Tag Archive | "Dacia"

Dacia Duster Black Edition

The budget Dacia range has certainly gained a foothold in the minds of British drivers. In these days of high motoring costs the budget ethos of the Dacia brand has stuck a chord with car buyers.

The Sandero is the cheapest car available today and whilst it won’t win any premium prizes it is certainly an attractive and functional car that pretty much gives drivers all they need even if it isn’t everything they want. A new car for shockingly affordable money is hard to resist.

Dacia, recently subsumed under the umbrella of the French manufacturer Renault, has made an enemy of the unnecessary and makes a simple range of cleverly designed, high quality vehicles which unashamedly favour function over frivolity.

Dacia have not forgotten that some drivers need something a little more rugged and the highly regarded Duster fits the bill. To date – since its introduction earlier this year – the company have taken some 4,000 orders already so now they’ve announced a new special version threateningly called The Black Edition.

The Black Edition was originally supposed to be a one-off made especially for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Such was the interest shown that the decision was made to actually offer this model for sale. Orders are being taken now for October delivery.

black2 Dacia Duster Black Edition

The Black is a Duster Ambiance dCi 110 two-wheel drive and it is loaded with a host of extras including a brushed black vinyl wrap finish. The interior has ash leather and a Kenwood media system. The Kenwood set-up includes a high-res screen, Garmin navigation (with traffic info), Bluetooth, DAB, hands-free and the usual connectivity. Buyers of this rugged motor will not just be delighted with the car, they’ll also be delighted with the price which is hugely competitive at £17,575.

As can be seen from the images the cars certainly looks the part – the image shows the optional roof mounted spots which might prove to be useful for campers or late night pizza hunters.

There must be something in it. Already the Sandero and Duster have won a selection of awards. It’s a no nonsense brand that doesn’t waste money on the things that – for most motorists – are only marginally of value. Instead it concentrates on real value for money. No doubt the we’ll see a goodly number of Black Editions on the road come next winter.

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Geneva Choice

As well as the desirable examples entering the automotive market that we have already featured on Motor Blogger, there are also plenty of other new cars worthy of our attention at this year‘s Geneva show. The selection is diverse and has plenty to offer all price points and sectors.

For example, we have already heard a lot about the budget brand Dacia and the decent value for money cars they offer. Joining the ranks in the UK market now is the Logan. Essentially, this is an estate car version of the Sandero which will be priced from about £7000, which is excellent value for a family sized car that is a similar size to the Volvo V70.

The Logan is offered with the same range of engines as its hatchback siblings, including a 1.5L diesel which busts the 100g/km CO² barrier. For the cost-conscious driver who needs some decent carrying capacity (better than a Focus estate) this car seems like a great choice.

On the Honda stand there is more about their Earth Dreams Technology. No, it’s not some sort of return to a mystical pagan past but rather just a name for their equivalent of BMW’s ‘EfficientDynamics’ or Volkswagen’s ‘Bluemotion’ eco-strategies. It’s centred around Honda’s 1.6L I-DTEC diesel engine, first seen in the new Civic. This time it is in the company’s British built CR-V which will deliver a balance between efficient performance and functionality. It looks good too.

Suzuki are a car maker who perhaps don’t really get the credit they deserve. They have been plugging away on the British forecourts for years without actually setting the market on fire. They have made some good cars and their current Swift is a popular choice in the press. Maybe with the new SX4 Crossover (pictured) they will get a bit more attention from the buying public.

This new model is bigger than its predecessor and has moved into the popular C sector by increasing in size. It combines compact car know-how with the Suzuki technology honed for SUVs. To be built in Hungary the SX4 will be on sale from the Autumn.

Finally, Chevrolet are showing a selection that includes the Spark EV and a new upscale Captiva. Sales of the Trax will start this Spring but for petrol- heads the biggest news is of the new Corvette Stingray. This is powered by a 6.2L V8 which shoves out a muscle-bound 450bhp. Totally impractical for Britain’s third world roads of course but we want one anyway. In black, please.

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Sao Paulo Sensations

Motor shows are perennially popular. They are the conduit for manufacturers to let the buying public know about their latest offerings and concepts. They tell us which way the industry is going. Up here in the hard lands of the winter we’re used to hearing about the shows in Europe and the Far East, but down in the Southern Hemisphere, where the other half live, people buy cars too apparently and one of their most prestigious motor shows has just closed in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Manufacturers are keen to commit to Brazil as they see it as a growing and productive economy, unlike stagnant Europe. Brazil is now listed as the fourth largest car market in the world and car makers have sensibly been revealing new models to this burgeoning market.

Volkswagen have been aware of this for decades of course. They’ve been building cars there since 1959. This time they have introduced the new, and frankly sensational Taigun concept to the world (pictured). It’s an SUV, Jim, but not as we know it. Based on the UP! City car but with slightly larger dimensions, it is a full five-seater with a punchy one litre engine driven through a six speed ‘box. Lined up against it’s bigger siblings the Tiguan and Toureg, the family resemblance is there but in a tiny dimension. If it is finally built, and it looks probable, it will almost certainly sell in droves.

In keeping with the small is beautiful theme, Nissan have shown the Extrem concept – and yes, that is the right spelling. Designed to sit below the Juke and Qashqai models, the Extrem is based on the Micra platform and is believed to be demonstrating Nissan’s future look.

Interestingly, Renault sell their Dacia brand in South America badged as Renaults. This is apparently because there the people don’t really go along with the rather pretentious idea of low budget ranges and the like. There are cheap cars and there are expensive cars and that’s it. Thus the Dacia Duster becomes the Renault DCross and very butch it is to, with many manly embellishments to the exterior. Brazilians like their motors a bit tougher than us soft Europeans, which is why Honda add bigger bumpers and body cladding to the Jazz and call it the Fit Twist!

Things are changing in the car world. Sao Paulo is now arguably the most vibrant of auto industry market places. All the brand names had a car or two on show and many new ideas have been seen. It demonstrates the continuing trend to smaller vehicles with smaller, more efficient engines. Maybe it would shake up the European market if customers decided to go Latino!

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Dacia Sandero – The People’s Car for the 21st Century

In 2009, the estimable James May pronounced this vehicle to be an ‘anti-fashion’ car when he drove one in Romania. It was, he said, basic and all the better for it. You’ll be glad to hear, therefore, that you too can make such anti-establishment statements, now that owning cars is seen as being equated with devil worship in some quarters.

As previously reported, the car was shown at the Paris Motor Show and will soon be available to buy. Expect to see it making an appearance on British roads in January next year; but how interested will the public be in a seriously cheap car like the Sandero? Dacia are promoting it as ‘shockingly affordable’ but is this code for ‘shockingly awful’?

It is going up against some seriously powerful opposition. The all-conquering Fiesta is in its sector along with Vauxhall’s Corsa and the now popular Kia Rio. Certainly motorists in the UK are strapped for cash as successive car-hating governments bear down upon the national wallet. This may be the Sandero’s time.

In fact, it’s not a bad looking car. It won’t win any design awards but that’s not really the point of the Sandero. The company, bankrolled by Renault, have cut the fancy stuff to the bone. It’s been reported that drivers are rebelling against what they see as excessive and pointless trinkets and devices being loaded on cars to make them seem more desirable. No worries with the Sandero then. The basic models will of course have the entry-level safety equipment you’d expect, like airbags, power-steering and ABS. But you can forget about such fripperies as alloys, electric mirrors and even basic air-conditioning. Just open a window, why don’t you?

Further up the range and things start getting a bit more luxurious. Fog lights and height adjustable seats feature whilst at the top of the range alloys finally make an appearance along with a trip computer! Space-age. The interior is much improved over the earlier version driven by Mr May.

It is wrong to dismiss this car as a bit of a joke. The company are using proven technology and the model has a good reputation for reliability. Elsewhere in the world the Sandero and other models in the range have been very successful and in demand, that’s why a RHD model has been so long in coming. For many drivers, a new car with warranty for well under seven grand is going to be very tempting indeed. Get one via your local Renault dealer. Oh, and it is pronounced ‘Datcha’, by the way. J

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Paris Motor Show

Ahh, Paris. City of dreams; and never more so when the prestigious motor show comes to town and reveals our Autumn automotive surprises.

There has been talk for some time of a long-awaited replacement for the iconic E-Type Jaguar. Well, finally, it’s here. That’s it in the picture and boy, does it look good. To be honest there’s not much there to remind us of the legendary predecessor but it most certainly is a Jaguar. If the performance matches the looks then we’re in for a treat. The company are competing well on price too as this will cost from under £60k up to just shy of the £80k mark. For this market and against the known competition this appears to be good value.

The Paris Motor Show isn’t just a chance for car makers to unveil their super cars; it is also a market place for the more run-of-the-mill cars that most of us buy and there’s plenty of exciting new developments in this sector too.

Hyundai have really pushed the boat out with not one but three launches. There’s a three-door i30, a rally ready i20 – which heralds the brand’s return to the World Rally Championship in 2013 – and also a really exciting eco-car which successfully counters the range anxiety problem with EVs. It’s called the ix35 Fuel Cell. Powered by a lithium-polymer battery and a 100kW hydrogen fuel stack, this car should be good for 365 miles according to the company blurb. It is due to commence production late this year and initially will be available to fleet operators.

As ever, Ford are pitching some great new cars including a new version of the well received Kuga, a hybrid Mondeo and the B-Max. FIAT, SEAT and those new dynamos of automotive industry Dacia are all previewing new vehicles. Dacia, in particular, are showing the Sandero – so beloved by James May – the Logan (a family sized car) and the slightly odd Sandero Stepway which is described as a ‘charismatic adventurer’. Rugged.

There is much to appeal to all budgets at this years show. Manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to revive the ailing car industry by building cars that are featuring all the latest technology and safety devices as well as stunningly good design.

For those that like to dream though; as well as the Jag, there is also the Maserati Grancabrio MC, a car so beautiful it will make you fall in love with anyone standing near it, and another version of the Porsche Panamera – a car we are growing to like despite it’s unusual looks.

So, something for everyone then. If you can afford to buy a new car this year then you are definitely spoilt for choice.

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