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Dacia set to take the UK by storm

Set to worry the established players...

Take a look at the images above, because you can expect to see a lot of them on our roads come next year. Dacia is set to launch in the UK after successfully taking over European roads since 2008 and their assault will start in early 2013 with the launch of the Duster and Sandero models. Dacia is part of the Renault group and currently sold in Europe and Asia.

The most attractive Dacia is certainly the Duster. A small SUV very similar in size and concept to the Skoda Yeti, but much, much cheaper. A base 2WD Duster with the 85 bhp 1.5 litre DCi diesel engine will come in at under £10,000 – incredibly good value for the amount of car you’ll be getting. There will also be 4WD versions starting at £12,000. Other engine options will be a 105 bhp version of the diesel engine and a 1.6 litre 110 bhp petrol engine.

The Duster gets a very rugged look, with a bold front end featuring larger headlights and a chrome grille. There are bulging wheelarches and a stylish back end with small rear lights and an angular rear window. It certainly looks a match for any of the current crop of small SUVs and doesn’t give itself away as being much cheaper than them. The place you will notice the difference however, is in the interior design and quality. The plastics are very hard and the fit and finish will be of a lower quality, but then you are paying up to 50% less than the competitors.

Also going on sale is the Sandero, a Fiesta-sized 5dr hatchback. With a base model coming in at an amazing £7000 it will definitely become a common sight on our roads. Featuring the same engine lineup as the Duster, it meets rivals in terms of engines, but is a bigger car. Again, quality won’t be up to the Fiesta and Corsa levels but as the old phrase goes – you get what you pay for.

Dacia is aiming to offer a very simple sales experience. The price you see is what you pay – they will not discount or offer incentives. This, they say, is how they are able to sell the cars so cheaply.

At the Geneva Motor Show recently, Dacia also unveiled the Lodgy, a small MPV about the same size as a Renault Scenic. Featuring inoffensive styling, the Lodgy is a 5 or 7 seater and will be be pitched as a highly affordable family car. Base versions will again come in at well under £10,000 which makes them outstanding value. It also has a slightly more modern engine lineup including a 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine with 105 bhp.

Dacia is set to launch a fourth model in later 2013 – the Citadine. This will be a Renault Twingo sized small city car and should come in at around £5000.

With the impressive lineup they have, if they are reliable and don’t feel too cheap, we can surely expect to see Dacia doing very well in the UK, offering new cars for used car prices.

Images courtesy of Dacia


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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more