- Incredibly cheap to buy
- Two- or four-wheel drive
- Lots of interior space
- Rugged enough for family life
- Petrol only comes with entry trim
- Base models don't have air-con
- Some interior plastics fragile
- Not the cheapest to run
It is not a well-known brand, but Dacia is the value-for-money subsidiary of Renault. The Dacia Duster is the first model to arrive in the UK as the French firm looks to reintroduce the Romanian budget brand in to the country.
Available with two- or four-wheel drive, the Duster is a rival to crossovers such as the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti. With prices starting at just £8,995 for the entry-level two-wheel-drive version, it undercuts the majority of competition by some margin. This low cost hasn’t had a detrimental effect on the quality though, according to the company, although some plastics feel on the cheap side. At the same time the affordable off-roader gets plenty of kit as standard, except on the base Access trim.
The Duster is available with either a petrol or a diesel engine – both of which are already available in the current Renault line-up. The engines can be specified with either two- or four-wheel drive. The sole petrol engine is a 1.6-litre that produces 103bhp and is only available in the entry Access specification. Fuel economy is a useful 39.8mpg, down to 35.3mpg for the four-wheel-drive version, while emissions are 165g/km, rising to 185g/km in the 4x4 car. Opt for a diesel and you get the 1.5-litre dCi producing 106bhp in the 4x2, 107bhp in the 4x4 - it’s actually the best-selling engine in Renault’s range and also the cleaner and more economical of the two engines. In two-wheel-drive guise it will achieve a claimed 56.5mpg and emits 130g/km of CO2. The 4x4 manages 53.3mpg with emissions rated slightly higher, at 137g/km.
Equipment and accessories
One of the main selling points of the Duster, along with being cheap, is the decent kit list. For the entry £8,995 4x2 Access model, potential buyers get 16-inch steel wheels, roof bars, electric front windows, four airbags, emergency spare wheel, height-adjustable steering wheel and remote central locking. Go up to Ambiance and you get added treats like a radio/CD player with aux-in, Bluetooth and USB connection plus the added practicality of 60/40 split rear seats. The range-topping and expected to be the best-selling Laureate models get the luxuries of air con, 16-inch alloys, electric rear windows, leather steering wheel and trip computer.
To find out more, continue reading Parkers’ full Dacia Duster review.
What owners say about this car
Bought car from new with 60 miles on clock and got rid of it with 2000 on clock as it... Read owner review
We are very pleased with our Dacia Duster and although it might be very early to be writing a review... Read owner review
No mechanical problems to speak of, & diesel engine is good, but poor build quality & terrible paintwork let down... Read owner review