The Duster is a great car. As a multi-purpose crossover it ticks a lot of boxes. BTW what’s a crossover? A small SUV, looks like a 4x4 though usually isn’t, family friendly, can but handle minor off-road adventures. Other examples include Nissan Juke, Peugeot 3008, Renault Captur or a BMW X1.
We tend to think of the Duster as the cheap alternative. And it is the indeed the most affordable on the market (around £10,000 in the UK). It's certainly a very common sense option: if I was looking for a car that works both for driving around the city and adventurous weekend trips, I’d be very happy with a Duster (I’m sticking to the London tube and double-decker buses for the time being anyway)
It’s originally a Romanian brand, now owned by Renault. It’s essentially got the Renault insides and has been stripped all of the fancy (and very fussy) little things they often overload the French cars with (ie expensive visits to the garage for maintenance). The Duster is solid. No thrills inside or outside, but it's comfortable, easy to drive and reliable, so no wonder they’ve sold over 2 million around the world. Morocco is full of Dusters. Frankly, a mix of Dacias, vintage Mercedes from the 1980s and mules, which shows you exactly what kind of vehicles to invest in.
The Moroccans buy cars with the intention of getting from point A to B with out breaking down and they know they will be able to do this in a Dacia forever and ever. Or if something goes wrong, they can simply fix it on their own. The Duster can also fit the whole family plus a couple of friends on top of that (ekhm, that’s Morocco style).
I drove the 4x2, 1.5 DCI (diesel) engine, 90KM version. Dacia is also about to bring out the new, updated Duster very soon, so check the website here (this one is for UK) or your local Dacia dealer for more info.
As you can see we actually didn’t have a 4x4 (though it looked like it), just a normal 2 wheel drive. The diesel engine only used up around 6 litres per 100 km (it would go down to 5.8 litres driving in the mountains), and around 6 to 7 litres when on a motorway. So that’s another few boxes ticked. And it does looks nice - simple, unfussy line which usually stands the test of time compared to many other overcomplicated designs. It’s reliable and…I’d say, timeless: maybe too big a word for a Dacia, but nonetheless, it’s a big thumbs up.