Dacia Duster long-term test review: report 3

The new Dacia Duster is our favourite family SUV in the lowest price point. So, does it exceed expectations of a £15k car?...

duster vitara

The car: Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x2 Comfort Run by: Kris Culmer, sub-editor

Why it’s here: To prove that you need spend no more than £15,000 to get a genuinely practical and pleasant-to-drive family SUV

Needs to: Intelligently offset the aspects that are inferior to the equivalents of pricier rivals by being up to scratch mechanically and dynamically, comfortable and respectable inside

Price £14,395 Price as tested £15,040 Mileage 5593 Official fuel economy 41.5mpg (WLTP) Test economy 47.1mpg Options Desert Orange metallic paint (£495), spare wheel (£150)

2 July – I've been hit!

Heartbreaking stuff: I returned to my Dacia Duster after a day in the office recently to find a load of scratches on the right-hand side of its rear bumper. Thankfully, the driver who had accidentally caused this left a note of her details and a sincere apology – which I must admit I found a pleasant surprise.

duster lt damage

And I was soon in store for another. I’ve always trusted the intentions of the car insurance business about as much as I do those of the average member of parliament, but I soon received a text from the other driver’s insurer, Admiral, to let me know that she had accepted complete liability for the incident, I had nothing to worry about and they could offer me a hire car while mine was being repaired. Top stuff.

I had feared the Dacia Duster would require a new rear bumper, but fortunately, it could be fully repaired, at a cost of around £400, and that mostly for labour. The car is now back in my hands once again, with not a pock in its incandescent coat of paint.

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