RE: Dacia Duster: PH Fleet

Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Dacia Duster: PH Fleet

Basic it may be, but there's a lot to be said for simplicity sometimes...



Poor old Duster. In any collection of cars it's unlikely to be the most glamorous, the fastest or the most exciting, but on the PH Fleet its more ordinary nature is highlighted to an even starker degree. If you were undertaking a journey for work, would you take the Dacia or an F-Type? Exactly.

Not fancy; not a problem, either
Not fancy; not a problem, either
A variety of reasons, chief among them actually wanting to drive it, have meant I've been in the Duster a fair amount recently. And while I'm not going to pretend that it's suddenly my favourite new car on sale, or that our spec shows off the car to its best, I've found a great deal to like.

The simplicity is key to its appeal. Obvious perhaps, given that Dacia markets its cars on that very virtue, but becoming more relevant every day. You can buy a Hyundai i30 with 1,944 driving mode configurations, three versions of the BMW M3 within 30hp of each other and there's a Sport Response button - because it's like a racing car - on Porsche saloons and SUVs. Just being entirely adequate transport may not be cool in 2017 when every other car is attempting to be a Swiss army knife with a gearbox, but that's exactly what the Dacia is good at.

It's just easy, and that's really nice. It starts on a key, not requiring the clutch to be depressed, a button to be prodded or the car to be facing Bucharest before obliging. The fuel tank - which you'll become familiar with at a 35mpg average - is filled by opening the flap, unlocking the cap with the ignition key and squirting in Tesco's most affordable. The boot has a huge and visible external button, and is opened with your arms and not one of those infuriating automatic systems. The speedo and rev counter are analogue but clear, with markings in all the right places and sensible calibration; you'd be amazed how many dials are difficult to read, showing ludicrous numbers for road and engine speed. What's the point?

It's a good outdoorsy kind of colour
It's a good outdoorsy kind of colour
The ventilation controls are chunky and, yes, simple (albeit too low down) and all the controls you would expect to find on the stalks are as they always used to be. What was wrong with indicators and lights on the left, with wipers on the right? It just works, which is a neat summation of the car itself really.

It whisked me up to Lotus for the Exige drive entirely pleasantly, cruising with confidence and delivering a decent turn of speed once the little turbo boosted. The wheel control is poor, yes, and the steering feels like it would work better off-road than on. That being said, this is a car that starts at £9,495. Need some context for that? The cheapest Ford Ka+ is £9,545...

Taken in that light - and ignoring the fact that our particular Dacia was specced to twice that - the Duster is great little car. It doesn't have a great amount of time left with us, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be very tricky car to replace as do-it-all device. Might even be missed just a little bit, too.


FACT SHEET

Car: 2016 Dacia Duster TCe 125 4x4
On fleet since: January 2017
Mileage: 10,556
List price new: £15,795 (As tested £18,980 comprising Metallic paint for £495, European mapping for £90, Aspira leather upholstery for £500, Protection Pack for £495, Touring Pack for £565, Action Pack for £755 and Window Pack for £285)
Last month at a glance: Don't discount the Duster as a durable daily drive!

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

Aletsch

Original Poster:

57 posts

74 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
If (and that is a big if) we are in for that bad old La Niña winter with plenty of white stuff coming down, the kudos for this car will go up even further.

Let it snow, let it snow....

JohnnyQ86

7 posts

104 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
The appeal for an absolute boggo standard, AWD one of these, is strong.

Monkeylegend

13,324 posts

162 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
I can see the attraction of a £9.5k Duster, not so much for an £18k Duster.

BugLebowski

558 posts

47 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
£19k for a Dacia? I'm oot!

shirt

18,356 posts

132 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
I dont see the love for these. We have them as site vehicles (africa) and they’re woeful.
Advertisement

thelawnet1

1,526 posts

86 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
£19k laugh


Alucidnation

8,529 posts

101 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
Good to see many have not actually read the article before commenting on price.

Anyway, regardless of how cheap it is, it ain’t for me, but then, I would never have a need for anything like this.

kambites

54,341 posts

152 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
I'm not sure who buys a high-spec Duster, but a sub £10k one is a lot of car for the money, as new vehicles go. Or £11500 for a 4x4 one.

Edited by kambites on Wednesday 22 November 18:12

thelawnet1

1,526 posts

86 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
Alucidnation said:
Good to see many have not actually read the article before commenting on price.
I did, just don't see the point of saying how nice it is to have a basic car when the car tested isn't basic. It has:

parking sensors
camera
satnav
alloys
leather
trip computer
cruise control
air con
electric windows
extra interior lighting
extra trim and pockets
a radio (!)
bluetooth
usb
adjustable wing mirrors

and lots of other things not found on the base car.

Live with the basic car and tell us how it is otherwise nobody gives a st.

As tested the car is priced the same as any other compact crossover and just not interesting

Edited by thelawnet1 on Wednesday 22 November 18:19

eldar

11,605 posts

127 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
shirt said:
I dont see the love for these. We have them as site vehicles (africa) and they’re woeful.
Why? Capability, reliability, price?

cheddar

3,946 posts

105 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
Love it, wonder it's worth now?

JMF894

2,502 posts

86 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
I get the charm of basic. This clearly isn't. I can see Dacia going the way of Skoda at this rate.

rtz62

1,433 posts

86 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
This, or a username SUbaru Forester Turbo S?
As Thr Vapours sang, ‘think I’m turning Japanese...’
Owned a couple of the Foresters, and would rather have another than one of these, but hey, it’s the ‘new car vs an older car at the same price’ debate again

kambites

54,341 posts

152 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
JMF894 said:
I get the charm of basic. This clearly isn't. I can see Dacia going the way of Skoda at this rate.
You mean pushing up-market until they're competing directly with their parent brand?

JMF894

2,502 posts

86 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
kambites said:
JMF894 said:
I get the charm of basic. This clearly isn't. I can see Dacia going the way of Skoda at this rate.
You mean pushing up-market until they're competing directly with their parent brand?
Yes and drawing further and further away from their original 'raison d'etre'.

croyde

14,696 posts

161 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
A PHer has a thread on here somewhere on the basic Duster he bought. He loves it.

Was hard to get as apparently hardly anyone buys the Base model. I asked at my local dealer and a basic petrol FWD model was a 4 month wait.

I'm still tempted and love the idea of fitting my own radio, like the old days.

Have looked at secondhand but it seems people hold on to them and they do keep their value.

shirt

18,356 posts

132 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
eldar said:
shirt said:
I dont see the love for these. We have them as site vehicles (africa) and they’re woeful.
Why? Capability, reliability, price?
They’re pretty tough and have a decent boot but can’t say much beyond that. Ours are bog basic so obviously not expecting much in the way of trim levels, but ride is poor/crashy and gets worse the bumpier it is. Our minibus rides better and a renault 11 taxi i took at the weekend had it whipped for ride and comfort! 4 normal sized passengers also pushes legroom to the limit. When we drive on the truck route we take an old nissan patrol as the duster’s faults come to the fore whilst also having zero road presence. They’re not a big car.

The only thing on offer is price but at the spec shown here even that falls very flat.

CABC

1,914 posts

32 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
you can't judge a base car by reviewing one twice the price. If this car was given to Haymarket by Dacia I think they've scored an own goal because the credibility of any review is lost for most people. It might be worthy at 10k, but i can't tell from this.

Ilovejapcrap

1,955 posts

43 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
croyde said:
A PHer has a thread on here somewhere on the basic Duster he bought. He loves it.

Was hard to get as apparently hardly anyone buys the Base model. I asked at my local dealer and a basic petrol FWD model was a 4 month wait.

I'm still tempted and love the idea of fitting my own radio, like the old days.

Have looked at secondhand but it seems people hold on to them and they do keep their value.
Got a link ?

Also fitting own radio , Bluetooth satnav iPod DAB etc all for what 2500 quid ? That’s a,out of extras for not much money lol

thelawnet1

1,526 posts

86 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
Ilovejapcrap said:
Got a link ?

Also fitting own radio , Bluetooth satnav iPod DAB etc all for what 2500 quid ? That’s a,out of extras for not much money lol
You what?

A bluetooth satnav Android head unit is £300 http://www.caraudiodirect.co.uk/head-units/android...

But you could certainly make do with a £50 job and just connect your phone http://www.caraudiodirect.co.uk/head-units/jvc-kd-...