Dacia has always been known for providing budget-friendly options to those looking for a new car. However, with the world's shift towards an exclusively electric fleet, Dacia needed to recognize the need to include electrified versions in their range. Fortunately, the Romanian brand could turn to its parent company, Renault, to utilize its E-Tech technology, which is already being used in some of Renault's popular models like the Clio, Captur, and Arkana.
As a result, we now have the Dacia Jogger Hybrid, the brand's first-ever hybrid vehicle. Equipped with a naturally aspirated 1.6 petrol engine with 95 hp and two electric motors - a 49hp motor in the gearbox and a 20 hp starter generator - the Dacia Jogger Hybrid boasts a cumulative power of 142 hp. The gearbox uses a claw clutch system, a technology inspired by motor racing, making it the first Dacia Jogger with automatic transmission.
The battery used in the Jogger Hybrid is a 1.2 kWh lithium-ion battery that is capable of powering the electric motors. As a full hybrid vehicle, the battery is recharged while driving, either by the petrol engine or by recovering energy during braking and deceleration. However, a rechargeable hybrid version with a larger battery, which would be rechargeable by cable, is not to be expected anytime soon from Dacia. The brand's budgetary philosophy, which prides itself on counting mainly private individuals among its customers, would not accommodate such a solution.
The battery required for the self-charging hybrid system only takes up a little space too, as it has found its place in the boot floor, where the LPG tank is located on the Eco-G 100 version, or the spare wheel housing on the ordinary petrol version. This means that the hybrid version, like the rest of the Jogger range, is still available with two additional seats in the rear (for an additional €900 only).
While the Jogger Hybrid is the first hybrid Dacia, it certainly won't be the last. Since the brand's vehicles use the same platform, we can expect the upcoming Dacia Duster, which will launch next year, and the Dacia Bigster, planned for 2025, to have an electrified version as well.
The Jogger Hybrid may not be the quickest, but it is still more powerful than the 'classic' Dacia versions, and its hybrid system makes it much more efficient. While the classic petrol version TCe 110 needs 10.5 seconds for the 0-100 km/h sprint (11.2 seconds for the seven-seater), the hybrid version completes the task in just 9.8 seconds (or 10.0 seconds). The maximum speed may be lower than the petrol version (167 km/h vs. 183 km/h), but that matters little in everyday driving.
The hybrid system works smoothly, and the gearbox has a mode B (Brake) that allows drivers to recover more energy while braking. The battery also recharges quickly while driving, allowing for a surprising amount of purely electric driving, especially around town. When the petrol engine does kick in, it can be a bit noisy, but it's not as bad as other hybrid systems on the market. The transitions between electric and petrol driving are smooth, with no real jerks, and hard acceleration doesn't cause any drama.
The Dacia Jogger Hybrid is an excellent option for those looking for a budget-friendly hybrid car. It may have some of the latest technological gadgets, and it's not the quickest, but it provides an efficient and flexible driving experience.
The Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140 Expression costs $22,595. It has a petrol-electric powertrain that offers greater efficiency and practicality than supermini rivals.