Renault India who has tasted success with models like the Duster and Kwid launched the Lodgy back in 2015 to take a shot at the MPV segment in the country. A segment that was dominated by the likes of Toyota Innova, Maruti Ertiga, Honda Mobilio meant that the French manufacturer would have had a lot to prove with the Lodgy in order to make a dent in the mind of a consumer. With an alright response, it was originally christened as Renault Lodgy which with time had World Edition make its way to the nameplate. However the latest one to be used in the name is Stepway that sets a tone for this particular model. More premium and stylish than before, what is it that Renault Stepway has to offer to its customers is precisely what we are about to find out.
Renault Lodgy STEPWAY: Exteriors
To sample Renault’s Lodgy Stepway, we were invited to the financial capital – Mumbai for a unique but interesting night drive of this MPV. Renault Lodgy Stepway true to its French design is very much appealing than most of the competition in its class. In fact based just on the style quotient this vehicle is very much appealing to the naked eye. The reason for this is the premium feel given to the exterior design especially the front end that features a chrome finished grille with distinctive jewel studded elements.
Presence of pulled back headlamps, pair of circular fog lights and a silver finished skid plate further enhance its appeal. Merging well into the side profile is part where the front lower half of the black plastic cladding continues its flow over the wheel arches all the way up to the rear. Blending in seamlessly well are a set of R15 Anthracite alloy wheels, dark metal finished roof rails and STEPWAY decals on either side. Moving to the rear, its arrowhead tail lamps make a mark and so does the presence of a flat boot-lid. It therefore comprises of a top-mounted brake light, thick chrome strip positioned right above the name plate and a silver skid plate completing the overall look of this MPV. Do Read: Renault Kwid 1.0-litre AMT: First Drive Report
Renault Lodgy STEPWAY: Interiors
From the exterior to the interior, Renault Lodgy Stepway is a comfortable place to be in. It offers a very airy cabin courtesy the dual tone (black & beige) attire provided to it by its designers. Like what we have seen on the outside, the insides to are spruced up on the Stepway’s case. What’s upgraded is the infotainment system that is now touch screen and offers navigation as well. On being tested, the navigation did not turn out to be as user friendly as expected. Feeding in the co-ordinates and then navigating through the system does take a bit of time getting used to.
The Paino black finish given to the centre console looks elegant and so does the chrome touch provided throughout the cabin. Feature list on-board Lodgy Stepway comprise of 12 volt charging sockets across all 3 rows, steering mounted audio & phone controls, roof mounted a/c vents for second & third row, Aux-in, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity to mention a few. That aside, New Renault Lodgy STEPWAY comes in both 7 and 8 seat options. Though the one which we had with us offered 7 seats, like most other MPV’s in its class the first two rows were comfortable for space especially while considering head, shoulder and legroom. The one aspect that really caught our attention of the third row which unlike other does not feel cramped and more over is very comforting especially in regards to the ride quality being offered in its case. As for storage, this vehicle originally offers 207 litres that can be extended to 1861 litre by simply folding up the second and third row of seats. Also Read: New Renault Duster 2016 – First Drive Review
Renault Lodgy STEPWAY: Engine and performance
Unlike the first two departments, Renault has not altered anything when it comes to the power plant of Renault Lodgy STEPWAY. In fact it is the same engine that was present before which is a 1.5 litre dCi diesel motor capable of producing 85 Ps of power output with 200 Nm of torque. Matted to a 5-speed manual transmission, the Lodgy does its job well when it comes to commuting. However the heavy feel of the steering wheel does take away some joy of driving especially during bumper to bumper city traffic.
Added to it the hard clutch further worsens the scenario but then again the gearbox just about pulls things back in this vehicle courtesy decent shifts. Though there is a more powerful version (110 PS), the 85 PS is still good for both city as well as highway use. As for the ride, the Lodgy STEPWAY does well to soak in undulations, pot holes and broken roads with utter ease while the handling is decent given the dimension of this MPV.
Renault Lodgy STEPWAY: Verdict
In comparison to what is available currently in the market, Renault Lodgy STEPWAY is without doubt an exciting looking vehicle. The prominent touch given to it in regards to the chrome finishing available across the front and rear end definitely adds glamour. Plus the presence of skid plates and black plastic cladding lend it a much needed rugged feel. The interiors are comfortable with enhanced features that could make your ride an enjoyable one with an engine that delivers decent performance. On the whole, the 2017 Renault Lodgy STEPWAY is a decent package in case you’re on the lookout for a reasonably priced MPV in the market.