The 2018 Romanian “Car of the Year” is the second-generation Dacia Duster image

Somewhat understandably given the importance of the small SUV for the Romanian and European market, the Duster did come out on top with a twist – it was for the first time unanimously voted atop the chart by the members of the press.

Now in its 19th edition, the “Romanian Car of the Year” competition is organized according to the same principles governed by the eponymous European and North American competitions, not to mention the WCOTY (World Car of the Year). The Dacia Duster is only the second model in Romania to have won the title with two consecutive generations, following the previous successes registered by the Opel Corsa. Another Opel was also on the podium this year, the all-new Crossland X, followed by the Kia Stonic.

The 2018 Romanian “Car of the Year” is the second-generation Dacia Duster 1

Just like last year, we were members of the jury and examined the seven finalists at the “Titi Aur” Driving Academy, which has all the necessary facilities – including for the racetrack part of the evaluation. The seven finalists were selected beforehand by the 14 members of the jury, out of more than 30 eligible models – at the end we had to choose between the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Citroen C3 Aircross, Dacia Duster, Ford Fiesta, Honda Civic, Kia Stonic and the Opel Crossland X. The Romanian automotive industry is a force today in Europe, where not only Dacia but also Ford manufacture cars – the latter had the EcoSport absent from the competition because the rules require for the finalist to have started sales or be available on order. Dacia meanwhile is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary from the launch of its first Romanian-produced model, the Dacia 1100 – a rethinking of the Renault 8.