The speed at which the Dacia (pronounced Datcher) brand is growing in the UK is staggering, but don't forget Dacia has the clout of Renault behind it.
The Dacia Duster is one of the company’s top sellers and has carved out an army of loyal followers. If you take a ride up to the Borders or Dales, you’ll see dozens of them. Bearing in mind that you can also get a 4×4 Duster, it’s easy to see why they’re popular in areas where roads can get a bit tricky during winter. If you need a proper workhorse, the Dacia Duster is a pretty good place to start looking.
And now there’s a brand new one which has just arrived on our shores.
Bearing in mind that the entry level Dacia Duster comes in at £13,995, you end up with roomy five-door SUV which will easily seat five adults for the same price as a small city car. If you compare like for like with prices of other chunky SUVs, you’ll discover that buying a Duster will save you thousands.
Oh, and if you think the only reason to buy a Dacia is because they’re well priced, you’re missing a trick. They’re well equipped and good to drive. Owners of the outgoing model will spot a significant improvement on interior trim quality too.
Go for mid-range Comfort and you’ll enjoy air conditioning, smart alloy wheels, DAB radio, Bluetooth, 8-inch colour touchscreen, rear view camera, fog lights, rear parking sensors, smartphone connectivity, roof bars, cruise control and electric windows all round. It is a serious alternative to any other SUV.
In terms of driving, the Dacia Duster is thoroughly enjoyable. The steering and suspension are nicely controlled. The ride is excellent, managing to soak up lumps and bumps at town speeds whilst being sufficiently controlled on quicker roads. Thanks to the high driving position, you have a great view, making it ideal for town work or country lanes.
In terms of engine choice, you can select from 1.0 and 1.3 litre petrol, 1.5 litre diesel and a Bi-Fuel which allows you to use LPG gas too. Most are available with 6-speed manual or auto boxes. If you live out in the sticks, go for a 4×4, but most folk will be perfectly happy with the front wheel drive model. We like the diesel powered Duster. That’s the one we’d recommend. You’ll get up to 57.7mpg. 0-60 takes a shade over 10 seconds and, at motorway speeds, progress is extremely civilised. The Duster is also perfect if you need to tow a trailer, horse box or caravan.
Cracking value, decently equipped, good to drive and can also be a serious mud plugger if you go for the all-wheel drive model. What’s not to love? If you are looking for an SUV that won’t break the bank, make sure you try the brand new Dacia Duster. You’re in for a pleasant surprise.