Corrie19996 months ago

I ignored the cabin’s blandness and appreciated instead its hard-wearing functionality and space. Despite the best efforts of children, dogs and muddy bikes, it stood up well to a lot of punishment. What the hard plastics lacked in tactility they more than made up for in ruggedness. It didn’t have a generous list of goodies, but it ticked the must-have boxes with Bluetooth, air-con, central-locking and iPod-ready audio.

Gary19965 months ago

It’s not that the Duster is that slow, it’s just that I really loathe slowing down only to then try and regain that lost speed.

MechExp4 months ago

The Access model comes only in white, while the Ambiance and Lauriate come in a choice of five colours - cinder red, mercury, pearl black, sargasso blue and stone.

R2_Amazeballs4 months ago

It also says it rivals the popular Volvo V70 for boot space, which holds just two litres more.

Porker4 months ago

It has now announced its fourth model for the British market – the Logan MCV (Maximum Capacity Vehicle). It is available from £6,995 - the price of its basic Access version. 

Matchmaker14 months ago

I’ve twice visited Romania; firstly for the inevitable Vlad the Impaler-spawns-Dracula-myth tale and, secondly, in a Morgan +4 (ulp), after some wag of an Art Director pin-pointed the very spot where the last total eclipse of the sun would last longer than anywhere else in Europe.

R2_Amazeballs4 months ago

Roxby today tested all the motor functions, and could find no fault on the electrical supply or the switch, relays, wiper arms and 'driver' (that's me!), so they put in a new unit they had ordered in case mine was faulty, and amazingly it worked fine immediately!

petHead4 months ago

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Pete_W4 months ago

The Dacia Duster is having a significant impact on my driving style. With its supreme ability to lose speed quickly and gain it back very slowly, maintaining momentum on the rat-run race to work and back is absolutely vital. Which means looking much further ahead than I would normally do, keeping my eyes fixed on my mirrors for looming outside-lane morons – why do slack-jawed 320d drivers love the Duster’s rear bumper so much? – and keeping the car in its 70-80mph sweet spot at all costs.

Porker4 months ago

With the seats down, this becomes 1,518 – or £4.60 a litre. The Skoda Fabia Estate has a smaller boot at 505 litres – or £21.80 a litre.

MechExp4 months ago

While prices for the Duster start at a meagre £8,995, we’ve opted for the flagship model, the diesel-powered Laureate with four-wheel drive, weighing in at £14,995. For that you get the pick of the range and pretty much everything you need – switchable 4x4, aircon, Bluetooth, alloy wheels, anti-lock with traction and stability controls, leccy door mirrors and a decent iPod-compatible audio system. All that, yet it’s still the UK’s cheapest 4x4 by far.

Matchmaker14 months ago

Is the Duster a cut-price Evoque for the financially challenged then? Not by any means – but it’s no forlorn excuse for one either. Keep remembering that price tag, and you’ll continue to be quietly impressed.

Porker4 months ago

I’m warming to the Duster’s white-label functionalism. There’s something appealing about driving a car that, on our brand-obsessed roads, is all but invisible. Other drivers let me in. They don’t cut me up. And they don’t take personal umbrage if I overtake them – although with a natural 75mph motorway sweetspot, that rarely happens.

Corrie19994 months ago

Windscreen wipers – appalling. The Meccano-style wipers are diabolical. Small and lethargic, they sweep the front and rear screens with little skill and even less enthusiasm. Yes, this is a car undoubtedly built to a budget, but  in the safety stakes, shoddy wipers are a false economy.

FordOwner4 months ago

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Gary19964 months ago

Anyway, to better equip myself when answering the inevitable stream of questions from those with piqued interest whenever I park up, I did a bit of digging about Dacia – and in particular, the Duster – in the UK.

Fireboy4 months ago

Photos of the unit supposedly installed by Seward 4 months ago: 

Red4 months ago

One of the engines, the 1.5 dCi 90, does 74 miles to the gallon – this diesel is priced at £9,395 for the Ambiance version and £10,795 for the Laureate version.

Fionas_Boy4 months ago

Honesty. It’s the word that I think sums up the Duster perfectly. There’s no pretence about this car. No aspirational marketing spin, no trickle-down glow from halo models. What you see is what you get. And the more I drive the Duster, the more I’m liking what I’m getting. It wasn’t that long ago that there was an inverse relationship between affordability and desirability. Daewoo, anyone? The Duster does a pretty good job of reversing that.

Col Minessota4 months ago

Two optional extra packs are also available for drivers. The Protection Pack costs £225 and comes with a boot liner, rear parking sensors and rear mats. The Touring Pack costs £280 and features a front centre armrest, luggage net for the boot and transversal roof bars.

FordOwner4 months ago

A few weekends ago I had a 12C Spider on my driveway. We’d tested it against the 458 Spider in Wales, and I drove it home to Chichester on Friday night before taking it to Woking on the Monday. It was a good weekend.

Pete_W4 months ago

It comes with 15-inch steel wheels, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), ASR traction control, ISOFIX points in both outer rear seats and four airbags. The standard model also comes with a 74bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine, with no other options. If you want a stereo, you buy it yourself.

Bri19874 months ago

Whilst Patrick Moore sat fuming under West Country cloud cover and the nuns in the convent we stayed in cowered under their chapel pews fearing the arrival of the Devil himself, I stood next to the local priest on a sun-baked hill-top in Transylvania and, through a welder’s helmet, watched the entire, astonishing spectacle unfurl.

Red4 months ago

Nope, what has me swearing is the hard plastic moulding on the driver’s door, housing the window controls. It’s both perfectly positioned and ideally shaped to dig into my knee no matter how I position my right leg. Dacia clearly doesn’t employ tall test drivers.

Fionas_Boy4 months ago

Engine – good, with promise of better to come. Between 2000-3000rpm the 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine delivers a decent slug of torque, enough to make for relaxed – never anything but relaxed – progress. Economy has improved as the engine loosens up, climbing from last month’s figure of 41.6mpg to 45.7mpg this month, nudging 485 miles between refills.

Gary19964 months ago

So after 10 months and just over 16,000 miles the Duster has driven off my driveway for the last time. Will I miss it? Well, yes and certainly much more than I thought I would when it arrived. Frankly, the honeymoon period with the Duster – immediately christened The White Car – lasted up to the moment I first drove it.

Col Minessota4 months ago

So, not a good start but I soon realised that to correctly appraise The White Car calls for a distinct shift in the usual CAR criteria. Judge it against its performance, handling, design and desirability and on the CAR stage, it’s an embarrassingly quick and unceremonious exit stage left.

Fireboy4 months ago

For an extra £600, you can upgrade to the MCV Ambiance. This adds a radio/CD player, USB input, Bluetooth, remote central locking and electric front windows.

petHead4 months ago

The missus and the children think the Duster ‘okay’. That’s it; ‘okay’. And even its keeper, Ben W, discusses it more in terms of White Goods than a car to be evaluated in the context of rivals. All of which would be just fine if the poor thing didn’t cost £15,000. Would you rather have this than a 28,000-mile Skoda Yeti for £12,495? Didn’t think so.

Pete_W4 months ago

This is in no way a criticism. I don’t expect my fridge to wash my clothes, and I don’t expect the Dacia to do anything else other than move me about.

petHead4 months ago

Austerity Europe has warmly embraced Dacia – it’s been Europe’s fastest-growing car brand for eight years on the trot. And now, understandably, cash-strapped UK seems equally keen for a dash of Dacia.

Pete_W4 months ago

All Logan MCVs come with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and roadside assistance. The warranty can be extended to five years and 60,000 miles for an extra £395. A seven-year/100,000-mile warranty is available for £850.

MechExp4 months ago

But oddly enough there was no letdown going back to the Duster. Why? Because the Duster is all about conveyance, and nothing about driving. It’s about rationality, not emotion. It’s a car designed to deliver a single goal: affordable transport. And I think this unwavering focus means it achieves this goal more effectively than any other budget car to date.

Fireboy4 months ago

And I appreciated its reliability. Bar a front driveshaft that failed – a faulty component that was quickly and politely replaced under warranty by Seward Renault of Portsmouth (who also undertook its first service for £195.91) – the Duster performed faultlessly.

R2_Amazeballs4 months ago

Dacia Logan windscreen fault

I had a good look at the removed motor which was apparently replaced in August, by Sewards, and it was apparent that IF it had been replaced, then it was not a new unit! There is considerable deterioration / corrosion / fatigue showing to the metal arm, and the serial numbers seem to be far older than 2013 part lists would imply they should be. (Unfortunately they haven't come out on the pics, but take my word for it - the dates shown are 2012!!)

Gary19964 months ago

But while all the above is true, there’s something appealing about a car that successfully and unerringly bullseyes it target. And that’s providing no-fuss transport for cash-strapped and – if you believe the Tories – hard-working families. So many cars today try to be too many things for too many divergent audiences. Not the Duster. It does budget mobility, and nothing else – better than anything out there.

petHead4 months ago

Dacia turned a few heads at the tail-end of last year when it announced the launch of brand new car  priced under £6,000 - that followed the success of its first UK car, a bargain basement 4x4.

Bri19874 months ago

Refinement – sorry, what did you say? The engine clatters on start-up, is gruff in the mid-range and wincingly loud at the top end. Add generous helpings of wind and tyre noise and the Duster’s cabin is a pretty rowdy place at anything above the national speed limit. Good for ensuring my clean licence stays clean. Not so good over long distances.

Fireboy4 months ago

It starts at £8,995 and includes luxury extras such as air conditioning, electric door mirrors, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, electric rear windows and front fog lights.

R2_Amazeballs4 months ago

On any other morning, the only extraordinary thing about Romania at the time was the Groundhog Day feeling elicited by the fact that every single car on the road was a knackered Renault 12 disguised as a Dacia and, occasionally, minus powerplant, towed by a donkey.

Pete_W3 months ago
This problem has been solved

- see solution here