Our Guest Reviewer, SPIN 1038 DJ Nikki Hayes has been checking out the Dacia Duster
To be honest I had never driven a Dacia, I never even knew Dacia are part of the Renault family. Dacia are a Romanian company and were founded 50 years ago and yet in my 20 years of driving I had never experienced one until now.
The lovely guys in Linders Renault, Pavilions Shopping Centre invited me to their new store #RetailRevoltuion. It’s quite the American malls where you can walk into the store look and models of cars build your own virtually and walk or drive away that very day.
I hopped in a taxi headed out for Linders. I was met by a lovely girl Gillian who sat me down and talked me through the process of #RetailRevolution and the experience that they provide in store. To be honest I would much rather it to the normal car yard search. I find at times going to a garage / car yard it can feel a little dodgy and you are standing next to the car haggling with the sales person. This was the complete opposite, sit down in comfortable seating, have a tea or coffee, get handed an ipad which connects to a large screen. Together with your car salesperson you can build and design your dream model.
The new Dacia Duster was my vehicle of choice to review and from the moment Gillian walked me to the car, I loved it. Deep blue and snazzy looking the brand new Dacia Duster visually did not disappoint. When she told me the price I was shocked at the affordability of a brand new model starting from €16,690.
So how was the interior? To be honest a little bland and felt like a child had stood and thrown items on blindfolded. This sounds harsh and I don’t mean it to its just the duster showed so much promise and I’m sure if you went up the Spec this could all be rectified. I had a few pet peeves with the interior of the Duster. Firstly the horn on the top of the indicator. Why? It meant every time you turned left or right you could end up beeping. It led to me getting abuse hurled at me and the odd finger pointing in the wrong direction. It seemed like a simple change of putting it on the wheel was considered a luxury add on.
The Sat nav looked cheap and the screen wasn’t touchscreen like many are as standard these days.
Now, to the onboard speakers. This is always important to me with the profession I work in … it was awful. You would need it at the high end to even hear properly and don’t even start me on the Bluetooth kit. Or maybe do… horrendous so much so it was easier to leave phone down and press speaker on the handset to talk.
In saying this though, the Dacia was VERY comfortable to drive and was incredibly spacious. It was a little heavy on diesel but I did take it for a run into the country and on the open road it handled well. Driving the Dacia you felt safe. It felt sturdy and even taking corners it stuck to the road. The boot space was huge and comfortably fit my buggy & shopping with room to spare. It a perfect family car.
“Practicality and functionality are at the heart of New Duster’s clever design” say the manufacturers and I strongly agree … it’s the ronseal of 4 x 4s – does exactly what it says on the tin. If I had €20,000 would I buy one? Yes actually but I’d spend the extra to get the upgrades. They need to work harder on the interior it all just felt a bit “blah”. If I was to seriously consider buying one I’d have to take the signature or prestige upgrades.
Overall, I enjoyed driving the Dacia and the #retailrevolution experience itself was flawless. I’d definitely consider buying a car with them in the future.
For more info on the Dacia Duster check out Dacia.ie, the Facebook page or follow Dacia on twitter here. Alternatively to find out more about Linders Renault’s #retailrevolution check out their website here
2nd August, 2016