I have owned a Dacia 1307L now for six months, even though it has given many general problems, for its price it has been cheap to repair, but it's a pain getting parts for it.
It can handle long journeys but beware, and take some spanners with you, I have driven the 1307L from Moscow to London, and considering the state it was in mechanically it did not give up, but alas specific parts are a problem, but general spares are cheap and easy to come by.
The bodywork does well, and seems to have been built quite well, but in all honesty, for its price, it's a good car. But if you have never taken up mechanics this car will teach you.
Bryan - Outer London, England.
I own a '98 model double cab, I adore the car, it has its shortcomings, but for the price I consider it a real winner. I had mine re-sprayed and it looks beautiful. I encountered a problem regarding the constant velocity joints which lacked grease and caused damage, the joints were rewconditioned at 8000 kilometres, thus far the car has done 40 000 without any problems. It affords a comfortable drive and the full torque of 125 NM kicks in at 2500 RPM. Personally I don't like the seats, they are too soft and lack proper support. Dacia withdrew from South Africa and parts are becoming difficult to obtain, nevertheless I will endeavour to keep mine going. I noticed that some people have had bad experiences with their Dacia, maybe the human factor of a Friday car has an influence here.
I'm from Romania, the land of Dacia. I own an 1998 Dacia l and I drove like 35000km and it's still runs like a new one. In Romania there are now on the market some tunning parts regarding bumpers and many more. The parts are very cheap and affordable. You can buy them now by the Internet.
1999 Dacia 1310 L, namely, my father's, pretty much the only car I ever drove, it was among the last ones built before the Renault take over (carburetor fed). It has a 1.4L petrol engine with a 5 speed manual gearbox. It averages about 7L/100km and 10L/100km in city traffic (a little more during the winter). Later models with BOSCH fuel injection achieve better fuel economy, but they are more expensive to maintain so...it's pretty much the same. The top speed I ever achieved according to the cars speedometer is the one given by the manufacturer, some people have said they did more than 140km/h, frankly I doubt that is possible, when I tried that the car had under 25.000km (practically brand new and very well taken care of) and it was as fast as it would go, maybe high octane fuel would help, but frankly you'd better not try this, as this 3000 USD car i not built for performance. It is pretty well taken care of and the only repairs were the replacement of the servo-brake pump, and the driver's door locking mechanism witch on this car brakes about once a month. It has a stereo fitted aftermarket, but at more than 120km/h you won't hear it no matter how loud it's turned. It was a pretty reliable car, it never broke down, and even if it would it could easily be repaired for next to nothing. It has no power steering: (. But for the roads in Romania it's pretty decent. One last remark... the 1300 Dacia (1970's-1980's) had 100cc less, one gear less and a top speed 5km/h more... so guess the french ones were better.
I notice many international Dacia owners have some very positive things to say. Some also mention being able to buy spares over the internet. I haven't had much luck with internet searches- can anyone recommend a site?
I'm from Romania, but my Dacia 1310 is from '82, which means this car has over 500.000km and I am the fifth owner. It is true that the engine was changed to 1397 cm3, about 10 years ago, that means 43kW. I drove it recently at 165 km/h, the car was fully loaded that means 5 person and the trunk was also fully loaded (I was not on the highway, they did not discover it yet). A friend drove his Dacia 1400 from 1989 over 170km/h and his platinum contact got melded.
I think that it is a very reliable car, it is easy to repair because it is very easy to repair and the parts are extremely cheap. I am very disappointed that I can't drive it in the European Union, they say it doesn't have the minimum safety requirements.