Dacia launches in UK with £8,995 SUV

Dacia, the value division of Renault, has announced its first UK-bound car, the Duster compact SUV, will cost from just £8,995 when it arrives here later this year.
The headline-grabbing price means the new budget brand is set to cause a real stir when pre-ordering opens at 127 Dacia dealers (based within existing Renault dealers) this weekend.
To ensure maximum impact, Renault is also showing the Duster for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Moving Motor Show this weekend – where left-hand drive cars have been made available for test drive.
Dacia is rightly proud of the £8,995 entry price, which buys a vehicle similar in size to a Nissan Qashqai for prices below even a Renault Twingo. Dacia says it is an ‘SUV for supermini money’: we’d say it’s even better than that.
The £8,995 car is a 1.6-litre petrol version, producing 105hp and averaging 39.8mpg. A 110hp 1.5-litre dCi engine is also available, priced from £11,495 and averaging 56.5mpg: both engines are Renault-sourced motors.
Indeed, the Duster itself is based on an old Renault platform. So, while it’s not exactly cutting-edge sophisticated, it still offers a safe and worthy driving experience for not much money. The new car experience for a used car price, says Dacia, a formula it expects to prove very popular in credit-crunched Britain.
It’s not only a ‘shockingly affordable SUV’ though, it’s also the UK’s most affordable 4×4: the four-wheel drive version costs from £10,995 as a 1.6 petrol, or from £13,495 as a 1.5 dCi.
Dacia offers three trim levels – Access, Ambience and Laureate – and it is here where the budget price begins to show through. The standard car comes with steel wheels, electric windows and four airbags – but doesn’t even have a stereo as standard.
To get the body-coloured bumpers, split rear seats, USB connectivity and height adjustable driver’s seat many new car buyers expect – not to mention a stereo! – you need to choose the Ambience – and this is only offered with the 1.5 dCi engine, so the £8,995 price becomes £11,495. To get air con, you’ll need the Laureate, costing £12,995.
The firm also keeps the number of options firmly in check, again to keep costs low. So there is only one non-metallic colour, white, and a choice of just four metallic alternatives, for £470. Dacia dealers will instead offer customisation packs for those who want to spend more.
Buyers can also spend more boosting the standard three-year warranty to five years, for £395, or to seven years for £850.
Available for ordering now, the Duster lands in the UK this September. Keen buyers can pre-order at their local Dacia-Renault dealer now – or, in a neat new move, pre-order online with a £100 deposit.
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