Car with one-star safety rating the “safest ever”

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Dacia Jogger 2021 munich 5 e1630928621685

Dacia engineering bosses reaffirm that Jogger SUV is its safest car ever, despite a very low rating from Euro NCAP.

The Dacia Jogger has been called the Romanian car maker’s “safest ever” model by the company’s engineering bosses, after the seven-seater was given a one-star Euro NCAP safety rating last week.

The local Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) uses the same safety rating as Euro NCAP since its alignment with the car safety authority (when it does not locally crash test vehicles).

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The Jogger, which shares the same platform as the smaller Dacia Sandero Stepway SUV, was awarded the rating because it lacks suitable electronic safety assistance features and does not have a seatbelt reminder for its third row of seats.

Marc Suss, Dacia’s vice president of engineering, said: “This is the result of our choices. We did not implement a seatbelt reminder on the third row because when you want to extract the seats, you need to disconnect and reconnect some electronic features.

“This is not what we call essential. We made the choice to keep it simple for our customers. Each time we are putting a new car on the market, it is the safest Dacia ever. It is far safer than the Logan and other cars. Even compared to most of the cars in the market, we are providing cars with a level of safety features that are far above.”

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Dacia further reiterated its decision to remove unnecessary or unwanted features from its vehicles, despite growing pressure from safety legislation organisations.

The omission of “unwanted or unnecessary features” forms a part of its ‘Smart Engineering’ strategy, which, the firm says, involves disrupting the industry with “serial game-changers” with a focus on simplicity, frugality, sustainability and durability.

Sold in the UK at a starting price of £15,345 (AUD$26,000), the Jogger has been engineered to be as cost-effective as possible, with bosses highlighting its fixed-displacement air conditioning unit and technology that means the entire front end forward of the B-pillar is shared between the Sandero and the Jogger.

The Jogger’s rear lights have also been positioned vertically and separately from the tailgate to reduce costs, while stickers replace traditional plastic parts to protect the lower doors.

Dacia has been under consideration for launching locally in Australia, although there has been no recent comment or commitment from its parent company, Renault Group.

Lionel Jaillet, Dacia’s vice president for product performance, said: “Currently, the customer’s requests are evolving. They are joining the Dacia mindset of going to the essentials. They want more simplicity and frugality.

“Our challenge is to redefine the essentials of the C-SUV segment, which is a huge segment and a huge profit maker. We think we have a good recipe to challenge this segment.”

Dacia also ruled out the introduction of sporty or luxury Dacia model variants in the near future, instead focusing on rugged, outdoor specifications. Suss said: “Our playground is not ‘luxury.’ Our playground is not ‘sportiness’. Our playground is ‘outdoor’. You can expect some outdoor variants of our cars in the coming months and years, but not luxury or sporty ones.”

Jack Warrick

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