Currently reading: Vatican receives modified Dacia Duster as new Popemobile
Budget SUV receives papal treatment with lowered suspension, plush rear seat and roof-mounted glass box

Renault has gifted a specially modified Dacia Duster to the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. 

The budget SUV has been adapted to suit papal needs by Dacia’s Prototype department and Special Needs Team, in partnership with Romanian coachbuilder Romturingia. 

The new Popemobile offers the same five-seat layout as the standard Duster but has a "particularly comfortable" rear bench added to suit lengthy public parades. 

Also featured are a large sunroof, roof-mounted grab handles and, as is customary with Popemobiles from all marques, a removable transparent display box to allow crowds a better look at His Holiness.

The Duster is finished in white with a leather interior, and its suspension has been lowered by 30mm to allow for easier ingress and egress. 

It was delivered to The Vatican by Christophe Dridi, managing director of Groupe Renault Romania, and Xavier Martinet, general manager of Groupe Renault Italy.

The Duster won't be the Pope's first experience of a Dacia; during a 2016 visit to Armenia, he used an unmodified example of the Logan saloon as his official transport. He promotes frugality and modesty, whereas his predecessors rode in a variety of premium vehicles, including those from Mercedes-Benz and Range Rover.

In 2017, Lamborghini gifted Pope Francis a Huracán specially painted in the official colours of The Vatican. After he had blessed and autographed the car, it was sold at a charity auction for £630,000.

Read more

Pope's Lamborghini Huracán fetches £630,000 at charity auction​

The Story of the Popemobile

Dacia Duster review


Read our review

Car review

Romania’s value champion compact crossover enters a second model generation. It still might not be as refined as other SUVs, but the Duster is very much in a class of its own

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: Deputy editor

Felix is Autocar's deputy editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Real_sluggo 30 November 2019

Captain Slow

James May will be chuffed to bits 

Mikey C 28 November 2019

Reminds me of the Spitting

Reminds me of the Spitting Image sketch where Jesus came back to earth - "sell the Popemobile, get a Renualt 4!"

Pietro Cavolonero 29 November 2019

Better still

Stay true to your faith.... get a donkey :)

Peter Cavellini 27 November 2019

Just great!

 There's a lot worse going on in the World than dissing the Pope for saving some money....

Pietro Cavolonero 29 November 2019

There is indeed a lot worse..

The likes of the pope don't "pay" for these cars so, ergo, do not "save" money. What is worse is the obscene cost of the status quo, the hideous, uneccesary expense of the Catholic hierarchy.

Swapping to a cheaper car pales into insignificance