Since its arrival last August, the Duster has provoked all sorts of reactions, with people generally curious about either Dacia themselves or what the car’s like to drive.
I was discussing this with a friend the other day who informed me that there was no way they’d drive the car or even consider it. I began trying to explain its proven mechanicals and keen price but was interrupted. “It’s nothing to do with that,” he said. “It’s the 13 on the plate. No way would I drive a ’13 plated car”. Not being the superstitious type, I dismissed his fears until a few days later, when, while reversing off of my driveway, I suddenly felt a sickening bang from the back of the car. I’d reversed into a car behind me. My heart sunk and feeling like the most stupid man on Earth, I assessed the damage. Thankfully it was relatively minor and a few days later, the Duster was whisked away for cosmetic surgery to its rump. Unlucky? No. Just plain stupid.
Two weeks later, the Duster returned and it was like being reunited with a comfy pair of trainers, it looked every bit as good as the day it arrived. Following its return, the Duster was soon pressed back into service with an immediate drive up to Castle Combe. I’d love to tell you how the Duster handled the Wiltshire-based circuit, but instead, it was working as a tracking car, with myself driving and a colleague shooting pictures from the tailgate. This kind of work demands smoothness, as a jerky ride means blurry pictures, and thankfully the Duster remained silky on the circuit and we got some great shots.
Strangely, since it came back, the Duster no longer connects to my MP3 player via Bluetooth. Connecting my phone, there’s no problem, but my MP3 player is another matter. The stereo sees it, but every time I try to connect, it fails. Thankfully there’s still the USB socket for music and the CD player will read discs full of MP3s, so there are still plenty of choices.
Speaking of options, one that is missing from the Duster is cruise control. The Duster is used for a lot of motorway miles, getting to and from car shoots, and after a 500 mile trip in a few hours, you certainly feel it in your right ankle. Perhaps it’s too much to expect that kind of kit on a car at this kind of price point, but my ankle would certainly appreciate it!
|Whats Hot:||Dusterís smooth ride makes it perfect for camera car work.|
|Whats Not:||Lack of parking sensors can catch stupid drivers out!|
|Date arrived:||5th August 2013|
|Mileage to date:||12,051 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||53.3mpg (official combined)
39.6mpg (on test)