Renault Lodgy Stepway: A Hidden Gem
If there is ever an automobile segment in India which is the least competitive and somewhat one-sided, it is the MPV segment. Ruled by the Toyota Innova and then the Innova Crysta, this segment seldom produced a high class vehicle which could compete against the Innova. Yes, the likes of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Chevrolet Enjoy did occupy a part of the share, but that was far meagre to what the Toyota car occupied.
Then came the Renault Lodgy Stepway, a bold vehicle that had all the ingredients to challenge the Innova. However, it is still early days for the car to be compared with one of the masters of the class. All we can do is talk everything about the car and see how good the car is and the potential that it has to take on and make a mark in a segment that is not very crowded as per Indian standards.
The gap that existed between the Innova and the Ertiga, the Renault Lodgy might just be able to fill the gap. Let us see how.
You cannot deny, the Renault Lodgy Stepway has a very upright stance and for a brief period of time, you will feel that this van-ish appeal might just be a let down. But look at it from the other other angle. The Toyota Innova and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga are conventionally designed, while the Lodgy is something new and fresh. The front section has chambered radiator grille with generous quantity of chrome over it. There is a faux skid plate on the front spoiler. There are extra black cladding all around the lower profile of the car. The roof rails add a tinge of sportiness. From the side view, the car looks long and uncanny in design. The wheelbase looks long given its height. Hence, you can expect the car to be spacious.
The interiors are spacious for all the 6 passengers sitting inside. Being the top end trim, it comes with a good quality leather upholstery and dual tone colour scheme. The 3-spoke steering wheel is mounted with standard controller buttons and the infotainment system is same as you get in other Renault-made cars like the new Duster or the Kwid hatch.
The seats are spacious but are not as comfortable as you would want, especially during long trips. The deck is higher considering the total height of the car. Hence, to manage the headroom, the seats are low and your knees might tire after mid-journey. Moreover, when you are using the third row, the boot space is restricted to just 207 litre, which might not be ample for many of you. But once the third row is folded, the boot space is big and can gobble up many things at once.
However, you will love the fact that the second row is very comfortable and can be tilted backwards to give you some relaxation after a tiring day.
You wouldn’t come to know about this until you come to the mechanical specifications. Renault has added the name “Stepway” to the top spec diesel variants of the Lodgy. So you can consider the Lodgy with “Stepway” moniker to be the best of the lot with the best configured engine.
Under the hood of the Renault Lodgy Stepway, there is a 1.5-litre four cylinder turbo charged diesel engine. This engine produces a maximum power of 108 bhp at 4,000 revs per minute and a peak torque of 245 Nm at 1,750 revs per minute. The power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox.
However, not the engine power but the refinement of the system of the Lodgy Stepway that is a real gem of a kind. The Stepway variant is more powerful than the standard 85 bhp version, which makes cruising along the highway a wonderful experience. Moreover, it also has a great handling performance in the city due to its super light clutch technology.
The Renault Lodgy Stepway, being the top end model to the Lodgy MPV, does have most of the features very much in line with price. The exterior designing might be a subject to contradiction and one’s own preference. Where some might dislike the designing, others might like the freshness that it brings.
That said, once you get to the inside, you will just love the setting and every little bit. The premium upholstery and the spaciousness are something you just can’t miss. Talking about the engine as well, the Stepway has one of the most refined engine on the block, if not the best.
But yes, the most important factor about the Renault Lodgy Stepway is that it is far more affordable that the Toyota Innova Crysta. The Stepway is around Rs. 2.5 lakhs cheaper than the base variant of the Innova Crysta.