Dacia Duster has attractive price band that appeals to those in market for SUV

The new-look Dacia Duster.
The new-look Dacia Duster.

If price is your primary parameter, then you can’t look past the new Dacia Duster. Irish buyers have spoken through their pockets since the Duster was launched over five years ago. At the time, Renault chiefs – the makers of Dacia – targeted about 4,500 cars in the first five years but the Duster has far surpassed even their own expectations. A hugely impressive number of over 10,000 were sold in that time making it the most successful car in the Renault/Dacia catalogue.

We have gone mad for SUVs in this country, and while many are pretty much alike, there are a few that stand out for one reason or another. This week we are looking at one of the more distinctive ones, the new Dacia Duster. While happy to report that it is a vast improvement on the frumpy first model, it still has some negative aspects.

Without doubt it is a better-looking car than the one it replaces. It also comes with a higher-classed interior and much of the practicality needed for family motoring.

Every panel is new, and while the stance is still relatively chunky, the front end is far more streamlined. Dacia has straightened the lines across the grille, the LED lights and the bonnet to give it a broader look that reaches out to the full width of the car. Larger, mass-coloured, satin-chrome-finish skid plate add to the sense of adventure and is scratch-resistant to maintain its smart look.

From the side, the lower stance and higher belt line adds to the impression of strength while the windscreen has been brought forward 100mm and is more steeply raked. The rear is classier too, with new rear lights that are straight out of the Jeep styling.

There are several new features in the cabin. Better seats, more air vents, smoother styling, and some welcome technology gives it a driver-friendly arrangement suggesting that the budget has been skilfully spent rewarding both passengers and operator alike. And what’s really clever about the Duster is the level of space on offer with good legroom, more headroom and shoulder room for five occupants.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.