheaps, get a 105 horsepower 1.6 MPI Dacia Logan. It may not sound like much 105 horsepower, but combined with a light weight 105 horsepower Dacia Logan I 1.6 MPI performs like a BMW E46 320d. Sometimes it has issues with the gasket, but overall it’s a reliable and LPG-compatible engine.
1.5 dci of 65, 70, and 85 hp – The legendary K9K is not so legendary on the Dacia Logan I. As discussed in the Megane article, the 1.5 dci K9K only got quality injectors in the 90+ hp versions. And the Logan got Delphi injectors, built with the same care and painstaking attention to detail that the mall employees work with at the holidays. Moreover, the 1.5 dci this time of year is very sensitive to diesel quality, and if you give it bad diesel you’ll end up with soot buildup throughout the fuel system and can easily buy another car.
Dacia Logan I General Issues
- I’ll start with the big one: rust. Unlike the Mercedes that tries new technologies, the Dacia Logan I rusts faster than my liver when I drink water, due to the inferior quality metal and non-galvanized bodywork. All this to keep the price down. The rust forms mainly on the fenders, sills and boot in the logo area.
- Also in terms of toilet paper, the Dacia Logan is not a very safe car in case of an crash. You don’t usually want to have an accident, but in a Dacia Logan I you really don’t want to have an crash. If you see a supermarket trolley speeding towards your car, my recommendation is to jump out of the car and save your life. I may be exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea.
- Also on the cheap side, be careful with the equipment. The Dacia Logan was one of the last cars you could buy without ABS, climate control, radio, windows, or power steering. It is absolutely unacceptable to be able to buy a car in 2008 without power steering.
- Like any French car, expect a lot of electrical issues. On the plus side, nothing mechanical is affected so you will never be left on the side of the road.
- The gearbox is more questionable than that chick who always has money but no job, no boyfriend, and no wealthy parents. You see her with the latest in phones and clothes, but you never know what she does for a living. As for the gearbox, there have been reports of issues when shifting gears and noises when you put it in gear. That’s why you should only drive forward.
Dacia Logan I Verdict
A car that was very good in its day, but is now beginning to see its end. Of course, there are still enthusiasts who will keep the Logan until death and beyond. It was a cheap, somewhat decent, and spacious car. But nothing spectacular. Except for the 105 horsepower 1.6 MPI variant that Renault retired early when they realized what a brilliant car, they had made, by mistake.
What engine do you recommend for the Dacia Logan I? If you don’t know anything about cars and don’t want to know too much, go for either the 1.6 MPI or the 1.5 dci. Avoid the 1.4 MPI altogether because the engine is reliable but the rest of the car is just too bare bones, like an 2000’s Victoria Secret model. If you’re a thrill-seeker on a budget, then the 105-horsepower 1.6 MPI 16v is a diamond in the mud.