Dacia has indicated that it could be unveiling a new seven-seater edition of the recently-revealed Dacia Duster next year. The new 4x4 budget SUV will be named Dacia Grand Duster.
The Romanian carmaker recently hit the four million mark in auto unit sales since its 2004 revamping and financial revitalization under the umbrella of French car giant Renault. Seeking to keep with that momentum, the budget SUV manufacturer will now be seeking to position itself in the market even further by launching a number of new models.
By the end of 2017, Dacia is set to unveil the all-new Duster, before following that with a bigger seven-seater sibling in 2018. With the bigger version of the Dacia Duster, the company will be targeting the seven-seat SUV market currently dominated by the like of Kia Sorento and Nissan X-Trail.
According to various sources, both the upcoming standard Duster and the 2018 Grand Duster will benefit from Dacia’s updated design language. The larger SUV will be abandoning the chunky-boxy appearance of the current five-seat Dacia for a softer, more aesthetic look. But, as our exclusive images above can reveal, the tough body clad is set to remain.
Dacia will also be trying to maintain production costs for the new SUV on the low by sticking to a number of value ethos. For instance, the Grand Duster will have a similar platform to the standard Duster, but with a bigger wheelbase to accommodate the extra row of seats. This will see the seven-seater expanding by about 0.2m longer than it smaller sibling.
While comparable in size to competing brands like the X-Trail and the Sorento, the Grand Duster will retail at an initial price of about £13,000. This could make the budget SUV more attractive to consumers due to its much lower price for a more or less similar package by Dacia’s competitors.
The new Dacia’s cabin and interior also remain a low-tech affair with very few redesigns. The biggest focus will be on the SUV’s exterior. For entry-level automobiles, the main highlights will be cloth seats, a DAB radio, steel wheels and electric front windows. Top-spec editions will on the other hand be equipped with climate control, parking sensors and sat-nav capabilities and retail at a Dacia-high of £18,000.
The upcoming SUV will carry on with some of the current Dacia engines while also adopting other new ones. For instance, while the latest 1.2-litre 124bhp turbo petrol engine will be offered, the existing 1.5-litre diesel one could be ditched. In its place, there will be a bigger, more powerful 1.6-litre 130bhp diesel similar to the Renault Kadjar’s.
All upcoming models are also likely to be equipped with a standard six-speed manual gearbox rather than the more expensive automatic version. However, four-wheel drive will be available as another option.
Since Dacia first set foot on UK soil in 2013, up to 78,000 units have been bought. The company’s has been looking up ever since it came fifth in sales charts in France for the first six months of 2016. The future seems bright for Dacia.
Image source: pinthiscars.com