Despite giving it a makeover some four years ago, the Dacia Duster remains as utilitarian as ever, with limited amenities, but a built-to-last interior.
It shares its underpinnings with the rest of the Romanian brand’s cars, including the Logan and Sandero, and with a starting price of £9,500 ($12,165) in the UK, it offers a good value for money.
Not everything is as you would expect it to be, though, as CarWow found in their review that despite the soft suspension, it’s not comfortable for long-distance driving, and there is a lot of wind and tire noise coming into the cabin.
Moreover, the handling can be scary at first, so it won’t encourage owners to take it out on a twisty mountain road.
Two engines are particularly good – the 1.5-liter dCi diesel, which is both punchy and economical, and the 1.2-liter turbo petrol that powers the vehicle tested here. It returns 37 UK mpg (30.8 US mpg / 7.6 l/100 km), a bit more than what the manufacturer says – 46 UK mpg (38.3 US mpg / 6.1 l/100 km), and it is the best alternative to a diesel.
Considering that it sits in the same price range as a supermini, you can’t complain about the fact that it needs a bit more rear legroom, or that the entry-level model doesn’t get air conditioning or other features we’ve come to expect from new cars these days. Then again, as Mat Watson points out in the following review, the Duster does give the impression that it belongs to the 1990s.