What if Dacia was the only car brand in step with the times?

For a century and a half, like all the rest of the industry, the automobile only had the credo of “always more”. What if we didn’t expect to be able to cross the Loire on foot or see half the Landes burn to impose standards on manufacturers on the emissions of their cars – Euro 1 dates back to 1992! – this year 2022 looks like a click for the highest number. To the shortages of all kinds that make it difficult to resume post-Covid activity has been added the war between Russia and Ukraine. Suddenly, lead at €3/liter became a reality and raw materials, from gas to aluminum, began to run out. Something to anchor once and for all in people’s minds, that after the long period of the floodgates wide open, we will now have to “do more with less”. A new mantra that also applies to the automotive sector, even if it’s just the small end of the telescope.

Dacia, from low to cool

However, to see the escalation in the electric car, we tell ourselves that salvation is not for now. Wanting to give their “zero-emissions” the same ability to travel mindlessly as with an internal combustion engine that can be refueled in three minutes, manufacturers are developing huge batteries, which consume energy in rare earths or at least components. of all kinds. Tens of kilowatt-hours and hundreds of kilos that we hope to be able to recycle one day and that, however, do not adhere very much to the idea of ​​sobriety.. Not to mention the technological content of our connected cars that hang like an extension of ourselves. Let’s be clear, progress is a necessity, but the electric car, heavy, expensive and polluting in its own way, will not save the planet.

On the sidelines, there is a brand that seems to be on a trajectory more consistent with our real needs. Shortly seen as a low-cost label, Dacia now embodies the smart brand. Served by an economic and industrial context sadly shaped for it, the Romanian manufacturer, under the leadership of Renault, is boldly playing with luck. He confirmed it again during the presentation of his latest Manifesto concept (video above), promising to go “even further, tomorrow”. More than this slogan, as vague as it is promising, it is above all necessary to focus on the facts.

The Dacia Jogger got off to a good start in 2022.© Dacia

Well thought out and well built cars

To keep prices tight, Dacia limits onboard customization of its cars. Where a Jogger offers a maximum of 350 combinations, competitors offer thousands. In fact, industrialization is optimized and fewer materials are needed. Includes recycled plastic. If it struggles to establish itself with other manufacturers for obvious image reasons, it has its place in a beefy Duster, where it already accounts for 12%, while the next generation will use twice as much.. On the other hand, since their change of identity, Dacia no longer uses chrome and, as can be seen elsewhere, does not use animal leather.

In addition, leaving only the essentials in the equipment, Dacia manages to contain the weight of its cars. We check on our independent scale, a Sandero comes in at 1,100kg while the Duster and Jogger are around 1,300kg, the latter being around 350kg lighter than their similar opponents. Less material, less weight and the key, a necessarily minimized impact on use. We think about consumption first, but that’s not counting the conserved consumables, such as brakes and tires. Which also reject fewer particles in friction.

The Dacia Sandero now starts at €10,990.
The Dacia Sandero now starts at €10,990.© Dacia

An avenue to the future

Finally, Dacia is, with its parent company Renault, the only manufacturer to play the LPG card. Such a judicious choice that it reduces CO2 emissions by 10% and the cost of use by around 40%. Still under discussion, the Euro7 standard should preserve the use of this gas, which is now transparent for use.. As a Toyota that is still heavily reliant on hybrids, Dacia suggests that 500,000 cars – that’s the number of LPG-powered cars in Europe – that consume 10% less CO2 are better, for our lungs, than just a few tens of thousands of electrics. Without depriving yourself of covering this segment with your Primavera. Closer to a trolley than a modern car, the Romanian has already won over 40,000 customers on the Old Continent and remains to this day the cheapest electric vehicle on the market.. “Dacia will go electric when needed, but not before“, we assure internally, as always, on time.

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