Car choices

AndrejBosnaBVB

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How is the Dacia actually?
You have one?
I'm curious about comfortability, maintenance, reliability?
Even tho, I don't plan to change to anything beside another Audi, still would like to know more about it from someone who actually has dacia.
 

glenwilson

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Paris was asking about it and that is the reason for the link as there is some good info on there.

We get some some heavy snow once in a while that means that we cannot get out of the village. Well, not strictly true, we can usually get out but as the roads to here are not on a priority route there is limited gritting and snow ploughing. So in a car you can get out but just cannot get back up the hill. Also wanted something a bit taller so it was easier to get in and out of because of my knees.

Started looking for 4wd cars around the £10k price. We have had a few rental SUVs on holidays and some that have had a 4wd option. The Jeeps we had were awful, even on dirt tracks which you get a few in the US in Utah, Oregon and Arizona had them struggling. Of the SUVs with 4wd in our price range most had 100k miles.

After looking around and checking out reviews of the Duster it seemed to be a good compromise. Found one that had 20k miles and was within budget. Had a decent test drive, liked it and bought it.

Now had it for over 2 years and still like it. Yes, you make compromises depending on the trim level you get and so on. So here are some views:

Comfort: In the 2 Mondeos we had before after a long 400 mile journey you would know it. Often had backache. In the Duster, driven the same journey in one go and have been fine. No aches and pains. The cabin isn’t that quiet as money has been saved on limited sound deadening and the engine is a bit, er, agricultural. 😁 For me at 186cm tall I find there is more than enough room. My wife is about 150cm also finds it more comfortable though a bit harder to get into. The interior trim is cheap but at least when you walk scratch something it is less of a big deal than if it was your £80k range rover!

Economy: again pleased with what I get. For small around town trips we are getting about 40mpg and on long motorway journeys about 45mpg. Not quite what they say you will get but not too far away from it. Tyre wear seems OK too. The Mondeo would get through front tyres quite quick but this seems to be equal wear all round despite not being permanent 4wd.

Practicality: The Mondeo had a bigger boot but because it was a hatchback that was sometimes limiting. Because the Duster boot is squarer you can still get a lot of beer in there. Had 2.4m lengths of wood, wash machine and other bulky items too. Has been great for European driving tours. Trips to Germany, France, Belgium of about 2.4k miles have been great. On the snow we have had it has been great. Just as good as the Range Rovers and other 4x4s around here.

Reliability: Got it serviced and they needed a fan belt but didn’t have one in stock! Not one spare in the UK as they ‘never’ break. That was a main Renault/Dacia dealer. May have been BS but still took a while to get one. The only other issue we had was when driving to London, after doing 280 miles we got an engine warning light on. Not a red stop right now but an amber stop soon one. As we were near the hotel we called the breakdown company. They checked it and found nothing in the error log. I had connected and checked through my phone and there was nothing. They also physically checked other possibly causes and found nothing. So we carried on next day and all seemed OK. On the way home after 280 miles it happened again. It really was that specific. Checked on my phone and nothing so cleared the error. Did the same journey againa few months later and at 280 miles it happened again! We had stopped for breaks previously so it wasn’t a continuous 280 miles. Since then it has never done it again. When it was serviced nothing could be found.

Dislikes: Would probably have liked a better specced model with cruise control and some of the other extras but would still choose lower mileage over that based on our budget. Silly things like an outside temperature gauge, and USB charging ports would have been nice. Added both of those anyway. Not keen on the fake metal plastic trim on the dash as it was a bit shiny and distracting. That is now painted black so not a problem. My only real dislike is the radio/CD player. Sounds bloody awful and the speakers were really cheap and nasty. Swapped out the 4 speakers for some that were £20 a pair and that improved things. If we were in the car a lot more and for longer then I would definitely upgrade it to something decent with Apple CarPlay.

If I had an unlimited budget would I buy one again. Yes. I like the new model as it seems to be a bit more refined. The Prestige model would be about £17k. For most other makes you would be looking at £30k+. It isn’t a great looking car but there aren’t many cars at the moment I really like the look of (maybe as you get older…) that are affordable.

Pics are of the console trim before/after and the doors which I would like to do too but you need to remove the whole panel to get the trim off.
 

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AndrejBosnaBVB

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TBH with you, the new black console trim looks sooo much better!
Also, the door handles, it's maybe pain in the ass but it will be worth it once it's black as well ;)
Also thanks for the detailed description, pretty much fair price for what You get.
 

glenwilson

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I tried wrapping the console trim with a carbon fibre vinyl and it look good but was an absolute pig to get wrinkles out of it. There are too many edges and curves for it to work. Painting took a while to do. Light sanding first then some plastic primer. Then quite a few light layers of the satin black. Finally just some ordinary polish. I did try some satin clearcote but that did some really weird thing with the colour so had to redo it.

A lot of the car’s internal trim is quite cheap looking and feeling but no worse than what you get in loads of US cars from the big brand names. It surprises me that there aren’t more manufacturers producing a cheap brand of car rather than an upmarket brand like some, particularly the Japanese do. When you start speccing out even something like a Fiesta with a few extras (not including the £1k stereo) it is up to £20k which is ridiculous for a small car really.

I know that sounds a bit old man talking. I have had new cars but prices nowadays do seem crazy for something to get you from a to b. Also, my budget is limited but if say I suddenly inherited a big some of money I would probably not splash out on a large SUV from Audi etc. I would get a new Duster and something more fun like a V8 Mustang (hello old age crisis purchase). 😁

A moderately specced Audi Q3 is £43k 😳

The trouble with car purchases and desires is that they are often purchased through emotion than through a rational thought process. There really are few mainstream cars that I would really like just for looks. Most of the ones I like are Italian and VERY spendy or American muscle cars like the Hellcat or Shelby GT 500 and none would be easy to get in and out of!!
 
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