Standard EquipmentTechnical SpecificationOptional ExtrasIndependent Review

Driver Convenience

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Centre differential lock with selectable 2WD, Auto and Lock modes
  • Cruise control
  • Digital dashboard display
  • Digital trip computer
  • Dusk sensor
  • Eco mode
  • Electric power steering
  • MediaNav Evolution 7" touchscreen multimedia system with satellite navigation with Apple car play and Android auto
  • Multi view camera
  • On board computer
  • Rear parking camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rev counter
  • Service interval indicator
  • Speed limiter
  • Stop/start system

Entertainment

  • 4x 20W FM/AM/DAB tuner with steering column mounted fingertip controls
  • Aux-in socket
  • USB connection for MP3 players

Exterior Features

  • 3 speed windscreen wipers
  • Black side sills
  • Body coloured door handles
  • Body coloured door mirrors
  • Body coloured front and rear bumpers
  • Chrome front grille
  • Dark tinted windows
  • Daytime running lights
  • Double optic headlights
  • Electric adjustable/heated door mirrors
  • Electric front windows
  • Electric rear windows
  • Front door sill protection strip
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated rear window
  • High level third rear brake light
  • Rear wash/wipe
  • Satin chrome front and rear skid plates
  • Satin chrome front door handles
  • Satin chrome longitudinal roof bars
  • Satin chrome rear door handles
  • Tailgate trim with satin chrome Duster inscription in black background

Interior Features

  • 3 rear height adjustable headrests
  • 4 speed heating and ventilation with air recirculation
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • Boot light
  • Climate control
  • Driver seat lumbar adjustment
  • Fabric decorative insert on door panels
  • Front passenger reading light
  • Front seat armrests
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Glovebox light
  • Height adjustable driver seat
  • Height adjustable front headrests
  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Isofix points for child seats in both outer rear seats
  • Map pocket on front seat backs
  • Rear passenger reading light
  • Rear storage compartment
  • Satin chrome gear lever cap insert
  • Satin chrome lower steering wheel insert
  • Soft feel steering wheel

Safety

  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • ABS and Emergency brake assist
  • ASR traction control with Electronic stability control
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Door open warning
  • Driver airbag
  • Driver and passenger seatbelt not fastened - visual and audible warning
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Front side airbags
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Hill descent control
  • Tyre pressure monitor

Security

  • Keyless entry
  • Remote central locking
  • Thatcham approved engine immobiliser

Trim

  • Dark carbon central console surround
  • Matt black central console fasia
  • Piano black decorative insert on door panels
  • Satin chrome air vent surround
  • Satin chrome instrument dial surrounds

Wheels

  • 17" Diamond cut alloy wheels

Emissions

CO2 (g/km)

123

HC

Standard Euro Emissions

EURO 6

Engine and Drive Train

Camshaft

DOHC

Catalytic Convertor

1

CC

1461

Compression Ratio

15.5:1

Cylinder Layout

IN-LINE

Cylinders

4

Cylinders - Bore (mm)

76

Cylinders - Stroke (mm)

80.5

Engine Code

K9K 658

Engine Layout

FRONT TRANSVERSE

Fuel Delivery

COMMON RAIL

Gears

6 SPEED

Number of Valves

8

Transmission

MANUAL

Fuel Consumption

EC Combined (mpg)

60.1

EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies

1

EC Extra Urban (mpg)

60.1

EC Urban (mpg)

58.9

General

Badge Engine CC

1.5

Badge Power

115

Based On ID

Coin Description

Blue dCi 4X4

Coin Series

Prestige

Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07

15E

NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %

NCAP Child Occupant Protection %

NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09

NCAP Pedestrian Protection %

NCAP Safety Assist %

Safety Concerns?

1

Service Interval Frequency - Months

12

Service Interval Mileage

18000

Special Edition

1

Special Order

1

Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage

60000

Standard manufacturers warranty - Years

3

Vehicle Homologation Class

M1

Performance

0 to 62 mph (secs)

12.1

Engine Power - BHP

115

Engine Power - KW

85

Engine Power - RPM

4000

Engine Torque - LBS.FT

192

Engine Torque - MKG

26.5

Engine Torque - NM

260

Engine Torque - RPM

2000

Top Speed

108

Tyres

Alloys?

1

Space Saver?

1

Tyre Size Front

215/65 R17

Tyre Size Rear

215/60 R17

Tyre Size Spare

TYRE REPAIR KIT

Wheel Style

DIAMOND CUT

Wheel Type

17" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

Height

1621

Height (including roof rails)

1682

Length

4341

Wheelbase

2676

Width

1804

Width (including mirrors)

2052

Weight and Capacities

Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)

50

Gross Vehicle Weight

1875

Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)

1614

Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)

467

Max. Loading Weight

470

Max. Towing Weight - Braked

1500

Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked

695

Minimum Kerbweight

1405

No. of Seats

5

Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb

10.15

On The Road

Driver Convenience

Exterior Features

Interior Features

Paintwork

Trim

Wheels

Summary

So. Here's the bottom line. New cars are often a lot more expensive than perhaps they need to be, especially in fashionable market sectors like those for Crossover 4x4s. It's a trend manufacturers try and justify with high technology that's certainly very impressive but which many buyers neither appreciate nor really want. These are the people being targeted here by what continues to be a very clever package indeed, one that gives you almost everything you need - and nothing you don't. The things it can't offer - cutting edge handling, hi-tech equipment levels and a soft-touch trendy cabin - become irrelevant when you consider the asking price. A figure that in 4x4 models buys you off road ability that betters that of some rivals costing nearly twice as much. And in whatever guise you choose, you'll find a Duster smartly styled, practically finished and affordable to run. Enough to make it a better bet than a late, low mileage second hand Crossover/4x4 rival? Many will think so.

Background

The original Duster SUV was the car that really built the Dacia brand. Launched in 2009, it was far better than any model in this class had a right to be for less than £10,000 but it did have a few rough edges - enough to keep some buyers in the compact SUV segment loyal to more established brands. You always felt that if this Renault-owner manufacturer could add a bit of extra quality, technology and polish to this value-orientated recipe, then it would be well set. We're told that this is exactly what's happened in creation of this second generation model. There are now features that Dacia buyers won't be used to - things like climate control, curtain airbags, blindspot warning, keyless entry and much more. And it's all been put together with a bit more love. Sounds promising.

Driving Experience

Cut back on cost and you also cut back on expectations. Admit it - you didn't think the Duster was going to be any good at all to drive. It may well come as quite a surprise then, to learn that the market consensus in Europe, where this car has been a huge sales success, is that this Dacia has the sort of ride/handling compromise that would shame rivals many thousands of pounds more expensive. There's a choice of two engines, both offering 115hp. First up is the 1.6-litre SCe unit familiar from other compact Renault and Dacia models. It's a decent choice, far more efficient than the old 1.6 offered in the MK1 Duster and offering a lot more pulling power. If you need more grunt, you'll be directed towards the 1.5-litre dCi diesel. Both engines offer the option of 4WD, the same Nissan-engineered three-mode system as was in the previous model, selectable via a rotary controller in front of the gear stick. Most of the time you'll be in '2WD', but in wet or icy conditions, there's the peace of mind of being able to switch seamlessly to 'Auto' so that extra traction will automatically cut in when necessary. For mud-plugging meanwhile, you'll want to keep all wheels turning permanently by switching to the 'Lock' setting.

Design and Build

Though this second generation Duster model looks familiar, Dacia says that not one body panel has been carried over from the previous generation car. A redesigned bonnet flows into a more distinctive grille extending to the head lights that makes the car look wider. This is flanked by a more distinctive lighting signature that includes LED daytime running lamps. A larger, mass-coloured, scratch-resistant front skid plate reinforces Duster's adventurer credentials. A higher belt line adds to the impression of robustness and protection while the windscreen has been brought forward 100mm and is more steeply raked, which makes the cabin appear more spacious. Ah yes, the cabin. That's been redesigned too. The smarter centre console accommodates a higher-positioned MediaNav multimedia touchscreen display viewed from more supportive seats. The window glass is thicker for greater refinement and there's extra cabin storage too. Of course, if you look for them, there are signs of cost-cutting, but everything's been decently put together and the boot's a decent size, offering 445 litres for the 2WD version and 376 litres for the 4WD variant. That's the same as the old model. As for rear seat accommodation, well, there's actually more space here than you'd find in most compact 4x4s, with reasonable levels of head, leg and shoulder room for two and, on shorter journeys, even for three.

Market and Model

While the thought of owning a trendy compact SUV/Crossover-style model for less than £10,000 might be the thing that gets people into Dacia showrooms, the car that satisfied prospective buyers end up driving out of them will probably require a very differently-sized cheque. Still one though, that'll offer a considerable saving on comparable models from other brands. Dacia's ethos is to keep things simple and no-nonsense - so the line-up is no different. There are four trim levels to choose from; 'Access', 'Essential', 'Comfort' and 'Prestige'. 'Access trim', available from £9,995, features 16-inch steel wheels, electric front windows - and not a lot else. You'll probably want at least to find the £1,600 premium for 'Essential' trim, which adds 16-inch 'Fidji' steel wheels, body coloured front and rear bumpers, manual air conditioning, a DAB radio with steering-column mounted controls and Bluetooth connectivity. Comfort spec adds 16-inch 'Cyclade' alloy wheels, a front-seat armrest, a leather steering wheel, a rear parking camera and sensors, electric rear windows, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, MediaNav 7" touchscreen multimedia system with navigation and an on-board computer. The top 'Prestige' version, gives you 17-inch 'Diamond-cut' alloy wheels, a multi-view camera, blind spot warning, climate control and keyless entry.

Cost of Ownership

You'll find the Duster not only inexpensive to buy but similarly cheap to keep on the road. Or at least you will providing you avoid the relatively old-tech 1.6-litre SCe 115 petrol model. In front wheel drive form, this delivers an unremarkable combined cycle figure of 43.4mpg. This takes a dive to 40.7mpg should you opt for the four-wheel drive chassis. Emissions are 149 and 158g/km for two and four-wheel drive petrol models respectively. For some buyers though, only a diesel will do. With a Dacia 1.5-litre dCi, you'll see 64.2mpg from a front-driver and 115g/km of CO2. As for peace of mind, well Dacia has chosen to cock a snook at the Koreans by - and I quote - 'deciding not to force buyers into paying a premium for a longer warranty they might not want'. You may disagree, but at least if you do, you've the option of extending the standard 3 year/60,000 mile cover with an affordably-priced five or seven year policy.