Dacia has released the economy, compact SUV – the Dacia Duster – which is available in 4WD or 2WD. No current plans to bring the Duster to the UK.
Dacia is Renault’s Romanian brand and produces its own cars mostly based on Renault underpinnings. It currently offers none of its cars in the UK, but that could change with the Duster, although the initial roll-out doesn’t include RHD versions.
The budget conscious Dacia Duster is Renault’s budget arm’s take on a budget, compact SUV. Think Skoda Yeti in terms of size but aimed at lower income countries and individuals and you’ll be about right.
The Dacia Duster debuted as a concept at Geneva this year and sadly the Duster doesn’t live up to the concept in production form. But what do you want from a budget, compact SUV? Engine choice will be a 1.5 litre diesel with 104bhp or a 1.6 petrol with 84bhp. Option of two or four wheel drive and it does look as if – at least with 4WD – the Duster will be reasonably competent off-road.
It gets 20cm ground clearance, has a 30 degree angle of approach at the front and 35 at departure. You even get three drive modes on the Duster. Auto sorts it out for itself; Lock splits everything 50/50 F/R and a 2 wheel drive option which will save fuel around town.
Dacia / Renault haven’t announced any pricing, but it will be distinctly budget.