After dominating the low-cost, compact SUV segment for a decade with the Duster, Dacia plans to introduce an affordable SUV called the Dacia Bigster for large families. Codenamed Dacia R1310, it will be the brand’s entrant in Europe’s popular family SUV segment, but with versatile three-row seating. Expect it to be a budget alternative and set the cat among the pigeons for the likes of VW Tiguan Allspace, Skoda Kodiaq, Renault Austral, Ford Kuga, and Nissan X-Trail.
Dacia showcased the Bigster as a concept car in January 2021 during the Renaulution strategy announcement. The interior, engines, and platform of the next flagship SUV would be only slightly different from the Mk III Dacia Duster that is set to arrive in 2024. The Bigster would be its second three-row vehicle after the Dacia Jogger.
Video Source: YouTube/DPCcars/Groupe Renault
Dacia Bigster Exterior
Dacia said that the Bigster SUV measures 4.6 m long, placing it in the world’s best-selling SUVs segment. However, given the Dacia heritage of adhering to a strict cost sheet, the production model would be ‘accessible, at the cost of a vehicle from the segment below,’ the company mentioned at the Renaulution event in January 2021.
According to Worldscoop member De_passage, who seems to have knowledge of future models from Romania, the Dacia Bigster will be sufficiently bigger than the all-new Duster. In a post on the forum, De_passage says that the three-row model will be 215 mm longer, with 45 mm going to the wheelbase. While the front overhang will measure the same as the next-gen Duster’s, the rear overhang will likely be visibly longer. The width and height might not differ as much as the length.
The company also described the Dacia Bigster as a ‘roomy, robust’ SUV that can tackle ‘open-air and dusty roads.’ The leaked patent images on Autofacil reveal how true the production model could be to the concept. It packs smooth surfacing, clean lines, a futuristic-looking front end with LED headlamps and DRLs and a tall upright stance — masking its affordable SUV tag.
Dacia promises a ‘very spacious’ interior in the Bigster with generous outside dimensions for an unmissable road presence. The brand will focus on the ‘genuine-ness’ of the design: There are no chrome or imitation-aluminium trims, and raw recycled plastics are applied to the exterior protective panels.
While the USP of Dacia Bigster will be its electrified powertrain and its ability to provide long-distance comfort, we’re also expecting usable third-row seats that will undoubtedly make it more practical. It’s possible that the Bigster could come in 5- and 7-seat configurations, but some countries might get the latter as the only option.
Interestingly, the design of future Dacia models will be influenced by former Aston Martin design chief Miles Nurnberger, who has joined Dacia as its Director of Design from September 2021 onwards. Hence, the DBX’s design chief is likely to direct Dacia towards more attractive cars, with the new Duster and the Dacia Bigster leading the charge.
According to an Autocar report dated January 17, 2022, CEO Denis le Vot said Dacia wouldn’t overdo the features list and ensure that the brand sticks to its ethos of providing affordable mobility. The CEO said that the SUV won’t have technology that “nobody really uses”, and hence the price will be “much, much less.”
Dacia found in a survey that 78% of UK drivers want only the essential in-car technology. Parking sensors, reverse camera, satellite navigation, DAB radio, and Bluetooth are some of the most commonly used technologies, as per the survey results. The company already offers these features in its cars. As for advanced features such as in-car WiFi and automatic parking, most UK drivers don’t use them. Don’t expect such hardly utilised, high-end equipment in the future Dacia models, including the Bigster, either.
If not the Clio’s current 1.6L E-Tech engine, the Dacia Bigster Hybrid could come with the ‘HR18’ 1.8-litre petrol engine running on the Atkinson cycle for low fuel consumption, as per L’argus. Atkinson cycle engines are optimised for efficiency at the cost of low-speed power, and they’re suitable for hybrids as the e-motor(s) provide ample power at low speeds. Moreover, the upcoming Euro 7 norms will likely make electrification inevitable, at least in this model.
Dacia could offer this engine in self-charging and rechargeable/plug-in hybrid variants to reduce emissions. The plug-in hybrid variant could have an EV range of 30-35 miles on the WLTP cycle. Even the basic configurations could feature mild-hybrid tech. Thanks to Renault Group’s CMF-B platform, it only makes sense for the Dacia Bigster to come with Renault’s E-tech hybrid powertrain.
While we’re expecting the Bigster and the new Duster to be equipped with a host of standard safety features like airbags, ABS, traction control, brake assist, and pedestrian protection, among others, Dacia Jogger product manager Andreea Guinea has said in an interview with Autocar in September 2021 that the brand won’t chase Euro NCAP stars. 5-star Euro NCAP results are awarded to those cars that pack advanced electronics, sensors, and cameras, which is why they’re often priced high. Dacia stands for affordability, so don’t expect a 5-star rating from the Bigster, as hinted at by the company.
Price & Release Date
The Bigster is expected to go on sale in the UK in the first half of 2025. The Dacia Bigster base model could set customers back around GBP 20,000 (approx. EUR 24,000), as per a report from Auto Express. The range-topping Dacia Bigster hybrid variant with a minimum of 140 hp could cost around GBP 30,000, maintaining a 20 to 30 per cent price gap to mainstream SUVs. Dacia has sold more than 200,000 cars in the UK since its launch in 2013.
Dacia Bigster FAQs
What is the Dacia Bigster release date?
The Dacia Bigster will likely be launched in H1 2025.
What will be the Dacia Bigster price?
The base Dacia Duster could cost around GBP 20,000.
Which models will be the Dacia Bigster rivals?
The Dacia Bigster will probably be a low-cost alternative to the likes of Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail.
Featured Image Source: Dacia