It's camper van season and I'm sure many potential customers are wondering what the cheapest van on the market would be right now. One answer is that it would be the Dacia Sandman 2024... if it were on sale. 

Sadly, this project remains a mere digital vehicle, although we would love to see Dacia make it a reality. In fact, it would make perfect sense, as it would be an important source of revenue for the brand, as this niche market has been growing steadily since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dacia Sandman moderna

What would this vehicle offer? The Romanian company's latest design language, a certainly sporty look, basic conversion and a very low price compared to the competition. 

On the aesthetic side, so many passionate elements come together in a vehicle designed for nature and camping areas. For example, the large air intake on the front bumper, the two-tone alloy wheels, the darkened headlamps and lights and the tinted windows (which are good for sleeping and spending time in the cab) are striking.

But there's no shortage of country elements either, such as plastic underbody protection. Furthermore, the Sandman 2024 is configured with generous ground clearance. Van-like, it integrates a sliding door and there are two side-opening doors at the rear. 

Dacia Sandman moderna

Let's move on to the interior where we are greeted by a modern configuration, consisting of digital instrumentation and a central monitor in a floating position, with integrated navigation to pinpoint our destination. There's also a multimedia system that allows you to pair your mobile phone and use the apps installed on it via the screen.

The steering wheel has a sporty design with three spokes (the lower one in gloss black) and the new Dacia logo. As is often the case in vans, the steering wheel is set at a fairly steep angle to make it easier to operate. Fortunately, there are rotary dials to control the climate control without distraction. 

We spoke earlier of a basic conversion and that's as it should be, although there are no other images showing the rear of the cab. In principle, there would only be a space to place a couple of sleeping bags on a flat surface. 

This means that the rest (tables, chairs, kitchen cooker, kitchenware, chemical toilet, outside shower, water tanks, interior lighting, etc.) would be the responsibility of the customer, who would have to go to specialised shops to be properly equipped for a camper trip.

However, Dacia could also market the Sleep Pack that it offers on the Jogger and the new Duster so that the necessary investment does not escape the dealership.

In terms of engines, Dacia currently has a 100 PS bifuel (petrol and LPG) engine, several TCe petrol engines, some with light hybridisation, up to 130 PS and a 140 PS hybrid powertrain. Any of these could be suitable for this van which, logically, is not aiming for high performance.

Finally, the only thing left to discuss is the hypothetical price of the Dacia Sandman 2024. Can you imagine it going for between £17,000 and £22,000? We have no doubt that it would sell phenomenally well and generate a lot of joy within the Romanian brand.