Dacia Duster Comfort

TCe 130

Dacia Duster, front
Dacia Duster, front
Dacia Duster, front
Dacia Duster, front
Dacia Duster, front
Dacia Duster, rear
Dacia Duster, rear
Dacia Duster, interior
Dacia Duster, front

THE Duster is Dacia's top sales performer - and the way it's hoovering up best-value awards it is easy to see why.

The basic fact is the Romanian motor manufacturer's gem offers a huge amount of car for not a lot of money

The latest model delivers a blend of practicality, comfort and goodies normally associated with motors far in advance of its price bracket.

There's a broad range of engine and trim level options for the latest Duster that should cater for most, with the Comfort TCe 130 model on show here.

The comprehensive petrol and diesel line-up has recently expanded with the addition of the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel LPG option, delivering a combined range of over 620 miles and low carbon dioxide emissions in LPG mode.

The 1.3-litre petrol powered unit under the bonnet of my test Duster can't match those figures but still delivers decent fuel economy aided by eco mode and stop/start, while the front-wheel drive option with six-speed manual gearbox is punchier than a 0-62mph figure of 11.1 seconds would suggest.

It is reasonably smooth to drive for an SUV and, although it roll a tad in corners, it offers plenty of grip and a ride that absorbs most of the humps and hollows littering our roads these days.

The Comfort model sits in the middle of a range that starts with the entry-level Access and tops out with the Prestige option.

They all deliver lots of equipment with the Comfort boasting a kit list including high-end items such as a rear parking camera, cruise control and a sat nav accessed via a seven-inch colour touchscreen mounted at a nice height to see and use.

Keyless entry allows you to open the tall wide doors and you step up into the Duster to find a roomy cabin offering plenty of space in the back for two adults - although a transmission tunnel will hinder legroom if a third needs to be accommodated.

Practicality is a strong suit for the Duster with lots of cabin storage available via numerous cubby holes and cup holders, while the boot offers decent luggage capacity - the 4x2 model boasting 445 litres with the rear seats in place or 1,623 litres with them folded down.

The cabin is kept at a pleasant temperature thanks to air conditioning while a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and audio streaming ensure everyone is entertained.

The outside world is kept at bay as improved soundproofing prevents wind, road and engine noise from assaulting sensitive ears.

The driver is given lots of adjustment to get comfortable behind the wheel while a seven-function on-board computer provides a raft of information.

The interior is functional with nice touches including a leather steering wheel and piano black decorative inserts on the door panels to lift proceedings.

The seats are comfortable with a front-seat foldaway armrest providing support while there are plenty of cubby holes to store your odds and sods and lots of cup holders.

The attractive exterior of the second generation Duster will be instantly recognisable to the many fans who bought the popular original model for obvious ‘if it ain't broke don't fix it' reasons.

But in fact when Dacia revamped the Duster it replaced every body panel which, together with 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear skid plates as well as natty front fog lights, LED daytime running lights and a new grille, give it a more upmarket look.

There are also satin chrome door mirrors, side sills and scuff plates as well as roof bars with a neat ‘Duster' inscription.

FAST FACTS

Dacia Duster Comfort TCe 130

Price: £14,995

Mechanical: 130ps, 1,333cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 11.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 39-42

Insurance Group:14

C02 emissions: 139g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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