When the Dacia Duster Concept was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show, Dacia aficionados (yes, there's quite a large number of them) were taken by storm. Unfortunately, apart from the name and powerplant, the series production model has next to nothing in common with the concept. It also has nothing in common with the original Aro 10 re-badged Duster as well, which is probably a good thing.
The front benefits from a rather odd grille, which is only half covered in "plastic chrome" while the semi-evil headlights look a bit old-school for a modern automobile. Also, the "beer bottle opener" a.k.a. badge is integrated like a large tooth in the chromed part of the grille. Since our test car was all-wheel drive, to further differentiate this model from the front-wheel drive version the interior of the headlights is blacked-out.
Given that our Duster was also black and was fitted with the "Look" appearance pack, which adds a couple of silver touches here and there, the contrast between silver/chrome and black wasn't half bad, making this probably the best looking Dacia since the Stepway version of the Sandero.
The side view has a rather "butch" look thanks to the oversized wheel arches, which at first glance look like they could house tires two times as wide as the standard 215/65 R16 ones. Getting to the rear is where we acknowledge quite a lot of design similarities with the Nissan Pathfinder, especially at the shape of the rear windshield.
Since Nissan is a major part of the Renault-Nissan -Samsung-Dacia family, we'll let this one pass, especially since they were also the provider of the all-wheel drive system on the Duster. All in all, the Dacia Duster doesn't look half bad, with some of us going as far as to consider it handsome from some angles. Continue reading
Hold on, Sir May B. Bach would like to say something...
So I drove my fourth, and hopefully last, Dacia model. My life is now... ahem... complete. It's like I've been through hell and back for the fourth time. Only this time, for a reason unknown, I had a slightly better experience. No, I'm not... ahem... kidding. Or am I?
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →