What's the used Dacia Duster 4x4 like?
So you’re anxious to jump on the SUV bandwagon, but your pockets aren’t deep enough to buy even a used example of most of them, let alone to finance running one. If only, you might be thinking, there was a car that combined the best of those SUV qualities – practicality, flexibility and rugged looks – with the lower purchase price of a supermini.
Well there is. It’s the Dacia Duster. Bought new, this Nissan Qashqai-sized SUV will set you back no more than a Fiat Panda. And, at the time of writing, you can pick up a three-year old example for under £5000, which makes it something of a bargain.
The Duster is made in India out of old Nissan and Renault parts. It’s a five-door, five-seater car with suitably rugged bodywork and a choice of petrol or diesel engines and the option of four-wheel drive. None of these engine options are particularly fast, nor especially refined, and the ride and handling are distinctly old-fashioned. The diesel-engined version is reasonably economical, but neither of the two petrol options are outstandingly frugal.
So buying a Duster requires some compromises. Its interior is a little rough and ready and although there’s plenty of space inside it’s not a particularly pleasant place to be. It’s not as good dynamically as just about all of its more expensive rivals, either, but none of them can match its throwaway price. For cash-strapped families, the Duster offers an option like no other.