Jeremy Clarkson Reviews New Dacia Duster, Doesn’t Like It Too Much

Ever since Dacia came back to the United Kingdom, a considerable number of people voiced their concern about the low-cost character of the Romanian brand. After all, every Dacia model in production today is made with bits and pieces from Renault. And as you would expect, some car journalists take Dacia at face value instead of cutting the automaker some slack through the lens of the shockingly affordableaphorism.
2018 Dacia Duster 8 photos
Photo: Dacia
2018 Dacia Duster UK-spec2018 Dacia Duster UK-spec2018 Dacia Duster UK-spec2018 Dacia Duster UK-spec2018 Dacia Duster UK-spec2018 Dacia Duster UK-spec2018 Dacia Duster UK-spec
After Mat Watson of carwow tried to convince us to buy the Renault Kadjar instead of the Dacia Duster in his video review of the crossover utility vehicle, the time has come for Jeremy Clarkson of The Grand Tour to have his say on the second-generation model. As you would expect from Jeremy, he doesn’t like it, using somewhat questionable words - including Vietnamese sweatshop and slave children - to justify what’s wrong with the Duster.

Knowing Clarkson and having read most of what he published through Penguin Books, you could say that this is the man’s way of expressing disgust with a car that isn’t to his liking. For the more skeptical among us, Clarkson will always be a bit of an oaf, mostly because some people don’t like to take in the full picture before coming up with an argument.

Whatever Clarkson may be on with his wording, you’ll notice the TV personality wax lyrical about the £9,995 where the Duster truly deserves praise. In his review for The Sunday Times (subscription required), Clarkson arrives at the following conclusion: “easy on the nose, but who’d pick it?”

The entry-level Access is a tough sell even for the most cost-oriented customer, coming with black plastic bumpers, steel wheels, and no air conditioning. The Essential (£11,595) is more like it, an honest-to-God vehicle that could also be used for fleet duty instead of a supermini such as the Ford Fiesta. Higher up, the Comfort (£13,195) and Prestige (£14,395) complete the lineup with 7.0-inch infotainment and satellite navigation, Siri Eyes Free, rearview camera and parking sensors, every creature comfort you’d expect at this price point.

On an ending note, it’s alright to hate the Duster because Dacia doesn’t care. What it does best is offer the most value for money possible, and that’s the thing with just about every nameplate in the automaker’s lineup.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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