First drive: Renault Lodgy Stepway
In order to make the pictures more spectacular we decided to do a night out and capture the brilliant sights of Maximum City. The car in question is the recently upgraded Renault Logdy Stepway, which fits in the sweet spot between the ultra popular and more expensive Toyota Innova Crysta and the uber practical and compact Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.
The 2017 Stepway gets a bunch of cosmetic upgrades, including stylish chrome accents on the grille, body cladding on the sides, bumpers in a new shape, and new matte grey 16-inch alloy wheels. It also gets the variant badge on the A-pillar and "Stepway" branding on either side.
The 7-inch MediaNAV console comes with Bluetooth, USB, Aux-in and more
The base RxL version comes with the tried and tested 1.5-litre K9k diesel engine producing 85 PS and mated to a five-speed transmission. The RxZ variant has the same tried and tested K9k engine but churns out 110 PS and comes with a six-speed gearbox. Offering three rows of seats, the Stepway has the option of seven-seat and eight-seat versions. The seats are reasonably comfortable, though the third row offers little under-thigh support because of the high floorboard.
Over the years, Renault's 1.5-litre oil-burner has gained the reputation of being a frugal and very reliable engine. The 110-PS version does have a slight turbo-lag that becomes evident in slow-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic but, feels more at home at highway cruising speeds.
The Stepway sports a two-tone dash and art-leather upholstery
The clutch on the car feels lighter, which would be a big relief for city users. The steering is on the heavy side and offers good feedback and control. What remains most impressive is the supple ride quality of the Renault as it irons out practically all the road undulations.
The RxZ variant comes with two-tone art-leather upholstery, which goes well with the cabin's brown-and-beige theme. The centre console hosts a large touchscreen infotainment system. All three rows get air-conditioning vents and handy charging sockets, and there are a fair number of cubbyholes across the cabin.
The Lodgy Stepway is an appealing package and is significantly cheaper than the Crysta. Price starts at Rs 10.13 lakh and goes up all the way to Rs 12.05 lakh (both prices ex-showroom, Pune) for the seven-seat top variant. If you like what you see in these pictures, you should really consider this under-rated car.