Second generation car coming at last.
The Dacia brand was introduced to the UK in 2012, as a value-focused budget alternative to more mainstream Renaults. It's been a huge success for the French-owned firm, thanks to the consumer-friendly desirability of its launch Duster SUV model and later Sandero supermini.
The Duster wasn't a new car at launch though: it had actually been on sale for a few years overseas. That's why Dacia is already preparing an all-new one, due for launch later this year – and our spies have now caught it testing on video for the first time.
It's clear the new model is going to be an evolution of the current one, albeit a car with crisper, sharper styling and a more modern appearance. It's going to grow a bit compared to today's car – although we hear it's not to get a seven-seat option – yet it's likely to still use the same basic platform as the current model, albeit modernised. Basing it on the newer setup used by the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar would make it too expensive.
Expect a quality lift for the interior: it won't become lavish and premium-like, but it will be modernised and some of the current car's more questionable details duly improved. There may be a few new tech goodies, such as automatic wipers, and we hope Dacia will move the infotainment screen higher up on the dash.
As for engines, we don't think the 1.5 dCi will change much, and Dacia may also retain the basic 1.6-litre SCe motor: the firm introduced a 1.2 TCe turbo engine relatively recently and even that's likely to carry across. Again, the focus will be on keeping costs under control rather than chasing the latest thing.
Expect a full model reveal later this summer, and the second-generation Dacia Duster to make its public bow at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. If it's like today's car, simply better, expect it to be even more of a hit for the popular value car brand.