My wife of almost 12 years has an absolutely shocking ability to spot premium products.
We were once in an outlet shop where she started to eye up a display of leather purses and wallets. There were no prices marked anywhere – but the one she honed in on happened to be about $150 more expensive than the rest.
Let’s just say she can do the opposite of spot a bargain.
So, when I rolled home in the Dacia Duster recently, I was genuinely interested to see what she would make of this rare and unusual 4×4.
Unless you have been paying close attention to the motoring press or happen to know someone in the trade – there is every chance you have never even heard of the brand Dacia.
Believe it or not, the brand has been in existence since 1966, and started building Renault models under licence for the Eastern European and Russian market in 1968.
In 1999, Renault finally bought the company, which have just been introduced to the Irish market, starting with the Duster.
So what can you expect?
I have already described the Duster as unusual, and, because it such a rare sight on Irish roads, it most certainly is.
But when you look at the price tag – just €14,990 – I’m certain you will begin to take interest.
So what did my wife make of it?
I was expecting her to spot it as a low-cost model from the first look, but that didn’t happen.
Because the Duster does look the part.
Simple and functiontal, with just enough style to be easy on the eye.
That’s what you get.
The Duster offers some serious room in its very straightforward interior – my two kids looked swallowed up in the rear seats.
I wouldn’t describe the interior of the Duster as special – it is functional.
You could probably find enough space between some of the dashboard panels to fit the thin edge of a credit card, and I needed to press the cabin light back into the roof with my thumb.
But so what? If you buy a new Dacia, you’ll have a warranty to cover any teething problems like this.
Dacia expect their cars to shake things up in Ireland – a lot. And who could blame them?
At a time when prices seem to be climbing for almost everything else, Dacia brings a refreshing smart-buy concept to Ireland and is one of the most interesting motor stories of 2012.
The launch of Dacia Duster in Europe in 2010 saw such a demand from eager customers that resulted in a six-month waiting list for the much-anticipated vehicle in Germany and France.
The SUV segment is the fastest growing segment in Ireland and is up 9% YTD on 2011. Almost 90% of vehicles in the SUV segment are over €22,500 to buy new or even over €24,500 to have the equivalent diesel engine for the best seller of the segment, so with that in mind, the Duster will quickly become a very attractive contender for those looking at buying a new SUV, a new family car or even a used car.
The multi-award winning Duster will impress buyers with its chunky and unpretentious styling, impressive and versatile interior space, peerless build quality and unbeatable value for money.
The Duster will be available in Ireland in both 4×2 and 4×4 guises with one diesel engine size, a 1.5 dCi 110Bhp in Band B with two trims, Alternative 4×2 and Signature 4×2, 4×4, and comes with an up to five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.
The Dacia Duster will be available at the nine dedicated Dacia Dealers around the country.
Visit www.dacia.ie for more information.