The Renault Logan Stepway is a spanner in the works. An automotive curveball. A motoring head-scratcher that has left PETROLBLOG feeling dazed and confused.
Could it be the desirable modern Shatchback we’ve all been waiting for?
Maybe it’s the Smirnoff talking, but the Renault Logan Stepway – a Russian market special – looks half decent and – granted, this might be a step too far – almost appealing. Admit it, you quite fancy a cross-sedan, don’t you?
Hello… anyone there… hello…
According to Renault, the Logan Stepway is aimed at “modern, active people who are looking for new emotions in the usual way of life and love the spirit of adventure.” In other words, this means plastic body cladding to cope with Moscow traffic and 195mm ground clearance to deal with Russia’s crumbling and trench-lined rural roads.
The Logan Stepway is also “designed to give confidence and freedom in movement,” claims Renault, in a line stolen from a packet of Russian incontinence pads.
Sure, it’s essentially a Dacia Logan on stilts, but this French-Romanian-Russian Shatchback is more than just another badge-engineering special. For those harsh Siberian winters, the Logan Stepway can be equipped with ‘Renault Start’, developed specifically for Russia, which allows you to warm up the engine and cabin in advance.
Russians can also tick a box marked ‘Stepway City’, which adds a CVT transmission to a 113hp 1.6-litre engine to provide an experience as horrid as it sounds. On the plus side, the City (pictured at the top), includes black protective covers for the front and rear bumpers, black overlays for the mirrors, a new red colour and two-tone 16-inch alloys.
The standard Logan Stepway – pictured here alongside the super-desirable Dokker Stepway – looks a tad less appealing, but will also be a tad cheaper.
Renault Russia will announce the pricing at the Moscow International Automobile Salon, before the Logan Stepway goes on sale in the autumn. For reference, the Logan without the Stepway treatment costs 514,000 rubles – the equivalent of £6,000 in the UK.
Not that the Logan Stepway will be coming to the UK any time soon, either in Renault or Dacia guise. It’s one to add to the list of Renault and Dacia products we wish we had access to, including the Renault Sandero RS, Dacia Dokker, Renault Talisman and Renault Espace.
As for the Logan Stepway – it’s one to file alongside the AMC Eagle, Volvo S60 Cross Country and Subaru Legacy SUS on the list of high-riding saloons. Not so much Sports Utility Saloon as Sports Utility Shatchback.