You understand this family-sized crossover’s price, starting at under £10,000 for a low-spec 4×2, and then you wonder how it is the fact sister company Renault gets the sheer brass neck to charge twice that for the base-model Kadjar.
Begin to dig deeper though and you also see where in fact the cost has been chiselled out of the Duster. Some of those savings are really clever and don’t impact the end result. Nevertheless, you might make a decision others do.
Every noticeable panel of this Duster is new, however the spirit of the initial remains. It appears similar, & most important of all it’s still cheap. Almost ridiculously so.
The price gives little clue to the Duster’s size, so let’s look at the dimensions. At 4.341m long it’s only 5cm significantly less than a Qashqai.
Owners love their Dusters. So Dacia didn’t want the look improved much for the new technology. That’s high-risk of course because two or three years down the road it could look old-hat.
Still, the grille and headlights (using LED DRLs) are now larger, and the tail-lights are rectangular not upright. The bonnet is more contoured, the wings smoother, the wheels bigger. Everything makes your body look wider even though it actually hasn’t grown. This is still a handily small car for cities or country lanes.
But there are other known reasons for the look not changing much. It re-uses the former car’s system. That itself was a derivative of a Clio several generations old, which is one significant way of so that it is so cheap. Fortunately Renault was main companies to goal at five-star NCAP in the past, so this program is astonishingly safe. Many outside parts, including windscreen and even leading doors, are distributed to the Sandero. For the same reason.
Good heavy recycling of outdated Renault parts, the cabin even has the aroma of a fresh Mégane of ten years ago. How very Proustian. Nonetheless it appears modern. Weighed against the outgoing Duster we find an all-new dash, all-new seats, a much better infotainment system, plus more. It’s also quieter than before, because of thicker goblet, more sound deadening and stiffer sheetmetal in the engine unit bay.
Beneath the bonnet, the decision is a naturally aspirated 115bhp 1.6-litre petrol or 115bhp turbo diesel. A 130bhorsepower turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol will sign up for the range early in 2019. We’ve an extremely strong suspicion that’s the engine you’ll want.
The 4×4 version of the Duster (starting at under £14k) will perform off-roading tricks you almost certainly wouldn’t credit. It’s not simply some plastic crossover. Even the 4×2 Duster retains good underbody clearance so if the top isn’t too greasy and the tyres are well-treaded it’ll deal with rather rugged scenery. And it’s acquired more space than say a Renegade or Vitara, the closest off-roadable rivals.
Duster drivers are a hardy bunch. There’s a 2013-reg 1.6i Gain access to in white, the most basic run-of-the-mill version you can purchase, that’s done 141,000 miles, has had two owners and is being advertised for £2499. Consider it: two individuals have gladly clocked up 70,000 a long way apiece in this car, a car so basic it doesn’t have even a radio.
Some early Indian-built Dusters developed rusty sills, rattling doorways and water leaks in the footwells. Dacia required responsibility and recalled cars for repair, while moving production to Romania. There were no further accounts of similar issues since.
Don’t assume the four-wheel-drive versions are more costly than two-wheel-drive models. We found two dealer-advertised 2015/15-reg 1.5 dCi Laureates with 55,000 miles, the 4×4 for £6800 and the 2×4 for £7000. As always, condition is king.
The EDC computerized gearbox offered with the 1.5 dCi engine from 2017 is a dual-clutch affair. It’s lifted from the Renault Mégane and Kadjar and properly suits the Duster’s comfortable nature. A 2017/17 1.5 dCi Prestige EDC with 45,000 miles is £8000.
The Dacia Duster is a back-to-basics small family SUV with chunky off-road styling and a reasonably roomy interior. It’s a great choice if you have a strict budget and want a fuss-free family carry.
At basic level, the Duster is considerably cheaper than any similarly priced SUV alternative but that’s because you barely get any equipment as standard – there’s no radio or air conditioning in the Access model. The model you actually want is the Comfort (skipping the spartan Essential version) and then you get a well-equipped Duster for a still-reasonable sum of money.
Sure, there are still a lot of hard, scratchy plastics dotted about the cabin, but at least you get some flashy stainless trims, more supportive front side seats and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in sat nav. Not bad for this affordable SUV.
Also winning the Dacia Duster some brownie points is its quite spacious cabin. There’s plenty of space for tall people to get comfortable in the front and you get driver’s seat-height modification in all nevertheless the most basic Gain access to models.
Space in the back is fairly generous, too – there’s enough space for three adults to sit side-by-side and the Dacia Duster’s large side house windows mean it doesn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic in the trunk like a Nissan Juke.
The Duster’s boxy body means additionally you get a significant good-sized boot. There’s room for a lot of suitcases with the back seats up and a bike will match room to spare if you fold them down. Unfortunately, there’s an awkward step in the boot floor that makes it a pain to weight very heavy boxes.