Dacia is to enter the light commercial vehicle market in the UK later this year with a special commercial version of the Duster SUV, to be called, unsurprisingly, Duster Commercial.
Available in both two- and four-wheel drive variants, the commercial models have been developed specifically for the UK and Ireland, where car-derived vans account for 30 per cent of the LCV market.
A payload of 550kg makes it competitive with other models in the market, while a load capacity of up to 1,150 litres on the two-wheel drive model will appeal to many small businesses. That capacity is reduced slightly to 1,000 litres on the 4×4 model, but both variants come with a flat cargo deck almost 1.4 metres long and more than a metre wide between the wheel arches.
The new model will be powered by the 1.5-litre diesel engine found in the standard Duster, meaning there’ll be 107bhp available to haul the load. An impressive 240Nm (179ft-lb) of torque adds some grunt that, when combined with the 4×4 option, will undoubtedly attract gardeners, ground maintenance staff, farmers and forestry, power and communications companies.
As a van, the Duster Commercial will attract flat-rate benefit-in-kind taxation for users, while owners will be able to reclaim the VAT on the purchase price.
“With the Dacia brand now established as part of the UK motoring landscape following two very successful years of growth, we now feel the time is right to launch a Duster product in the commercial vehicle sector,” explained Andy Heiron, Dacia brand manager in the UK. “Our aim is to bring Duster – the Renault Group’s global best-seller – to the UK’s van buyers in true Dacia style with a value-for-money product and transparent pricing. Owners and drivers will benefit from a practical and functional vehicle that can be serviced and maintained in our network of 223 dealers and service outlets.”
The Duster Commercial will be available to order this month, with UK deliveries expected at the end of June. Prices will start at £9,595 plus VAT.