WHAT do you want from a car? Are you a two-bathrooms, five-bedrooms, big garden type of person who when it comes to buying a car demands a model to match your inflated ego (and your house)?
Or are you the modest type whose motoring needs are as simple as those for everyday living? Like your modest home, you demand from a car little more than an engine, four wheels, four doors, seats and a steering wheel.
Well, if you are the latter then I have just the car for you. A car I have been driving recently the price-busting Dacia Sandero.
There are no real frills with the Dacia but it has to be said it is a surprisingly good car for the money.
I remember being struck at its launch earlier this year how impressive a car it was regardless of how much it cost.
Indeed, the Dacia has received plaudits all round for being a modest motor that is proving to be excellent value for money. It’s also apparently good on residual values so when it comes to moving it on, you should get good resale value, too.
So how did this come about? In little more than seven years, the Dacia brand (owned by Renault) has proved a success story. In 2010, 350,000 people bought a new Dacia in 35 countries worldwide, making it the fifth-bestselling passenger car brand in France (in 2011), as well as a market leader in Romania and Morocco.
Dacia says the key to its success is a “simple formula: space and quality, at an unbelievable price”.
So how does Dacia deliver so much for so little?
The key is ingenious design. Dacia vehicles have the basic essentials as standard, without “unwanted extras built into the cost”.
Dacia says its cars are “reliable, robust and affordable”. From the Sandero hatchback the car I have been driving — to the Duster SUV, Dacia cars are simple to use and affordable to own.
German customers even voted Dacia their second favourite carmaker in the JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey in 2010.
Some of the awards the Dacia Duster has picked up include 2012 Top Gear Bargain of the Year, 2012 Scottish SUV of the Year and Budget Car of the Year.
The Sandero was What Car’s Best Supermini for less than £12,000.
So if you fancy a car from £5,995, take a spin in the Dacia.
Its watchful eye on the pennies will be hard to beat.
By Nigel Wigmore