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Dacia Duster crossover news - Geneva show: Dacia Duster - 2010
Here’s some news to warm the cockles of James
May’s heart. Dacia, Renault-owned bargain-bucket manufacturer of the, er,
legendary Sandero hatchback, is officially launching in the UK in 2010.
But at first it won’t be selling the
The first model will be the Duster
crossover. This is actually rather good news, for the Duster is a fine thing.
It’s a conspicuous bargain at about £12,000, and has none of the pointless
pretensions that blight so many of the breed.
As Renault’s chief operating officer
Patrick Pelata says: “It’s a modern day Renault 4. Cheap, roomy, practical, and
you don’t mind getting it dirty.” Given you still see ancient Renault 4s driven
by French farmers to see their sheep at the top of mountain tracks, he’s got a
Dacia is doing especially well in Germany,
the country where, in the normal run of play, being ‘premium’ counts for
everything. But apparently there’s a new breed of people who could easily
afford, say, a BMW X1, but don’t want to the flash. They want simple things and
a materially simple life.
Which just happens to be just the kind of
honest cheap-car philosophy our James keeps going on about.
And the Sandero? It arrives about a year
after the Duster. But it will be the Mark 2 version. Let’s hope it retains the
charm of the original.
Paul Horrell, Consultant Editor of Top Gear magazine