Dacia, or more accurately Renault, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Romanian budget brand’s “rebirth” as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the French car maker, with a run of high-spec special edition models.
We like Dacias a lot. They’re among the few cars that are cheap and genuinely cheerful. Not advanced or sophisticated, but robust and characterful. And despite the slightly vague handling and bouncy ride, they’re oddly amusing to drive.
The new special editions have been christened Laureate Prime, available on the Sandero hatchback, Logan MCV estate and Duster SUV. All come in Cosmos Blue, with dark-coloured wheels and door mirror shells.
Inside there’s a front centre armrest, rear electric windows, leather steering wheel and Renault’s latest MediaNav Evolution infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen, nav, Bluetooth, USB and aux-in ports and voice recognition.
That lot adds to a standard spec including climate control, cruise control, heated electric door mirrors and central locking. We take that stuff for granted these days, but bare in mind base-model Dacias come with literally nothing. Not even a radio.
Together, the metallic paint, infotainment and Comfort Pack would add £895 to the price of a Laureate. The Laureate Prime adds £500.
The special edition is available with a petrol or diesel engine in the Sandero and Logan; the Duster is diesel only, but with a choice of two- or four-wheel-drive. Prices start at £9,295, £10,295 and £13,995 respectively. For comparison, a Fiesta specced to the same level as the Sandero would cost an extra £6,000.