Dacia hopes to shake market with sub-9K SUV
The price, well below other SUVs, is expected to attract buyers who would normally choose a used car.
It’s a tactic that has been tried before by budget brands, even as far back as the 1990s when brands such as the Polish-based FSO targeted used car buyers.
As reported in Car and Van News earlier this week (click here) the Duster is being launched this week at the ‘Moving Motorshow’ event that forms part of the Goodwood Festival of Speed historic motorsport extravaganza.
The cars are now also available to view at Dacia dealerships, which have been incorporated into the outlets of parent brand Renault.
The Romanian-built Duster has been a big success in both traditional East European markets and more recently across left-hand-drive markets in Western Europe, delaying the start of right-hand-drive production.
Now an all-new Renault-Nissan Alliance factory in Chennai, India is building the car, and we are told that UK versions will have several changes over the model already on sale, including improved interiors and facelifted exterior touches.
First UK customers will receive their cars in January, and at the same time Dacia will launch its new Sandero supermini onto the UK market.
Pricing for the Sandero has not been announced but it is expected to continue the budget assault with a sub-£7,000 cost.
The UK Duster line-up will cover 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains, and three trim levels.
The £8,995 price tag buys the 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol-engined Access in 4×2 from. This is also available as a 4×4 version at £10,995, which Dacia says makes it the cheapest 4×4 SUV by several thousand pounds.
The Access comes with 16-inch steel wheels and longitudinal roof bars, electric front windows, four airbags, a height-adjustable steering wheel and ISOFIX points on the outer rear seats, but no audio system fitted.
The Ambiance costs from £11,495, rising to £13,495. It gets a diesel engine, 4x20W radio/CD with AUX, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and steering-column mounted fingertip controls, plus body coloured bumpers, 60/40 split folding rear seats, front fog lights and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.
Expected best-seller, claiming around two thirds of orders, is set to be the Lauréate, costing from £12,995 to £14,995.
The steel wheels are replaced by alloys and it adds air conditioning, electric rear windows, a leather steering wheel and trip computer.
The styling is improved by satin chrome on the roof bars, scuff plates, side sills and door handles and body-coloured, heated and electrically-adjustable door
Inside there is piano-black on the door handles, centre console surround, steering wheel and door panel inserts.
Words by: Andrew Charman