The UK's most “shockingly affordable" car

In only its debut year in Auto Express' Driver Power survey, Dacia, the UK's most “shockingly affordable" car brand has blasted straight into the top five car manufacturers for owner satisfaction

Racking up a stunning overall score of 88.04%, Renault Group's upstart brand blasted past hordes of other car firms, including considerably pricier brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. In the process, it overtook most of its direct competitors across a wealth of individual categories too, ranging from in-car tech to practicality and reliability.

Renault Group's “function over frivolity" brand has already taken the UK's new and used car market by storm since its launch last January. Dacia's already sold over 24,000 cars, picking up a series of impressive media awards for its Sandero range and Duster along the way. Now, for the first time, the survey results allowed real life UK customers to dish out the Dacia plaudits. And funnily enough, in true James May-style, the “good news" just keeps on coming.

As might be expected given its keen prices, from just £5,995, its four-model range of Sandero, Sandero Stepway, Logan MCV and Duster pushed aside most of the competition for running costs, as well as fuel economy, coming an impressive second overall in both categories. Driving its low cost of ownership message home even further, it also came in eighth out of 33 brands for servicing costs.

It also posted a podium position for reliability. Mind you, that's hardly surprising given that every Dacia is built to cope with every extreme of road and weather condition thrown at it across the globe. Whether it's relentless rain in the Pampas, or plenty of potholes in Poole.

Topping off its extraordinary debut in the UK's leading car ownership survey, Dacia impressed once more with a fourth for practicality and an equally remarkable third for in-car tech. No doubt courtesy, in part, to the innovative MediaNav infotainment system, which at £300, costs literally hundreds of pounds less than conventional manufacturer integrated offerings.

Commenting on Dacia's stunning debut success in this year's survey, Ken Ramirez, Managing Director, Renault Group UK, said, “Dacia has a great reputation for affordable, high quality products, with impressive reliability. With an ever-growing trophy cabinet and a four-model range available for a full year, its sales just keep on rising. Dacia has very loyal customers right across the globe, so I'm delighted that as one of its newest markets, our UK customers are finding them such a pleasure to own."