New Dacia ‘C-Neo’ family hatch will aim to beat Skoda Octavia on value

Dacia will expand its range in the coming years while retaining a focus on affordability

Dacia badge

2024 promises to be a big year for Dacia with the launch of the new second-generation Duster and further details on the flagship Bigster SUV model - splitting the two however will be an all-new car, codenamed ‘C-Neo’. 

Not much is known about Dacia’s latest model, but we don’t expect it to join the range until 2026 - after the upcoming Bigster has launched. In terms of size and pricing, the C-Neo is expected to sit between the Duster and Bigster as an alternative to the Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra.

The production ‘C-Neo’ (it will take on a different name at launch) will most likely utilise an internal-combustion engine. A softening of the Euro 7 emissions regulations that were due to come into force by 2025 and have now been pushed back two years will certainly help Dacia’s bid to launch a new ICE car around that time - although we still expect the C-Neo to comply with Euro 7 emission regulations. CEO of Dacia’s parent company Renault, Luca de Meo, has previously warned that Euro 7 could add thousands of euros to the price of a car and has been vocal in his opposition to the incoming emissions rules, stating “Everybody is feeling that Euro 7 is not what we need now; we have other things to do.”

The CMF-B architecture that underpins a variety of Dacia and Renault models seems the most obvious choice. With this platform options currently available include a mild-hybrid, a hybrid and even a bi-fuel LPG powertrain - which will find its way into the latest Duster in some markets. The 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine from Renault seems the most likely, given it’s already used in the Duster and Bigster.

While the C-Neo will sit between the Duster and Bigster in terms of price (circa £25,000), it will bring a new shape to the Dacia range. It’ll be sleeker than the Duster SUV but will still offer family hatchback-levels of practicality to act as a close rival to the Skoda Octavia

Dacia has regularly used words like ‘robust’ and ‘rugged’ to describe its recent design direction, with ‘adventurous colours’ like Dusty Khaki forming the basis of the brand’s look. While the C-Neo won’t have the off-road ability of the Duster or Bigster due to its hatchback bodystyle, it could receive chunky wheelarch cladding and pronounced bumpers - design details that have become commonplace across Dacia’s range.

Click here for our list of the cheapest cars to buy in the UK...

Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

Recommended

Dacia Duster review
Dacia Duster - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Dacia Duster review

The Dacia Duster is better than ever, and is possibly the best value SUV you can buy
2 Feb 2024
Dacia Duster vs MG ZS: which is the best budget SUV?
Dacia Duster and MG ZS - front cornering
Car group tests

Dacia Duster vs MG ZS: which is the best budget SUV?

The Dacia Duster and MG ZS offer SUV motoring for those on a tight budget, and don’t make you feel hard done by
27 Jan 2024
Car Deal of the Day: lease a Dacia Duster today then exit for free after 6 months for the all-new model
Dacia Duster Commercial - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: lease a Dacia Duster today then exit for free after 6 months for the all-new model

New Dacia Flex lease plan lets you end the contract with no penalties after six months, ready for the new model’s arrival - our highly enticing Deal o…
25 Jan 2024
Top 10 best 4x4s and off-road cars to buy 2024
Best 4x4s and off-road cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best 4x4s and off-road cars to buy 2024

After a four-wheel-drive vehicle with a bit more off-road clout than the average SUV? Our top 10 best 4x4s list has you covered…
19 Jan 2024

Most Popular

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance
MG3 on Geneva Motor Show stand - front
News

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance

New MG3 features the company’s first full-hybrid powertrain; pricing to be announced in March
26 Feb 2024
New Renault 5 leaked: pictures surface online ahead of Monday's Geneva Motor Show reveal
renault 5 teaser
News

New Renault 5 leaked: pictures surface online ahead of Monday's Geneva Motor Show reveal

The long-awaited all-electric reboot of the iconic Renault 5 will be fully unveiled on 26 February 2024
24 Feb 2024
'Cheap SUVs are where the smart money's going in today's car market'
Opinion - Volkswagen T-Roc
Opinion

'Cheap SUVs are where the smart money's going in today's car market'

Mike Rutherford thinks sensibly priced SUVs are the natural successor to less spacious family hatchbacks
25 Feb 2024