1976 Dacia 1300 Berlina 1.3 from Romania


Definitely a first car - you learn everything :)


I can't list all the things that have gone wrong with the car, this car requires constant maintenance. Small things, sometimes bigger things, the worst was an engine rebuilding, but I have to admit I forced the engine too much so it's my fault.

Note: the car stood in the garage for 9 years (after my father died) and I replaced the battery and the car started with that old oil/gas... imagine that!

General Comments:

You have to know that this car is a people's car in Romania. Everybody knows how to service the car and men usually service it for themselves. It's a different world from the USA. Very different, but not necessarily worse... here you have all the comfort, but you also depend heavily on servicemen.

This car is VERY cheap if you think in terms of US dollars, a complete engine rebuild cost me $250 and that is the biggest repair you can have on the car.

Although an old car with only 1.3L engine with a modest 57HP I managed 137kmh when the car was 26 years old, that's not far from the manufacturer's listed 140 km/h (87.5 mph) max. I could regularly go with 120kmh although for overtaking you have to think ahead because at high speeds you have really low acceleration :)

My suspensions are very old still the car can turn well and maintains a good handling. You have very good field of view in all directions, you see where the car ends and starts (unlike US cars), maybe the A column can bother you at sharp turns. My heating did not work very well, but that's a common problem... that was the worst thing actually about my car it gets pretty cold in Romania during the winter (-20C or around 0F) and you would really want heating, but oh well you just need to dress up a bit better. (don't dream about having anything power or AC in this car if you add it it will fail you the engine is not strong enough). I've seen custom added heating systems that worked really fine (using the car's cooling system (water cooled engine) ) so with a minor investment you could end up solving that problem too.

I managed a 7L/100km (35 mpg) on highway and in city it's usually 10L/100km.

Nobody wants to break into your car, it does not stand out of the crowd etc (advantage).

Biggest advantage: because it's so cheap to maintain, you can drive off-road and not worry much I driven past 4x4 new shiny Toyota's stuck in mud (you would be amazed where this car will take you) and the other thing: the whole suspension setup is modified so it takes well the usual bumpy Romanian roads, you will have less problems with bearings and stuff (anyway they are cheap even if you have to replace them).

The car is faithful if you service it it lasts, it does not break down randomly, just regularly.

I think that if you don't care about looks and want a cheap car in Romania, go for it. Expect servicing though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th September, 2003

21st Nov 2005, 17:02

Extremely well written, not abundant in details, but offering the most important ones and depicting an accurate image of this automobile "as is".The author, if I may say, is a bit "in love" with it, and this is a common status amongst Romanians, for whom Dacia meant a lot in so many ways!

I admit I am one of them myself!

1980 Dacia 1300 L 1.3 from Romania




I didn't have many problems this months with this car. Usually, everything can go wrong on this kind of cars.

General Comments:

This is considered to be a good car for the Romanians roads. Wrong. No comfort, the car is noisy and you can expect to have problems all the time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st October, 2002

25th Jun 2003, 05:13

You expect to have a good car if you buy a Dacia with 200000 km?

Is "the best" you can buy at this amount (can't buy anything else with 4 wheals).

Even new, is a transportation method not a car in the real meaning of this word.

19th Aug 2003, 09:31

Hey guys, my dad owned a Dacia 1300 from 1981. it had over 200,000 km when we sold in 1998 and that car has never had too much trouble to give us. it was cheap to maintain since parts were cheap. so for a Romanian family that doesn't' have too much money a car like that is a blessing.

22nd Jul 2004, 02:01

Dacia 1300 L is the best romanian car ever. My dad bought it in 1981 and is still running good (it has 167000km). I own another 1310 Dacia, but I don't like driving it as much I like my dad's 1300L. That car drove me to kindergarden, school, highschool, college and now... to work!!! It never let me down. It's a very reliable car. In case of emergency I can fix it anywhere. The comfort is not brilliant, but that's one of things I like most. If anybody thinks that I don't have enought money to buy another one is wrong. I will never trade this car for another.