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The Dacia Duster’s up to date look has given it a much-needed refresh, with many individuals complicated it for an all-new mannequin. There are some foibles, however the Duster is a good all-round automobile that provides loads for its modest asking value.

  • Mileage: 3,017
  • Economy: 38.9mpg

The second-generation Dacia Duster has been on sale since 2017 and in some ways it’s beginning to present its age, however a mid-life facelift arrived final 12 months and was then shortly adopted by one other replace because the funds Romanian model revised its brand.

This newest refresh has given the Duster a particular new look, with the corporate’s ‘hyperlink’ brand, which consists of the letters D and C merging within the center, dominating the automobile’s grille. It’s one of many first issues individuals discover concerning the Duster, with my dad even pondering it was an all-new automobile. It’s superb that such a refined redesign can have such an influence.

Even my son Hugo has been taken in by the Duster’s charms. He’s on the age the place he’s beginning to actually get into his vehicles and he often talks about Lamborghinis and Porsches, however he loves the way in which the Duster appears and at all times asks if we are able to use it at any time when now we have to depart the home.

The contemporary look in any other case hides a automobile that’s just about unchanged since its launch, however that’s not essentially a foul factor. We liked the Mk2 Duster when it first arrived and our opinion hasn’t actually modified. It’s a automobile that provides loads for its moderately modest price ticket. The mannequin that’s joined our test fleet is a mid-spec Expression TCe 130, which prices simply £19,695. It will be laborious to seek out any new automobile on sale for lower than £20,000 today, not to mention one that provides a fraction of the quantity of equipment the Duster has, or one which drives as nicely and has wherever close to the quantity of area.

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Electric entrance and rear home windows, automated headlights, a rear parking digicam, automated air-conditioning, an eight-inch touchscreen and 4 USB ports (two within the entrance and two in again) are all included as commonplace, so it’s not precisely brief on creature comforts.

However, the place the Duster actually excels is practicality. It’s an ideal match for my household of 4, because of an enormous boot that’s greater than able to taking a buggy and a few luggage, and loads of inside area within the ethereal cabin. Two baby seats match within the again with out having to squeeze them in, and there’s sufficient legroom in order that the kids don’t kick the again of the seats in entrance.

While the inside high quality is greatest described as low cost and cheerful, and the laborious plastics will be simply scratched, generally it’s excellent for a household as a result of it gives comparatively low upkeep. The plastic trim is straightforward to wipe down with out leaving any stains, and the material seats look pretty much as good as new after a fast sponge.

The Duster can also be fairly nice from behind the wheel, primarily because of the actual fact it’s a lot lighter than it appears. Weighing in at round 1,300kg implies that it handles nicely on a twisty street, with physique roll that’s noticeable versus intrusive. The 1.3-litre petrol engine is easy and comparatively economical, averaging nearly 39mpg over the three,000 miles I’ve lined.

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But it’s not all excellent news, as a result of a number of early niggles have began to show into frustrations, and by far the most important is the problematic Apple CarPlay connection. The Duster doesn’t include a built-in sat-nav, so my reliance on CarPlay is even higher than in another vehicles, however the connection retains dropping. Just a few instances I’ve been fortunately driving alongside, following the route steering, and it randomly disconnects, leaving me blind as to which flip I needs to be taking subsequent.

It’s wired, so that you’d suppose it might be fairly foolproof, however it retains on occurring. Simply unplugging it and plugging it again in once more fixes it, nevertheless it’s not one thing you need to maintain doing whereas driving. I’ve by no means had an issue with this explicit cable in different vehicles, so I can’t see the way it’s a problem at my finish, however I’ll test the reference to another cables to see if the issue persists.

I’ve additionally had a problem with the carpet mat getting caught on high of the clutch pedal. The first time it occurred, I believed there was an even bigger downside as a result of the clutch was very sluggish to launch, which means I needed to jam my foot beneath to raise it up. It was then that I realised that it was the mat holding the pedal down. I’ve clipped the mat again in place, but when it occurs once more I’ll must take away it altogether.

Model: Dacia Duster Expression TCe 130 4×2
On fleet since: July 2023
Price new: £19,695
Engine: 1.3-litre 4cyl petrol, 128bhp
CO2/tax: 141g/km/£215 (1st 12 months)
Options: Arizona Orange metallic paint (£650), spare wheel (£300)
Insurance*: Group: 19/Quote: £544
Mileage: 3,017
Economy: 38.9mpg
Any issues? None to date

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three factors.

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