Duster SUV will be joined by a sub-£7k supermini at the UK launch in January

The first model from Dacia, Renault’s aggressively priced budget arm, is now ready to order in the UK. The Dacia Duster family-sized SUV can be had from just £8995, and is one of the unexpected stars at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Duster will reach UK shores in January 2013 at the same time as the Ford Fiesta-rivalling Dacia Sandero, which will come in at less than £7000.

Dacia has been a hit not only in emerging markets in eastern Europe but also in more established western European markets, including France and Germany, thanks to the amount of car offered for the money.

Renault hopes to tempt buyers who traditionally purchase secondhand cars into buying a new Dacia. 

Dacias will be sold through existing Renault dealerships, but Renault doesn’t expect the appeal of Dacia to cannibalise sales of new Renaults. However, the firm admits that buyers of secondhand Renaults may well turn to new Dacias.

The base Duster comes with a 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and front-wheel drive. This engine is also offered with four-wheel drive, but it is only available in entry-level Access trim, which doesn’t even include a radio.

The diesel engine is a 1.5-litre, with 106bhp in front-drive form and 108bhp with all-wheel drive. This engine is offered in mid-range Ambiance trim, which gets a CD player and USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and top-spec Laureate trim. The £12,995 front-drive Laureate is expected to account for the majority of sales thanks to its 16-inch alloy wheels, air-con and leather-trimmed steering wheel

This version is also the most frugal, returning 56.5mpg combined economy and CO2 emissions of 130g/km.

Our Verdict

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is a no-nonsense machine that wears its bargain price tag like a badge of honour. And we can’t help liking it for that.

Join the debate



27 June 2012

Can't see how these can fail ... buy 2 for the price of a Qashqai, or 3 for a Q3. Probably ideal for rural drivers, less so for motorway munchers. The Alternative Chelsea Tractor!

27 June 2012

The car is very suitable for the Indian market because of low prices.

27 June 2012

Notwithstanding that you get a LOT of car for your money, to leave out the radio/CD on the base version is unforgivable in this day and age ... I mean, you can option things like aircon and electric windows, but a radio/CD?? ... Nobody is going to buy a car, not even a second hand one, without a radio! ... C'mon Dacia!! ... Several car manufacturers have tried this cheap gambit before and ended up quietly deleting the very base version because of this ... A quick rethink is needed!!

27 June 2012

Whilst I get your point, you can pick up some decent aftermarket audio equipment for not much money these days (not the blingly rubbish that you see in halfords). A nice Alpine or Blaupunkt with USB slot and inbuilt bluetooth phone kit for around £200 and you're sorted.  Probably sounds better than most factory stuff into the bargain.  Not sure if you'd need to add speakers, but that wouldn't add too much to the pice.

If I was a Dacia dealer, I'd be having words with a local audio fitter to offer a few reasonably proced solutions that can be fitted prior to delivery.  For less than £9,000 (or £9,200-£9,300 including audio) this seems like a bargain to me.

27 June 2012

What and miss out on the mechanical sound track by listening to the radio!!

Actual I would be happy without the built in radio if you still had built in speakers and USB docking port.  Not sure on the options to retro fit this.



27 June 2012

Suzuki QT wrote:

Notwithstanding that you get a LOT of car for your money, to leave out the radio/CD on the base version is unforgivable in this day and age ... I mean, you can option things like aircon and electric windows, but a radio/CD?? ... Nobody is going to buy a car, not even a second hand one, without a radio! ...

The UK's a real rarity in Europe in this regard... Still, I agree you wouldn't sell a base Fiesta here without a radio, but the Duster is so price-focussed, why not? Especially if the cheapo one is going to end up as "farm spec" to use James Ruppert's term.

I'm lucky enough to not need to buy Asda 'Smart Price' baked beans (for example!), but I don't think Asda are idiots to offer them. I just accept that particular product is not aimed at me and ignore it. Why not extend Dacia the same courtesy.

27 June 2012

At last cars for real people instead of suits who think the neighbours really care how far they've got up the greasy pole.

Cars don't need the toys demanded only by people who aren't paying with their own money. Very very good radios cost a few quid from Halfords - why pay thousands to a manufacturer for a mediocre one?


27 June 2012

I saw a nice new Duster several days ago on a transporter, so they're stocking up already.

27 June 2012

I might get one anyway, it's such a bargin.   Wonder if it'll have an effect on secondhand prices at the cheaper end of the SUV market like Suzuki's etc

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

27 June 2012

I love the fact that the Sandero will cost less than a Twizy, and once you have bought it, you wont have to lease the fuel tank, and it has doors and can seat more than 2 at a time.

Well done Renault for offering us both, but dont be too surprised if these out sell the electric cars.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    20 April 2018
    Can Jaguar’s compact SUV bring flair and dynamic polish to a fast-growing class?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    20 April 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?
  • Lamborghini Urus review 2018 hero front
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    The supercar maker's new 4x4 is massively capable wherever it goes, while being extremely conspicuous and costly while it does it
  • Skoda Kodiaq
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    High-spec seven-seater Kodiaq begins its family life with a lot to prove — for Skoda and SUVs
  • Ford Focus RS Race Red Edition front
    First Drive
    18 April 2018
    Ford drafts in some tasty extras for this limited-run Focus RS swansong edition