The last few weeks have been busy ones for the Dacia and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s probably the hardest-working car I’ve ever run.
With the change in the weather, I’ve at long last been able to get out into the garden and try and tame the lawn. With the grass cut, job number one for the Duster was to swallow up all the freshly-cut grass ready for a trip to the local recycling centre. The grass cuttings were joined by the remnants of our Christmas tree (yes I know how long ago Christmas was), as well as the packaging from a freshly-built trampoline and swing set. With that lot dumped, it was time for a quick turnaround as I’d promised the rest of the family that we’d take a trip out to nearby Sidmouth.
Swapping trees for trikes, the three other members of the family, and the dog, set off for the Jurassic Coast and a much-needed walk in the spring sun. The boot offers a good amount of flat load space – it’s really surprising what you can squeeze in, be it the dog’s crate, the kid’s bike, whatever. Honestly, the way I load the Duster up, I could get a job at the carnival. “Roll up, roll up and see the amazing Dacia Duster! Watch in awe as I load it with bikes, trikes and all other manner of junk! Gasp as it swallows two whole children!” Seriously though, I think the appeal of the Duster comes from its no-nonsense attitude, and the way it rolls its proverbial sleeves up and just gets on with it. And when it comes to the daily rough and tumble of life with two small children, a wife and a dog, it fits into family life perfectly.
My wife Sarah has increasingly warmed to the car since its arrival back in August, too, and following our house move, even more so. She likes the improved visibility offered by the raised ride height. I just wish it would stay cleaner for a bit longer. With the road in and out of the village always wet, muddy, or both, the Dacia seems to act like a magnet for muck. I find myself cleaning the car on an all-too frequent basis. So much so that each time I step out of the house, my neighbour remarks “Cleaning the car today?”
Away from time as the family work horse, the Duster continues to rack up the motorway miles and it’s the time stuck on Britain’s dullest roads that’s made me notice another one of the Duster’s strong points. It’s funny how the little things can really mean a lot when you live with a car in the long-term and I wanted to take a moment just to praise the Dacia’s radio. While it has Bluetooth audio streaming and boasts a USB socket, it does one thing perhaps not many people would buy a car for – it offers really good Medium Wave reception. I listen to an awful lot of BBC Radio Five Live, which without DAB digital radio is only on Medium Wave. So many car stereos these days struggle to tune in to the frequency, but the Duster does it brilliantly and after a long day, when music just feels like noise, to be actually able to listen to Five Live cleanly and clearly is a real bonus.
Now, with that all off my chest, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to wash the car…
|Whats Hot:||The radio has great Medium Wave reception, a rarity on cars these days.|
|Whats Not:||Despite my best efforts at keeping it clean, itís constantly filthy.|
|Date arrived:||5th August 2013|
|Mileage to date:||12,453 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||53.3mpg (official combined)
42.6mpg (on test)