What is this the Dacia Duster? It is a remarkably simple SUV that has good off road capability while being a easy everyday driver. The Dacia Duster has a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder gas engine that puts out 105 horsepower and (about) 109 lbs-feet of torque. There is an optional four-cylinder diesel capable of 110 horsepower that makes around 147 lb-ft of torque. The Dacia Duster comes only with a five or six-speed manual transmission – which is kind of awesome – and it’s dependent on the model you purchase.
It’s about the size of a Honda CR-V.
The Dacia Duster is cheap as chips with a UK price of £8,995 for a Dacia Duster Access 1.6 16v 105 4×2. For UK price reference - a base model Ford Fiesta costs £9,795. What’s so impressive is that this Romanian-built trucklet is an award winning, solidly-built machine that could fill a void in the U.S. market left by the withdraw of Suzuki.
“In just over seven years, the Dacia brand has become a genuine global success story. In 2010, 350,000 people bought a new Dacia in 35 countries worldwide, making us the fifth-bestselling passenger car brand in France (in 2011), as well as market leader in Romania and Morocco.
As a brand of the Renault Group, Dacia uses clever sourcing and proven technology to ensure its cars are reliable, robust and affordable. From the Sandero hatchback to the Duster SUV, Dacia cars are simple to use and affordable to own. That’s why German customers voted Dacia their second favourite manufacturer in the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey, in 2010, just behind Audi and ahead of Mercedes-Benz.” – - Dacia UK
Think about it this way, a slick little 4X4 like the Dacia Duster could be sold in the United States as a Nissan. Renault is partnered with Nissan AND Nissan worked with Dacia on the Duster’s 4X4 system. So, there may be a business case for bringing’s the Duster to our shores!
I know, it’s a long shot.
There are a lot of people in the United States that miss vehicles like the Suzuki Samurai, Sidekick, Grand Vitara and other cheap off-road capable vehicles. As The Fast Lane Car constantly demonstrates, crossovers can move through the dirt, but a proper SUV with decent ground clearance and a locking differential make a huge difference on the rough stuff.
The Dacia Duster has this and it has a rather easy to live with, utilitarian interior too!
It did well in Europe’s NCAP and the Dacia Duster has performed well in racing. It placed 3rd in the Unlimited Class at its 2011 debut at the Pike’s Peak hill climb. That ‘s not too shabby. It’s participated in various rallies, races and competitions around the world including winning the Andros Trophy driven by F1 ace, Alain Prost.
There’s a lot to like about this little truck. I happen to think it’s very handsome and its proportions are ideal for folks who are squeezing pennies. Small, frugal, cheap – AND it can go off-road. Sweet.
Here’s our last Suzuki video… which is kind of sad.
I truly think the Dacia Duster could replace the void that Suzuki left behind. What do you think?