The Dacia Duster budget SUV is set to include a new seven-seater model when all-new 4×4 arrives next year; could be called ‘Grand Duster’
Dacia has just surpassed four million global car sales since 2004, and the budget brand will look to keep that momentum going with a wave of new models, Auto Express can reveal. Key to its plans will be an all new Duster in 2017, but to capitalise on the ever-increasing SUV market, an even larger and more practical seven-seat version, possibly badged the Grand Duster, will arrive the following year.
Despite the new appearance, Dacia won’t lose sight of its value ethos. To keep costs down, the Grand Duster will stick with a development of the platform used on the current five-seat version, but with an increased wheelbase to accommodate a third row of seats. The seven seater will measure around 4.7 metres in length around 200mm longer than the standard Duster, which is also expected to grow by the same amount, up from around 4.3m.
As a result, boot capacity on both versions will also grow; we expect a 500ltr load area for the five seater and upwards of 650 ltrs in the Grand Duster with the third row of seats folded.
Those proportions put the Grand Duster up against the likes of the Nissan X Trail and the Kia Sorento in terms of size, but as it’s set to cost from around £13,000, it leaves its seven-seat SUV rivals in the dust for price.
Given the strong value and Dacia’s budget roots, the cabin will remain a no-frills, low-tech affair. Don’t expect too much in the way of a redesign, as the focus will be on the exterior. Cloth seats, electric front windows, DAB radio and steel wheels will be the highlights on entry-level cars, but on higher-spec versions, we will see climate control, sat-nav and parking sensors appear as standard.
Top-spec models with four-wheel drive are likely to nudge the £18,000 mark, the most Dacia will have ever charged for a car.
A selection of the engines available in the current Duster will be carried over. The new 124bhp 1.2ltr turbo petrol will be offered, but the current 1.5-litre diesel is likely to be ditched in favour of a larger and more powerful 130bhp 1.6ltr diesel, a development of the engine parent company Renault uses in the Kadjar.
There’s unlikely to be the option of an automatic gearbox, again, to keep the costs as low of possible with all models coming with a six-speed manual as standard. Four wheel drive will continue to be made available as an option, though.


Text Credits; Auto Express


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