Renault Lodgy is one of the few cars that evoked contrasting opinions at ECARDLR when it was launched a few months back. While some of the folks praised the practical stance of MPV, others declared the turnout completely bland and unanimated. It seems that even company has now realized this, and in order to uplift the luxury, has now launched more premium edition of Lodgy named Lodgy Stepway. Ornamented by lots of chrome and visual enhancements, Lodgy Stepway looks and feels far more appealing to its original version. So how these cosmetic enhancements have stepped up the game for Renault; we find in this road-test review.
What changes cosmetically?
Prominent change making its way on Lodgy is add-on of the chrome elements that are splurged all over the body. Up front, there is new bejeweled chrome grille that is entirely different from the 3-slat design appearing on the regular model. Fog lamps have got redesigned treatment too though requires keen eye to notice the difference. Stepway has also got all around body cladding for magnifying sporty appeal of the car. Rear, like the front, gets silver treatment and along with grey alloy wheels zings the overall styling.
Unlike exterior, interiors of Stepway are essentially similar to original version. Except the sunglass holder and stitched upholstery, other equipment remained similar. This means Stepway edition too boasts of high seating position and ample visibility to driver. Space at all three rows are extremely good and large enough to even move your workplace or house. Especially of note is kind of room at the 3rd bench which can comfortably seat two adults unlike other pseudo MPVs which are having the 3rd row best fit for only children.
Engine-Tranny & Dynamics
Engine, transmission, and suspension hardware of the Lodgy Stepway is similar to original Lodgy version. With 110 PS on disposal that Lodgy doesn't feel underpowered. It doesn't feel briskly quick but then it’s not very lethargic either. We really like the way Lodgy approaches long and open stretches on highways. Its 6-speed manual gearbox couple with cruise control give all together different kind of driving experience.
Further the way suspension of Lodgy works is absolutely a matter of delight. This Renault remained unruffled no matter whatsoever is thrown at it. Slow speed ride is very absorbing and highway stability is absolutely exceptional. Even cornering maneuvers are braved by the Lodgy with a aplomb. We agree this is not a Swift though taking into account the sheer weight and length; Lodgy handling is above the average and more than acceptable.
W So how much Stepway edition has evolved over its original edition? Answer is quite much. It will cost you few lakh more than original version but we feel the extra money is worth paying for. Stepway edition comes across as more premium version of original Lodgy which gives you the feel of more than just a utilitarian MPV. It retains all the positive aspects of the original version all the while adding to the luxury quotient of the MPV. Its spacious, well equipped and gets benefitted from Renault's strong holds like reliable and highly efficient engine, excellent cruising ability, and superb dynamics. We agree it may not have class - leading fit & finish like Innova but then it won't poke hole in your pocket as the case with Toyota.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 4/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 3.5/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for Money 3/5