SUVs may be all the rage in Europe these days, but Dacia is well aware it can’t go above the Duster in terms of pricing. The Romanian automaker has been enjoying a massive growth on the old continent in recent years thanks to affordable no-frills cars such as the Sandero small hatchback and the Duster SUV. Dacia is what Skoda used to be in the 1990s and early 2000s, and parent company Renault is determined to stick with the winning recipe in the years to come.
In an interview with Autocar, Dacia’s U.K boss, Louise O’Sullivan, ruled out the idea of a larger SUV slotting above the Duster. The reason is quite simple: a bigger model would prove to be too expensive for Dacia’s low-cost product philosophy. The decision makes perfect sense considering a pricier model would prompt people to look elsewhere at a more upmarket brand, such as Renault.
There had been rumors about a so-called Grand Duster with a longer wheelbase and a seven-seat cabin, but it looks like it won’t be happening after all.
As a refresher, Dacia’s latest update to the Duster lineup took place a couple of months ago when an upgraded Blue dCi 1.5-liter turbodiesel engine was introduced with a five horsepower gain for both versions of the four-cylinder unit. It can now be had with either 95 hp or 115 hp, with the lesser version packing an extra 30 Nm (22 lb-ft) of torque than before for a total of 240 Nm (177 lb-ft). The beefier configuration continues to have 260 Nm (192 lb-ft).
Sooner or later, a brand new infotainment system will be introduced as hinted in a teaser sketch published before the Duster’s official reveal last year.