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Choices March 20, 2007

Posted by danielogan in MyLogan, Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

I am awaiting the arrival of our new Logan. It should be fresh, shiny and ready to roll on Thursday, March 22nd.

Today I went to the bank to make the final arrangements and, yes, I had second thoughts. There is no wonder why all instruction manuals start with a standard congratulation on your wise, exquisite choice. But right now I don’t have anything like this to comfort my ego, so I have to remember why I made this choice.

1. Price. The tag price for a Logan 1.5 dCi Laureate is 9,400 euro in Romania. It is not cheap, but it is not very expensive either. This version is the third in the line-up, after Ambiance (the base version) and Preference, and it brings me, among other things, a trip computer, air conditioning, electrical rear-view mirrors, and a better seat for My Heiness. The top version is Ambition, with ABS, CD-player and alloy wheels. Logan is not the only option I have on the market for 9-10,000 euro: Fiat Panda, Citroen C3, Chevrolet Aveo, Hyundai Accent are just a few other examples, but…

2. Space. Yes, space, the final frontier… Measurements aside, the feeling you get when you enter a Logan is that you are in a bigger car than it seems on the outside. Legroom, roof height, elbow width, they are all generous and almost over-sized. Why do I need so much space? Well, you’ll see why a little bit further down.

3. Engine. In terms of size and boot/trunk volume, Fiat Albea is a direct competitor for Logan, but it does not have a diesel engine on offer – such an option is available on the Turkish market, for example, but Albea comes in Romania only with a 1.4 liter petrol engine. Logan, on the other hand, has a diesel engine and it is a good one: low consumption, not very noisy, Euro IV compliant. Other competitors have very good diesel engines as well (Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, both with the same glorious engine:1.5 CRDi, 110 HP), but the price is significantly higher.

4. Service network. Can anyone beat a national brand in terms of presence throughout the country? Dacia-Renault people brag that there is a Dacia dealership-mechanical shop in a radius of no more than 50 kilometres from where one may live in Romania. I didn’t check this, but it is sure good to know that I can find a Dacia representative anywhere, in case I need it. Plus, let’s not overlook the availability of spare parts: I don’t want a car that has to wait two weeks for a fender to be shipped from Hamburg or Rotterdam.

5. Warranty. It’s on offer and I’ve got it: 3-year warranty. Usually, Logan comes with a 18-month warranty, and if you want this period to be extended to three years, you have to pay (265 euro for my version). In Switzerland I saw a special offer for Logan with a 5-year warranty.

6. Baby. It’s “his” car after all. I drive a 10-year old Daewoo Tico. It’s small, practical, reliable and economical. It’s not big and it’s not safe. You see my problem? If it weren’t for the diapers, the safety seat, the clothes for this and that and the other one, I would have stayed glued to my Tico for another couple of years. Instead, I have to take the new member of our family into consideration and give him what he deserves: space, safety and diapers (they cost a lot, you know… see reason number 1). Who can say “No” to him? Look at those eyes! He’s already crushing hearts!

Baby

Before I log(an) out, thank you Oana for the tap on the shoulder! I guess I deserved it. Publish or perish, right?!

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On the road March 18, 2007

Posted by danielogan in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

This is my first post, my first blog, and all I start with is an idea: I want to share with those who are interested my thoughts and experiences about a car. No, I am not a petrolhead and speed at all costs is not my thing. The car that I want to write about is the more or less famous Logan, the low-cost car developed by Renault and sold at this very moment in 51 countries with a Dacia badge (49 countries) or a Renault one.

Dacia Logan

Dacia, for those who don’t know it, is a Romanian brand and Romania is where the “Logan Story” began. I am not going to document here the history of Dacia or to explain where Romania is on the map, but I guess that it is clear by now that I am a Romanian, I live and work in Romania. However, my intention is to focus on topics about Logan that may interest a wider audience than the Romanian one… hence my writing in English.

Why “Logan” and why “101”? Logan is widely known as the “low-cost car” and embodies an new path in the automotive industry: building a simple yet reliable car that provides transportation from point A to point B. No expensive electronics, no gimmicks, just “low-cost, no-frills”, the principle introduced in the US airline industry by Southwest Airlines, and then copied in Europe by other companies such as Ryanair or easyJet. The “low-cost phenomena” is a well documented story in the case of airline companies, but the low-cost car is still a fresh issue. The “101” part is simple. I am “101” (a beginner that is) in blogging, just as the Logan is a “freshman” in low-cost. Hopefully we will both “graduate” at one moment. You’ll be the judge of that as we go along.