Duster a crossover

clean up

Dacia Duster front
Dacia Duster, front action
Dacia Duster rear
Dacia Duster, side static
Dacia Duster, dashboard
Dacia Duster, boot

I'VE had a soft spot for the Dacia Duster ever since it came out and I'd be quite happy to own one.

While I was trying it out the Duster lugged a load of furniture from one house to another, did a quick 60 mile motorway journey with ease and took me and friends to our favourite music evening of the month complete with guitars and gear.

One of the lads was so impressed with it he's now thinking of buying one and I can see why.

I drove the two wheel drive Laureate, close to the top of the range, and it's also available with four-wheel-drive.

However, most people never need four-wheel-drive, and at £13,500, this Duster is an absolute bargain - a good crossover for the price of a supermini.

It has everything that makes a good family holdall - high ground clearance, plenty of interior space and a good level of equipment including alloys, remote locking, electric windows, DAB stereo with column controls, bluetooth and air con.

It really looks the part, with roof rails, door kick plates, matt black wheel arch protectors and more.

I drove the 1.5 turbo diesel with 110bhp, which gives fair performance and very good economy. The car was showing 47mpg when it arrived.

But on checking, unless you're going to keep it for more than four years, you're better off buying the 1.6 petrol. That's how long it takes to make up the difference in price.

As I said, performance is fair and comfort is pretty good too except at slow speeds in town.

Road-holding and handling are better than most people would believe, with some roll but excellent grip even when pushed far harder than most owners are ever likely to.

The high stance makes access very easy - better than many lower cars - and the engine is smooth and reasonably quiet throughout its rev range. This was only spoiled at cruising speed on the motorway in my test car by a thrumming noise that I found pretty annoying.

That said, anyone living with it for more than a week would probably not notice after a while.


Price: £13,500

Mechanical: 107bhp, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 105mph

0-62mph: 11.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 64

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 115g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles


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