Long term report: Dacia Duster #9
The Dacia Duster is normally assigned to Dave but as he's been off on his travels abroad quite a bit recently, the keys have become available to anyone else who fancies putting it to the test.
I know Dave has been full of praise for the car, so I was keen to see what all the fuss was about. And I'm sorry to say I don't agree with him!
First off, let me get one thing straight – I love affordable motors. Unfortunately on this occasion, I'm making an exception.
This off-roader has so many design issues that I'm amazed buyers willingly part with £16,380 for our particular model.
Not only did I find the diesel engine gruff and noisy, but it seems that the rev counter doesn't match the car, meaning you hit the engine's maximum speed while the needle is in the middle of the dial.
This might sound trivial, but as the gears are so short, it's an unnecessary irritation.
Meanwhile, the stereo volume control consists of plus and minus buttons, with Dacia apparently oblivious to the new-fangled volume knob!
Good points? An easy-to-use sat-nav, cruise control and pretty good levels of comfort inside the cabin. No complaints about visibility either.
And Dacia must be doing something right after all! The brand's UK sales have just soared past the 50,000 mark.
Model: Dacia Duster Laureate dCi 110 4x4
Price: £16,380 (as tested)
Engine: 1.5-litre, turbocharged diesel
Power: 109bhp, 240Nm
Max speed: 104mph
0-60mph: 12.3s seconds
Mileage this month: 880
This month's highlight:
Putting the keys on Dave's desk ready for his arrival back in the office...