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.