Dacia’s budget estate car features faux-SUV styling and a bargain-basement price tag. But does the cheap cost come at a price? We find out
Black Friday bargain-hunters shopping at Westfield Stratford will not be able to buy a new Dacia car today – because the value brand has shut up shop for 24 hours, in protest at rivals’ one-day savings.
The marketing gimmick is intended to highlight the firm’s year-round value – and win favour from the two in three people it surveyed who said Black Friday is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
Louise O’Sullivan, head of Dacia UK, said: “At Dacia, we offer great value every day and not just on one day a year.
“We hope that closing our Westfield Stratford pop-up on the day synonymous with ‘bargains’ will show UK shoppers that, at Dacia, Black Friday is just another Friday – exceptional value should be every day.”
Dacia cars are still the most affordable new vehicles in the UK, adds the firm. The Sandero range costs from £5,995, while the Duster SUV is Britain’s cheapest mid-size crossover – costing from £9,495.
So, Dacia is keen to stress, Black Friday is just another day. Luckily, if you are desperate to buy a new car at Westfield Stratford, the new pop-up store reopens early on Saturday morning…
Don’t go there expecting to find any sort of special offer sales deals, though, adds Dacia. Seventy three percent of people said they were suspicions of firms that offer continual sales offers, so it won’t be going down that route.
You could argue this is exactly the sort of gimmick Dacia insists it’s protesting against. Nonetheless, we still like the idea of someone shutting up shop for the day on Black Friday. And there’s still the firm’s website, if you’re super keen…
Everyone’s favourite Tesco Value crossover has been given a revamp in time for next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
It’s an evolutionary step-up in terms of design for the 2018 Dacia Duster, but just enough has been done for a more upmarket look. A larger front grille extends to the bigger headlights, while the rear lights have been pushed to the corners. A wider track should improve handling, while the windscreen is more steeply raked and 100mm further forward than before.
More Frankfurt Motor Show news on MR:
New 17-inch alloys fill the wheelarches, while black arch trims “highlight the car’s adventurer credentials,” says Dacia, as does a new orange colour.
We’ll see tweaked versions of the current 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines under the bonnet, while buyers will be able to choose between front- or four-wheel-drive.
We’re yet to see the inside of the new Duster, but the manufacturer says it’s been “completely redesigned,” with a quality feel and extra kit as standard. Expect to see the addition of Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
All this sounds like Dacia could be preparing us for a price increase, but doing so would take away the Duster’s USP. With the current model starting at £9,495, expect prices to remain broadly the same when they’re announced after Frankfurt.
Rumours have previously suggested that Dacia could offer a seven-seat version of its Duster to undercut the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, but bosses have now insisted this won’t happen.
Research from HPI discovered that 21% of UK drivers have paid more for a car than its true value. However, that figure was markedly higher (30%) among 18-24 year olds, with 17% of that demographic admitting they rushed the purchase of their first car out of eagerness to get on the road.
Helpfully, HPI has also compiled a list of the cheapest new cars to run, to make that decision process a little easier. The data takes into account price, depreciation (loss in value over time), insurance, fuel economy and, tax. Join us as we count down the top 10 cars.
10. SEAT Ibiza Sport Coupe
In at number 10 is the SEAT Ibiza Sport Coupe 1.0 E petrol, a stylish supermini based on the Volkswagen Polo. The more practical five-door Ibiza is only marginally more expensive to run.
Over a typical three-year/60,000-mile ownership period, the Ibiza would cost £261.60 a month, or 31p a mile. The total cost of ownership works out at £9,417.56.
9. Nissan Note
Nissan is actually phasing out its Note mini-MPV in favour of the more upmarket new Micra. So if you want one, you’ll need to be quick.The 1.2 Visia petrol has the lowest running costs.
The practical Note will cost you £9397.25 over three years and 30,000 miles of motoring. That equates to £261.03 a month and 31p a mile.
8. Suzuki Swift
Choose the Swift with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and this supermini struggles to live up to its name. However, it is very cost-effective to run, with the SZ2 version offering the most for your money.
The cost of running a Swift over three years ducks under £9,000 – at £8,949.02. Your total monthly bill should be £248.58, or 30p a mile.
7. Nissan Micra
We’re not big fans of the outgoing Micra, but it is cheap to run. As with the Nissan Note, the 1.2 Visia petrol is the cheapest version for new drivers.
You could be driving a Nissan Micra for £228.81 a month all-in. Over three years and 30,000 miles that means a total bill of £8237.02 – a modest 27p a mile.
6. Citroen C1
The sixth-placed Citroen C1 is twinned with the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 city cars, both of which appear slightly further up this list.
Choose the C1 and running costs are almost identical to the Micra, at £228.42 and 27p a mile. Your total outlay over three years and 30,000 miles would be £8222.97.
5. Toyota Aygo
We’d have an Aygo 1.0 over the equivalent C1. It’s funkier-looking and the Toyota badge probably boosts resale values. The Aygo retains 40% of its original purchase price after three years and 30,000 miles, versus 38% for the C1.
Your total bill for driving an Aygo adds up to £8,123.97, which breaks down as £225.67 a month and 27p a mile. But there are four new cars that are cheaper still…
4. Dacia Logan MCV
Up until this point, every car on our list has been a small hatchback. But you can run a versatile estate car on a tight budget, too. Meet the Dacia Logan MCV (that’s ‘Maximum Capacity Vehicle’, in case you were wondering).
Interestingly, the most cost-effective Logan is the 1.5 dCi – the first diesel in our list. Getting some Maximum Capacity into your life will set you back a modest £223.30 a month, or 27p a mile. The overall, three-year bill is £8,038.70.
3. Peugeot 108
Here’s the last of the C1/Aygo/108 – and the Peugeot takes the title as the cheapest to run. The best 108 to go for is the 1.0 Access, which finishes third in HPI’s list.
While both the Citroen and Toyota will cost you 27p a mile, the 108 comes in at just 25p – thanks in part to a strong 45% retained value after three years and 60,000 miles. The monthly cost is £212.42, while the overall figure is £7,646.97.
2. Dacia Sandero
In entry-level Access spec, the Dacia Sandero is Britain’s cheapest new car. However, stronger resale values for the Sandero Ambiance mean this plusher version works out cheaper overall. As with the Logan MCV, the 1.5 dCi diesel is the engine to go for.
It won’t make your neighbours jealous, but after three years/60,000 miles the Sandero will owe you just £7,212.17. Not bad for three years of driving in a brand new car. That cost breaks down as £200.35 a month and 24p a mile.
1. Suzuki Celerio
The Celerio blotted its copybook early with a highly-publicised brake test failure. Thankfully, those issues have now been resolved and this likeable city car redeems itself with first place in the HPI list.
A Celerio makes an excellent first car for drivers on a tight budget. Opt for the 1.0 SZ2 and you’ll pay £7,099.95 over three years and 30,000 miles. That equates to £197.22 a month and a mere 24p a mile. It’s cheaper than walking… almost.
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome has been used for high-performance car testing since the 1970s – with supercars regularly topping more than 200mph along its old RAF runway.
But it’s set to hold a slightly different event this weekend, with Dacia owners invited to bring their cars and families along for the fourth annual Dacia Day.
What does a ‘Dacia Day’ entail, you may wonder? No, nobody’s expected to V-Max their Sandero – but a wide range of activities will be on offer to suit the Duster’s ‘lifestyle’ image.
These include archery, falconry and, to coincide with the launch of the Duster Rugby League special edition, a taste of rugby. There will also be an off-road track for demonstrations of the Duster’s rough terrain capabilities.
The event has been organised in association with independent Dacia website, the Dacia Forum.
Dacia UK head Louise O’Sullivan said: “Dacia Day promises to be a fun-filled free event with something for everyone. We love to see all of our customers enjoying themselves and many look forward to sharing experiences with other Dacia owners.
“A strong sense of community is one of the reasons why owners rate Dacia so highly, so we’re really pleased to be involved with this fourth annual Dacia Day. We encourage everyone to bring a picnic with them and to make the most of the day!”
Dacia Day follows on from the long-running ‘Dacia Picnic’ events first held in France in 2008, where Dacia owners meet for a family day out with activities, socialising and picnics.
The event will take place in Leicestershire on 13 August 2016. If you’re a Dacia owner and want to attend, simply fill in the form here.
The new Renault Sandero R. S. 2.0 is the first RenaultSport model to be built outside Europe – but, adds the firm, will not be going on sale within Europe.
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It’s a car exclusively for Latin America – so a hot hatch Dacia Sandero does not loom on the horizon.
Pity: the 2.0-litre car produces 145hp and has sports-tuned suspension, steering and upgraded 280mm front brakes, plus a racier and more lenient setting for the ESC stability control system.
Significantly, it also has a six-speed manual gearbox, in contrast to the RenaultSport Cli0 200 Turbo’s six-speed paddleshift dual-clutch setup.
Visually, it gets a sports makeover similar to the RenaultSport Clio – complete with rear diffuser – and its 17-inch alloys wear Continental tyres. There’s ample red detailing inside, plus a flat-bottom R.S. steering wheel.
Quashing European Dacia fans’ hopes, Renault Americas Region commercial director Olivier Murguet said: “The new models that Renault is showing today herald a new era, in which products are designed and built in Latin America for Latin Americans.
“This is the case of the new Renault Sandero R.S. 2.0, which combines the fundamental components of pleasure and passion as seen by Renault Sport. It delivers an exciting driving experience and a sporty ambience.”
The Buenos Aires Motor Show opened today (19 June); more than half a million people are expected to visit.
Prices for the Duster Commercial range start from £9,595 plus VAT, and Dacia boasts it offers up to 1,150 litres of load space with a 550kg payload.
There’s even a 4×4 version alongside the standard front-wheel drive model; both will use Renault’s trusty 110hp 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel engine which combines up to 56.5mpg fuel economy in front-wheel drive guise, with 0-62mph in 12.2 seconds.
Even the 4×4 version averages over 54mpg though, and Dacia reckons this one’s set to draw landscape gardeners, farmers, ground maintenance staff plus forestry, power and communications companies.
Riley’s presence on Dacia’s NEC van show stand will undoubtedly help rouse interest in the new Dacia van too – she’s on hand to interactively demonstrate the new Duster Commercial’s competitive value in crowd-drawing fashion. Clever Dacia.
Andy Heiron, Dacia brand manager, said: “With the Dacia brand now established as part of the UK motoring landscape following two very successful years of growth, we now feel the time is right to launch a Duster product in the commercial vehicle sector.
“Having previously considered local adaptations, the shift of production location to Europe gave us the opportunity to have an N1-homologated product direct from the factory.”
It won’t even be sold in paired-back base trim: model choices are either Ambiance or Laureate, with all offering electric windows, Bluetooth, USB socket, stability control and fancy chrome interior highlights. The cargo deck is fully lined with tough plastic, and is nearly 1.4 metres long and more than a metre wide.
Tradesmen will ideally want to get the Laureate though: this adds air con, cruise control with speed limiter, electric door mirrors and fancy piano black interior detailing that a builder will turn matt in no time at all.
The Duster Commercial will arrive in dealers later this year, to provide an interesting new competitor in the car-derived vans market that already account for 30 per cent of Britain’s booming light commercial vehicle sector.
Dacia Duster Commercial van – prices
|Commercial Ambiance dCi 110 4×2||£9,595 + VAT|
|Commercial Ambiance dCi 110 4×4||£11,295 + VAT|
|Commercial Lauréate dCi 110 4×2||£10,845 + VAT|
|Commercial Lauréate dCi 110 4×4||£12,545 + VAT|
*excludes VED (£0 for 4×2, £130 for 4×4), First Registration Fee (£55) and delivery (£595)
Value car brand Dacia recently handed over its 25,000th car in the UK, 18 months after launching in Britain. Read more
What do you do if you want to buy a 2WD Dacia Duster but occasionally venture off road?
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