If you have never heard of Dacia, you soon will – it is to Renault what Skoda is to VW.
The new low cost brand, which has been a big success in both emerging markets and the rest of Europe since 2005, will arrive in the UK at the end of June. Its main model will be the Duster SUV – think of a more basic, and far cheaper, version of the smash-hit Skoda Yeti.
The new car officially goes on sale on June 28th. Prices have yet to be announced, but are expected to range from £10,000 for the petrol 2wd model to around £14,000 for a diesel 4wd – so a few thousand below any direct rival. The styling is cleverly done: it says no-nonsense off-roader, without looking clumsy or old-fashioned.
Renault has just announced that there will be two optional upgrades to the standard 3 year/60.000 mile warranty. The first upgrade gives a 5 year/60,000 miles warranty for £395, while a 7 year/100,000 miles warranty will also be available at £850. Each warranty includes Roadside Assistance for the duration of the policy period.
Not that there should be too many warranty claims on a Dacia. Thanks to its simple construction and lack of electronic gadgets, Dacia models have proved to be more reliable than parent company Renault's more expensive cars. In this case, less really is more.