Welham vs Coleman: To Dacia or not to Dacia, that is the question
Who will win this one? - You decide by voting in the poll at the end!
The great Dacia debate has been prevalent in the recent months and years on DriveTribe and it's all down to one person, John Coleman. The world was happy with Dacia before he came along and now the people of DriveTribe are conflicted.
John has spread these rumours that Dacia are bad and I, Ben Welham have been fighting against him to combat these snide remarks. So, when John asked to do this battle, I agreed as I knew he'd lose. Anyway let's see who sides with who on this one.
Don't forget to vote in the poll at the end!
Welham's side (for Dacia)
The Dacia Sandero has grown to become somewhat of an icon amongst motoring enthusiasts and avid Top Gear viewers, as it is known to be the very car James May happens to be fond of. And if you think you don't then think again...does the phrase 'Good news!' help?
But Dacia is so much more than just the Sandero and the phrase 'Good news!' As you will soon begin to realise if you hadn’t already, that’s the sole purpose of me writing this. Well, that and the fact I need to prove John Coleman wrong, the uneducated swine.
Dacia, or ‘Datcha’ as I believe it’s correctly said, is an affordable branch of Renault based in Romania, but they make better cars than their French counterpart...which isn't hard.
This plucky little company has been around much longer than most people think as it approaches its 55 year anniversary. But, today isn’t a history lesson as I failed that miserably in school, instead today is about why Dacia should be more widely appreciated and why you should vote for it at the end of this piece.
Let’s start with the price. Currently, the cheapest brand new Dacia on sale today in the UK is a touch over £7,000 which is quite an eye-opener to the £20k+ spending Focus or Golf owner. It undercuts every single other car company in terms of price and in the current uncertain climate we’re living in, it’s a pretty attractive purchase for many Brits.
Brits aside, Dacia also makes a lot of sense in its home country of Romania as the levels of income there are overall less than the UK, which means people can actually afford to shop local instead of going to an Aldi over a Clarkson's farm, for example.
The same goes for the Duster which has quickly become one of the best selling cars in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. It’s cheap, it’s practical, it’s big enough for the average family and one can have immense fun with a Duster off the beaten track, it’s really appealing. And I think a lot of you will remember the ad campaign they did a couple of years back where they used the Queen song 'Another One Bites The Dust' and changed the lyrics to 'Another One Buys A Duster,' catchy right?
On top of that, Dacia has just set foot into the world of EVs with its ‘Spring Electric’ and this is a big move for Dacia. Let’s just hope they remain affordable for the most part. And don't forget how ace the new Sandero is looking, It's very...German looking which can only be a good thing.
But anyway, back to why you should vote FOR Dacia and not AGAINST, like a fool would.
Well, as Dacia Owners Club leader, it is is my obligatory duty to promote the brand and I’ll happily do so. Yes, they may be a little bit cheap inside and they may not handle like a Pagani, but that’s because they are cheap little cars which don't need to handle like a Hypercar.
So, I'll leave you with this: Name a better brand-new car for that price in Europe...I'll wait. See, there's no point even reading John's bit below, is there?
Coleman's side (against Dacia)
Right. Is it me, or did the above just blur into waffle past the half hour mark?
I’ve kind of made it quite clear on DriveTribe what I think of Dacia, and part of this stems from annoyance. Annoyance at the fact Dacia is only a European affair, and thus to see the UK motoring scene waxing about how Dacia is the best thing ever and assuming that the world knows what they’re on about, is tiring. Arrogant, actually.
And it’s precisely because I’m assessing it all, level-headedly, from afar, that I know exactly what’s wrong with Dacia culture.
I understand the case for Dacia, laid out breathlessly in 2,694 words and 3 typos above. I understand what James May meant. Dacia ought to be a quietly appreciated underdog, something that everyone else overlooks, but which actually offers hidden beauty. But see, this is where it went wrong.
It’s become a cult. A cult dedicated to mediocrity, because let’s face it, Dacias aren’t remarkable. They’re Romanian Corollas. Their food equivalent is baked beans. Their phone equivalent is Nokia. Their shopping centre equivalent is Aldi – good value, something to nod at, but nothing to be tribal about.
In short, the underdog has become a kind of top dog in some circles. Something it’s ill-equipped for.
And it’s natural that DriveTribe’s Patron Saint of Mediocrity, Ben Welham, is leading this on the world’s biggest social media spot for petrolheads. A defender of the Audi A2, the only man on DriveTribe to have a Ford KA in his Dream garage – or Owned Garage, it doesn’t matter – and as you’ll realise from FoodTribe, a drongo whose tastebuds have three settings: gravy, beans, burnt frozen pizza. How’s this relevant? Don’t defer to him on matters of taste.
So here’s the bottom line - all American DriveTribers who don’t really know what Dacia is, but know it wouldn’t have a patch on the Ford Flex, vote NO in the poll below. All European DriveTribers, who while you see the appeal of Dacia, realise it should be about moderate respect and not cult worship, vote NO. Finally, anyone who is sick of Ben Welham waffling about Dacias, or just in general, vote NO.
See you in the comments.