This chapter brings mixed conclusions, as the Duster performs well from certain points of view and fails from others. The lack of proper soundproofing might bring an engaging drive, but it also means that the vehicle becomes tiring during long trips. The only thing that tops that is the lack of refinement of the 1.5-liter diesel engine, which could be used by automotive students willing to learn how to diagnose a powerplant just by listening to it - you can hear all the distinct noises, such as that of the fuel going through the injection system.
The fact that the vehicle doesn't have too many gadgets doesn't help either, but our test car was fitted with every optional on the list (except the leather upholstery), which meant that we could listen to music in MP3 format and control the temperatures in both directions.
On the other hand, the seats might lack lateral support, but are large enough to provide a comfortable ride, and the suspension really knows how to deal with bumps at any speeds (we really do mean ANY speeds).
If we add the reassuring feeling given by the capable all-terrain tech stuff and the ESP's ability to keep the car on track even when driving on pure ice, we get a balanced conclusion, rather than one that puts the vehicle to shame.Continue reading