Milestone as Dacia makes 10 millionth vehicle

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
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Dacia celebrates 10 million vehicles

Dacia is celebrating the production of its 10 millionth vehicle since the value-for-money brand was born in 1968.

The Dacia Duster Extreme SE in Urban Grey was produced at the company’s plant in Romania.

Dacia celebrates 10 millionth vehicle

Dacia assembled its first vehicle, the Dacia 1100, in August 1968. The following year, the popular Dacia 1300 model was introduced. It inspired a whole family of derivatives such as the saloon, station wagon, sports coupe and LCV and remained in production for 35 years.

A new chapter in Dacia’s history was opened following its acquisition by Renault Group in 1999.

With the launch of Logan in 2004, Dacia became a global carmaker and the pace of sales accelerated. In 2005, Dacia opened a production line outside Romania, at the Somaca plant in Casablanca, Morocco.

Dacia launched in the UK in January 2013 and enjoyed the most successful start ever for a new car brand in the UK. So far, more than 220,000 Dacia vehicles have been sold. In all, Dacia vehicles are sold in 44 countries.

Within the 10 million vehicles produced, there have been:

  • 2.6 million Dacia Sandero and Sandero Stepway, the best-selling vehicle to private customers in Europe since 2017
  • 2.1 million Dacia Duster, the best-selling SUV to private customers in Europe since 2018
  • 1.95 million Dacia Logan and Logan MCV
  • 2.3 million Dacia 1300 (and variants)

“We are very proud to have passed the symbolic milestone of 10 million vehicles produced,” said Denis Le Vot, CEO of Dacia.

“This result rewards a pragmatic vision of the automobile, focused on what is essential to our customers.

“Building on its experience, Dacia will continue to grow and offer attractive vehicles that are adapted to our customers’ lifestyles.”

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Dacia Jogger review

Dacia Jogger

Every now and again a new car rocks up that takes me by complete surprise. Believe it or not, the Dacia Jogger is one such vehicle.

The headline is that this latest model from Renault’s Romanian budget brand is the cheapest seven-seater on the market – by a long chalk.

The reality is that it’s a remarkably affordable family car that can genuinely seat seven people (I’m just under 6ft and I can fit in the third row), which is more than you can say for some other supposed seven-seaters for more than twice the price.

Dacia Jogger

The cheap and cheerful Jogger range starts at just £14,995 and it’s hard to categorise because it’s the length of an estate car, has the ground clearance some crossovers, and yet boasts the interior versality of a people carrier, or even a LAV (Leisure Activity Vehicle).

There are three trim levels – Essential, Comfort and Extreme SE. The former comes with cruise control, air conditioning, LED lights and rear parking sensors as standard.

Comfort, which is likely to be the most popular option, gets keyless entry, an electronic handbrake, automatic wipers and a rear parking camera, while Extreme SE adds heated front seats, interior floor mats, sat nav and a few rufty-tufty exterior styling tweaks.

Dacia Jogger

Comfort and Extreme get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, but you’ll have to use your smartphone for media and navigation duties on an entry-level Essential model.

So, the Jogger follows in the same successful wheel-tracks as its siblings – the Sandero, Sandero Stepway and Duster – which is no-frills motoring at a bargain price.

It shares its attractive front end, complete with straked LED headlights, with the recently launched Sandero, while its profile is certainly distinctive (and long), but it won’t win a rear of the year contest.

Dacia Jogger

That said, it is a clever design because the rear gently rises up, allowing stacks of headroom and visibility inside for passengers in the stadium-style second row of seats, where there’s already impressive legroom.

The huge tailgate opens to reveal just 213 litres of cargo space with the third row of seats in place.  As a five-seater, you get a massive 699 litres of space. Fold these down and remove the third row of seats (easily done) and there’s a van-like 2,085-litre load bay.

The Jogger also features Dacia’s clever roof rails, which swivel around to create a roof rack.

Dacia Jogger

The front cabin will be familiar to Sandero drivers, which means that it’s pretty basic and there’s no shortage of scratchy plastic, but it does the job. My only gripe is that the driving position is a little high for my liking.

The Jogger’s 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine is more refined than I expected and surprisingly punchy at lower speeds. The Eco button dulls the engine response, so best left for longer cruises. The six-speed manual gearbox works just fine – it’s just a shame Dacia sticks with its uncomfortable gear knob.

On paper, the 108bhp turbo petrol engine (TCe 110) can sprint to 62mph in 11.2 seconds and return up to 48.7mpg, while CO2 emissions are 131g/km. From my experience of driving on mixed roads, 45mpg is achievable, and it can nudge 50mpg on a motorway run.

Dacia Jogger

It’s incredibly easily to drive with light steering and good visibility, but things get a little more challenging when its pushed beyond its comfort zone. More spirited drivers will soon realise that it loses its composure on more challenging roads.

Keep it sensible and the lightweight Jogger is nimble and good fun to drive.

So far so good – now the fly in the ointment. The Jogger scored just one out of five stars in Euro NCAP safety tests, which are more rigorous than ever.

It was marked down for its lack of safety kit and driver assistance technology equipment and the testers were unimpressed that it doesn’t have airbags or seatbelt reminders for the third row of seats.

While this safety score is nothing to boast about, it’s worth pointing out that the Jogger isn’t a dangerous car, it’s just not as super safe as many other new vehicles.

Dacia Jogger

For the record, all Jogger models feature six airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), anti-lock brakes (ABS), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with ASR (Traction control) and Hill Start Assist (HSA), while Comfort trim and above get a blind spot warning system. In other words, it’s still a lot safer than millions of older cars on the roads today.

It’s a shame to end on a negative, because the Jogger is a fantastic all-round package, especially when every penny counts.

Verdict: As the cost of living crisis deepens, the all-new Dacia Jogger is well worth considering because it offers remarkable value for money and is a superbly honest and practical car. A genuine seven-seater, it’s economical, easy to drive and incredibly versatile. Take one for a test drive and prepare to be bowled over.

Dacia UK

Dacia Jogger

Why Dacia owners have reasons to be cheerful

Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Sandero

Dacia models have been praised for their value, comfort and reliability in a major new satisfaction study.

Renault’s Romanian budget brand scored exceptionally well in four satisfaction indexes conducted by readers of consumer motoring website Honest John.

Manufacturers and vehicles were assessed on reliability, build quality, fuel economy, repair costs and performance. Ride comfort, handling, ease of driving, practicality and technology were also considered, as well as safety.

Based on feedback from more than 5,000 owners, the low cost manufacturer was named Most Satisfying Car Brand in the Satisfaction Index 2021, pipping Lexus and Hyundai.

Most Satisfying Car Brand 

Rank Manufacturer Satisfaction Index Rating (%)
1 Dacia 91.6
2 Lexus 90.6
3 Hyundai 89.7
4 Kia 89.6
5 MG 89.4
6 Skoda 89.1
7 Subaru 89.0
8 Toyota 88.8
9 Porsche 88.7
10 Volkswagen 88.4

Dacia, which makes the popular Duster SUV, was just beaten by Japanese premium brand Lexus in the Most Reliable Car Manufacturer index.

Most Reliable Car Manufacturer

Rank Manufacturer Satisfaction out of 10
1 Lexus 9.81
2 Dacia 9.76
3 Mitsubishi 9.64
4 Toyota 9.63
5 Suzuki 9.59
6 Kia 9.54
7 Honda 9.51
8 Subaru 9.50
9 MG 9.48
10 Hyundai 9.48

Meanwhile, while the Dacia Sandero – still the UK’s cheapest new car – finished four in the Most Satisfying Car index, behind the Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen T-Roc and Mazda CX-5.

Most Satisfying Car

Rank Manufacturer and Model Satisfaction Index Rating (%)
1 Hyundai Ioniq (2016 – ) 95.7
2 Volkswagen T-Roc (2018 – ) 93.7
3 Mazda CX-5 (2017- ) 93.0
4 Dacia Sandero (2013 – 2021 ) 92.6
5 Skoda Kodiaq (2016 – ) 92.5
6 Honda CR-V (2018 – ) 92.5
7 Skoda Superb Estate (2014 – ) 92.2
8 Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – ) 92.2
9 BMW 3 Series Touring (2012 – 2019) 91.8
10 Toyota Corolla (2019 – ) 91.6

The Sandero also gained a podium place in the Most Reliable Car category, again beaten by the Hyundai Ioniq and Volkswagen T-Roc.

Most Reliable Car

Rank Manufacturer and Model Satisfaction out of 10
1 Hyundai Ioniq (2016 – ) 9.93
2 Volkswagen T-Roc (2018 – ) 9.90
3 Dacia Sandero (2013 – 2021 ) 9.90
4 SEAT Leon (2013 – 2020 ) 9.86
5 Mazda CX-5 (2017- ) 9.83
6 Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – ) 9.83
7 Honda Jazz (2014 – 2020 ) 9.82
8 Lexus NX (2014 – ) 9.82
9 Toyota Yaris (2011 – 2020) 9.79
10 Kia Sportage (2016 – ) 9.77

“What a tremendous recognition for Dacia that manufacturing a low cost car doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any of the things that make your customers happy,” said Dan Powell, Senior Editor of HonestJohn.co.uk.

“Cheap does mean cheerful, with readers praising Dacia models for their value, comfort and reliability. The Romanian manufacturer is part of the Renault family and that quality comes through in its high scores for satisfaction and reliability.

“This is a massive piece of research, a real barometer of what the nation thinks of its cars, with more than 5,000 HonestJohn.co.uk readers taking part.

“It is also a clear indicator of the rise and rise of electric and hybrid vehicles that the Hyundai Ioniq was crowned the most satisfying car for the second year in a row.”

Dacia reaches 200,000 sales milestone

Dacia has sold its 200,000th car in the UK – just eight years after arriving.

The milestone model for Renault’s Romanian budget brand was an all-new Sandero Stepway Prestige.

Still selling the UK’s cheapest new car (the Sandero range starts at £7,995), Dacia has built a strong reputation, offering buyers practical, robust vehicles at affordable prices.

In 2013, when Dacia launched in the UK, the range was made up of the second-generation Sandero and the first-generation Duster. These models were quickly followed by the Logan MCV.

Of all the Dacia models available, the Sandero Stepway, with its raised ride height and SUV styling cues, makes up around 60% of all Sandero sales.

The 200,000th Dacia was a Sandero Stepway Prestige TCe 100 Bi-Fuel, finished in Iron Blue. The vehicle was purchased by Christopher Simpson, a first time Dacia owner, from Brayleys Dacia in Milton Keynes.

“We’re delighted that Christopher is collecting his new Sandero Stepway from us, like any sale, but even more so as the 200,000th Dacia sold in the UK,” said Jack Bramston, Sales Manager at Brayleys Dacia.

“We’ve been selling Dacias at Brayleys since 2014 and it’s been incredible to be on the brand’s journey of success in the UK. We wish Chris many happy miles in his new Sandero.”

Luke Broad, Head of Sales, Dacia UK, added: “We celebrated 100,000 Dacia sales four years after launching in the UK, and four years later we’ve sold another 100,000.

“We’ve been keeping up the momentum, all while continuing to provide UK customers with the most affordable cars on the market. We’re thrilled that our customers – both new and existing – trust Dacia in providing unrivalled value for money, practicality and low running costs.”

Dacia Sandero review

Dacia Sandero review

Brace yourselves badge snobs, you’re in for a shock. You see, we’ve just driven the all-new second-generation Dacia Sandero and it’s something of a revelation.

Priced from just £7,995, the Sandero is still the UK’s most affordable new car, yet the latest version sports fresh new looks, a jump in quality, more tech and it drives surprisingly well.

What’s more, it offers supermini space for significantly less than the cheapest city car on the market, plus low depreciation.

Dacia Sandero review

Based on the same platform as the impressive Renault Clio (the French car giant has owned Romania’s Dacia brand since 1999), it’s no surprise that the Sandero is a much-improved car.

The shape may be familiar, but it’s much sharper than the outgoing model with horizontal Y-shaped daytime running lights that flow into the chrome bars of Dacia’s corporate grille, a moulded bonnet and new rear lights.

It’s both longer and wider than its predecessor, which has boosted space inside the cabin and in the boot. There’s now 328 litres of luggage space (1,108 litres with the back seats folded) and there’s plenty of room in the rear for adult passengers.

Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Sandero

As before, you can choose between the standard Sandero or the Sandero Stepway which has a more rugged appearance, a raised ride height and clever roof rails which cleverly convert into a roof rack to carry loads up to 80kg.

The Sandero is better equipped too. Entry-level Access models come with LED headlights, front electric windows and a phone docking station. Mid-range Essential gains air-conditioning, cruise control and remote central locking, while the range-topping Comfort gets electric rear windows and an 8.0-inch central infotainment touchscreen.

The cabin generally is more appealing than before, but it’s still fairly basic with hard plastic surfaces. That said, the seats are comfortable, the driving position is good (avoid Access trim which has no height-adjustable driver’s seat), while visibility is average for its class.

Dacia Sandero review

Powered by a range of three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engines of varying outputs (64bhp and 80bhp), plus a 99bhp Bi-Fuel option which can run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as regular unleaded and is capable of more than 800 miles of range when both tanks are full.

We tried the Bi-Fuel Sandero in top-grade Comfort specification, which is capable of up to 52.3 mpg (petrol) or 39.8mpg (using LPG which is around half the price of unleaded).

Emissions are 123g/km for the petrol engine and 109g/km when operating on gas. With a 0-62mph time of 11.6 seconds, it’s no hot hatch, but quite adequate for everyday driving. It’s also smooth and refined for its size.

Dacia Sandero review

It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox (the base level 64bhp engine only gets a five-speeder), which works well. The ride isn’t the most sophisticated, but it’s perfectly comfortable, while the handling is composed, if on the soft side.

We also tested the Sandero Stepway in top-of-the-range Prestige trim, which came with an 89bhp petrol engine and six-speed CVT automatic gearbox.

For us, the bigger-selling Stepway variant doesn’t just win on looks, but it also offers a more engaging drive. The automatic gearbox is just the job, especially for easy city driving, and it offers fuel economy of up to 45.6mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 139g/km.

Dacia Sandero review

So, the reality is that despite its headline-grabbing entry-level price point, there are lots of reasons to avoid the smaller engines and lower specs, meaning your end purchase is likely to cost between £10-15,000.

Still, even in that price bracket, the Sandero siblings easily undercut other (base-level) superminis.

Dacia Sandero review

The only fly in the ointment is when it comes to safety. Euro NCAP awarded the Sandero a disappointing two stars out of five.

Among the criticisms was that the car’s radar-only Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system reacts to other vehicles, but lacks the capability to prevent crashes with pedestrians or cyclists.

Euro NCAP also criticised the Sandero for not being available with active lane-keeping assistance.

This safety rating shouldn’t be a deal-breaker though because the tests were carried out after the more stringent safety regime was introduced in 2020. A year or two ago, the Sandero would have been a high-flier. Dacia also deserves praise because AEB is standard across the range.

Verdict: Overall, the Dacia Sandero and Sandero Stepway represent fantastic value for money – compelling, no-nonsense propositions, offering practicality, comfort, low running costs – and now some much-needed kerb appeal.

Dacia UK

Dacia Sandero review