Dacia Duster: PH Fleet


So perhaps a bit more was bitten off in the Duster's name than could be chewed by the little Dacia. You'll remember we proudly proclaimed it a warrior of the off-road playground last time, valiantly and defiantly taking on a quarry alongside much bigger off-roaders.

Thing is, it wasn't quite as tough as we thought. Or rather, the small crossover was presented with somewhat unrealistic challenges to overcome. And it broke. Watch the video here to see if you can work out where that happened... As a result Matt Prior is temporarily banned from using PH long-termers and we'll be gentler in future, promise!


So the Duster returned to Dacia for its new suspension and steering parts, leaving quite a gap in our fleet. See while it's not the most glamorous, or the fastest, the Duster is nothing if not extremely useful. You can always rely on it to get people and stuff to places, whoever they are and wherever they might be. 'Dependable' may not be the most exciting quality in the world, but it's certainly one you miss when it's not around.

I've used the Duster a couple of times since its return - my first drives in it, actually - and found plenty to like. OK, they've hardly been the most thrilling of journeys, though arguably cars that can impress on mundane trips are the more noteworthy. On the way to Heathrow its strong torque helped at a couple of traffic light grand prix, its compact dimensions made it easy to park and - being brutally honest - its more utilitarian nature meant I worried less when leaving it. Of course we don't want anything to get damaged (again), but there's something rather less stressful about depositing a sub-£20K SUV in a busy car park than a £50K+ sports car. All the more so if it's a multi-storey, given my apparent penchant for kerbing wheels...


The Duster's relative simplicity has both its strengths and weaknesses though. I really enjoy the uncomplicated infotainment system, which pairs your phone through both USB and Bluetooth without fuss. Its positioning in the centre console though, seems to have been chosen with no thought to operation while actually moving. But then the seats will take most of your attention when driving, as they're so unsupportive you feel you might fall out. I know, it's not a track car (in fact, hold that thought) but, even in a road car at road speeds, the way they struggle to hold you in is disconcerting. What's the logic behind seats that flat? If anybody has an idea then I'd love to know.

Otherwise life with the Duster is just fine. There are no big plans afoot for it, so we really should set about pursuing that idea of fitting some track rubber...


FACT SHEET
Car:
 2016 Dacia Duster TCe 125 4x4
On fleet since: January 2017
Mileage:6,848 miles
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: Back to business for the durable Duster

Previous reports:
Duster debut!
Excelling on the off-road escapade
NC500 in a Duster
Duster takes on big boys in quarry dust-up

 

 

 

 

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Comments (16) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Turbobanana 11 Jul 2017

    "What's the logic behind seats that flat? If anybody has an idea then I'd love to know."

    To accommodate more people, perhaps? I guess you need to appeal to all shapes and sizes if you want to sell a bucket load of cars.

    A serious question for journos: how do manufacturers react when you ring them and say "we've broken it"?

  • Dazed and Confused 11 Jul 2017

    One life, live it!)

  • Straff99 11 Jul 2017

    Ah, the lovely Dacia Dustbin. Buy one and send out the message "I'm skint but I don't want people to think I'm buying this for financial reasons. It's a really good car, honest..." tank

  • Integroo 11 Jul 2017

    Straff99 said:
    Ah, the lovely Dacia Dustbin. Buy one and send out the message "I'm skint but I don't want people to think I'm buying this for financial reasons. It's a really good car, honest..." tank
    Except you could buy a decent used car for half the price that nobody would think that, and it's much pricier than the likes of a Fiesta. It's not that far off the price of Civics, Focuses etc new. 18k is not so cheap that only those who are skint can buy it.

  • Jonno02 11 Jul 2017

    Integroo said:
    Except you could buy a decent used car for half the price that nobody would think that, and it's much pricier than the likes of a Fiesta. It's not that far off the price of Civics, Focuses etc new. 18k is not so cheap that only those who are skint can buy it.
    Who cares what it costs, we need to impress the neighbours! clap

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