It’s not very common to be called to test drive a new model or variant at night! However, Renault India likes to do things differently and thus had the media show up to enjoy a night out in Mumbai like no other – coupled with a bit of driving for good measure.
My journey began with a cruise. No, not in a car, but on a proper French-built sailboat that took us (the media) out for a nice cruise around the harbor area near the Gateway of India. I’ve never been sailing before, so this was a novel experience and like you must already be wondering, what did sailing around Mumbai harbor had to do with the Renault Lodgy Stepway? For a while, I was equally perplexed, but then the whole significance of this activity dawned on me.
Taking a step back here, what really needs to be understood is how Renault is portraying themselves in the market. Be it their products or their brand communication the one constant attribute to all of them is a sporty appeal. You’ve got the Kwid Climber, the Duster AWD and the Lodgy Stepway that bring about this aura, and if you look at all the advertisements and marketing campaigns, Renault is all about living your life king-size. Go out there, discover new places, take a long drive, enjoy a cruise and revel in that sense of adventure. This sporty adventure streak is part of their DNA and by catering to such a lifestyle; Renault is making all the right moves.
So, the cruise was my introduction to the ‘Renault Life’ and I wasn’t complaining. Having said that, the best part of the evening was yet to unfold in the form of a nice night drive through Mumbai in a brand new Renault Lodgy Stepway.
Incidentally, the Renault Lodgy has been around for a few years now and is Renault’s only MPV offering in the Indian market currently. I have always been a fan of this car and have recommended it to numerous friends over the years. It has the merit of being an able people mover that is comfortable, frugal and really nice to drive. Taking things further is the Lodgy Stepway that boasts of over sixteen new enhancements which in effect make it an even better value-for-money proposition to those who are on the lookout for an affordable MPV.
The Renault Lodgy Stepway at a glance
In terms of styling, the Renault Lodgy Stepway gets a distinctive ‘jewel-studded’ front grille and neat looking fog lamps to enhance its appeal when looked at from head on. The MPV also gets cladding on the wheel arches and neat metal finished 16-inch alloys to complement its looks.
The interior space is rather decent thanks to the Lodgy Stepway having the longest wheelbase in its class. All three rows offer a decent amount of leg space and you have numerous seat configurations to choose from as well. To give it a premium touch, Renault has kitted out the Stepway Gris Fume and Beige Alpaga leather blended upholstery. Further to that, you get a two-tone dashboard with a piano black centre fascia that has a classy chrome border.
As far as creature comforts are concerned, the Renault Lodgy Stepway comes with smart-sensing 2nd and 3rd row air-conditioning, an 8-way adjustable driver seat, electrically adjustable ORVMs, keyless entry, charging sockets for all three rows and an advanced 7-inch touchscreen MediaNav console for your infotainment and connectivity needs.
Powering the Lodgy Stepway is the 85 PS or 110 PS versions of the K9K 1.5 litre dCi diesel motor. Both versions offer a refined driving experience and are touted to be rather frugal too. In fact the ARAI tested fuel efficiency of the 110PS version stands at 19.90 kmpl while the 85 PS version delivers 21.04 kmpl.
What about the ‘Adventure’ DNA?
A lot of people write off MPVs as family commuters, but that is far from the truth. These vehicles are designed to be driven and offer you the space to carry along a lot of people as well as their luggage! With an MPV like the Lodgy Stepway, you really can’t go wrong in taking it out for a grand road trip. It’s comfortable, frugal and a joy to drive and with our highway network improving every day, there are some great destinations and drives that are just waiting to be done!