New seven-seat Dacia SUV spied for the first time

Dacia will soon launch a new seven-seat SUV to replace the Lodgy, which could borrow the Renault Clio’s hybrid powertrain

Our spy photographers have spotted what appears to be a test mule for a new, seven-seat Dacia SUV undergoing its winter development programme.

The SUV (which is yet to be named) will be one of three new Dacias launched by 2025, joining the Bigster SUV in the Romanian brand’s new-look line-up. It’ll make its debut in 2023, providing fresh competition for the Citroen Berlingo XL and Hyundai Santa Fe.

Like all of Dacia’s planned new models, this seven-seater will be based on the Renault Group’s CMF-B underpinnings, which will allow Dacia to take advantage of its parent firm’s latest range of e-Tech hybrid powertrains.

We expect the new SUV will use the same 138bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor system found in the Clio e-Tech. In the hatchback, it returns more than 60mpg – although we expect that figure won’t be quite as high in this new Dacia due to its added size and weight.

The Renault Group has already dropped hints about this new Dacia SUV in previous discussions around its Renaulution business model. A larger SUV that sits above the Duster has already been confirmed, as has the brand’s uptake of hybrid technology.

When it breaks cover it’s likely that the SUV’s styling will draw inspiration from the Sandero, sharing the same headlight, grille and bonnet shape. The car’s rear design will likely be related to the model it will replace, with a similarly flat tailgate and upright light clusters as the Lodgy.

This test car shares the same high roofline and boxy boot as the old Lodgy, which means there should be plenty of headroom and storage space. The doors are also equally large, meaning it should also be easy to load luggage and children into the back.

Like the Lodgy, this new SUV should have a decent sized boot. The MPV could swallow 827 litres with the rear-most bench removed; a figure which we expect this new car will at least match, given how similar its rear end looks to its predecessor.

We suspect this prototype is also equipped with Dacia’s off-road inspired Stepway specification. The car’s ride height appears to have been raised and, under the cladding, we can make out the trim-level’s flared wheel arches, unique front bumper and larger roof rails.

Inside, we’re expecting plenty of carry-over from the Sandero, with buyers getting the same simple dashboard, analogue gauges and manual climate controls. Comfort models should also get an eight-inch infotainment system, although entry-level cars will have to make do with a smartphone mount in place of an integrated touchscreen.

Now read our review of the new Dacia Sandero Stepway. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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