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New Car Reviews

New Car Review: Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi Comfort

Published 3rd May 2022Read Time 10 min

Good Stuff 👍

Probably the best value car on sale in Ireland today? Super fuel economy

Bad Stuff 👎

Very hard to fault a car with this value. The seat in our test car felt ‘loose’

What is the Dacia Duster?

Ireland's favourite budget crossover

The Dacia Duster has cemented itself into the Irish market as a firm favourite thanks to just how much it has to offer for the money. Buyers love the rugged looks, wipe-clean interior simplicity and economical engines. You won’t find an EV or PHEV here, it’s a simple 1.5-litre four cylinder turbodiesel with a manual transmission. This is the second-iteration of the Duster, and more recently it has received a freshening up, with a new grille and headlights.

How about the looks of the Dacia Duster?

Quirky and rugged looks

The Duster has become so popular because of its looks, primarily, we would argue, twinned with the very reasonable price tag. This second version of the Duster is certainly more spacious than the first generation, many of which are still on Irish roads. 2022 sees a facelift and a refresh and that means a new grille, Y-shaped LED headlights and the Duster is the first Dacia to get front LED indicators. Dacia say they’ve managed to improve the CO2 of the Duster thanks to some aerodynamic tweaks and revised alloy wheels. It is a fun, quirky looking crossover.

“one of the best value cars on sale in Ireland”
Paddy Comyn

What is the Dacia Duster like inside?

New interior gives a more upmarket feel

There were some considerable changes to the interior of the Duster in the latest revision and they are very much for the better. There is new upholstery and a major new feature is the inclusion of a high centre console with a wide armrest that will retract 70mm. It has a 1.1-litre storage compartment and two USB charging sockets for the rear passengers. There is a new 8” touchscreen in the Duster, with Media Display and that includes 6 speakers, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports and the ubiquitous Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. At the rear, there is a 358-litre luggage capacity.

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What's the Dacia Duster like to drive?

Frugal and easy to navigate

Dacia say that they have recalibrated the power steering in the Duster and is now better on medium and high-speed driving. From 70 km/h, the steering becomes slightly harder. This new setting is beneficial for safety and provides better feedback and the steering certainly feels more precise than before. The seat in our press model felt quite loose, which didn’t feel ideal. Our test car was fitted with 115hp 1.5-litre diesel and emissions have been improved in this engine and with CO2 emissions of 129g/km, with annual motor tax of €200. This is a very frugal engine, comfortable delivering around 3.9 l/100km on the motorway at an average speed of 100km/h, which was very impressive. This is a very easy car to navigate, there is a great driving position and it does feel slightly high up, which people love.

Which Dacia Duster should I buy?

There is a choice of four trims

There are a total of four specification levels of the Duster for Ireland. The Essential is a pretty basic car, sitting on steel wheels and really only fitted with the bare ‘essentials’ – but it has a charm to it and that starts at €21,190. We were driving the Comfort model which seems to be the sweet spot of the range with a nice blend of value and equipment. This would be our choice and starts at €23,390. At the upper end of the Duster range is the Prestige model from €25,290, which adds things like Keyless entry, Multiview camera and Automatic Air-Conditioning to the Comfort model. At the top of the range, the Extreme is basically another stylised version of the Prestige. Buy the Comfort.

Is the Dacia Duster safe?

Don't fret the mediocre NCAP score too much

The  Duster hasn’t scored that well in the Euro NCAP safety tests, with a 3-star result for the model in 2017. This doesn’t mean you should avoid the car however as it is mostly down to some quirks in the NCAP scoring system. Overall the car has very high levels of standard safety kit for the money.

Verdict 👀

The Dacia Duster remains one of the best-value cars on sale in Ireland today and it is a top-seller as a result. Choose the diesel and the Comfort model and you will have made an astute purchase.

Spec Check ⚙️

Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi 115 2wd

Engine

1.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel

Power

115 hp

Torque

260 Nm

0-100km/h

10.2 seconds

Fuel Economy

4.9 l/100km

Top Speed

181 km/h

Transmission

Six-speed Manual

Co2

129g/km

Annual Motor Tax

€200

Luggage Capacity

358-litres

Price as tested

€25,190

For more information, visit www.dacia.ie

 

 

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