Menapia Motors in Wexford has opened a new standalone Dacia showroom

Menapia Motors Wexford Opens Ireland’s First Standalone Dacia Showroom

Menapia Motors in Wexford has opened a new standalone Dacia showroom
Menapia Motors in Wexford has opened a new standalone Dacia showroom

Menapia Motors in Wexford has opened the first standalone Dacia showroom in Ireland following an investment of over €1 million.

The new state-of-the-art, eight-car Dacia showroom and workshop is located next to Menapia Motors’ existing Renault showroom on the Rosslare Road, Wexford Town. The expansion has increased employment at Menapia Motors with the addition of five new staff members.

To celebrate the opening, the dealership held an official unveiling of the new Dacia Duster with a special launch event on Thursday 6th December in the new showroom. Guests got a first chance to experience the new Dacia showroom with Christmas carols from the Wexford Light Opera Christmas Carollers.

A sales event will follow from Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th December 2018 at Menapia Motors Dacia with offers across the 2019 Dacia range. Anyone who test drives the new Dacia Duster during the sales event will also be entered into a draw to win a Meadows & Byrne gift card.

Gearing up for 191, Menapia Motors Dacia is offering 4.9% APR on all orders taken and registered before 31st January 2019 across the Dacia range.

Menapia Motors has been awarded Dacia Dealer of the Year for the last two years consecutively at the Renault Ireland National Dealer Awards.

Nearly 20,000 Dacia cars have been sold in Ireland since the brand’s arrival here six years ago, including over 10,000 Dusters.


The new Dacia Duster is on sale in Ireland now

2018 Dacia Duster 1.5dCi Review

The new Dacia Duster is on sale in Ireland now
The new Dacia Duster is on sale in Ireland now

Caroline drives the 2018 Dacia Duster.

The Dacia Duster has been a bit of a runaway success in Ireland, with over 10,000 Dusters finding homes here since it first arrived in 2012. Not a bad performance for Dacia, a relatively new challenger brand to the Irish market. It’s fair to say Irish buyers have embraced the Dacia Duster’s ‘no nonsense’ approach to motoring and accepted this budget SUV into the fold.

The next generation of the Dacia Duster has just arrived in Ireland so I was keen to secure a test drive to see what makes the Duster so popular.

For a start there is the price. The range kicks off at supermini money - €17,390 for a compact SUV. That certainly sparks interest. Diesels are available from €18,590. Yes, this is ‘shockingly affordable’ motoring.

Duster's got rugged, boyish charm

Part of the Dacia Duster’s charm I believe also has to be its styling. Though it occupies the compact area of the market, the Duster is not small on attitude. It has the presence of a tough little off-roader and whether intentional or not, Dacia has created something quite distinct in the segment while rivals like the Renault Captur and SEAT Arona go for a softer look.

Now don't get me wrong, Dacia has taken some of the angles off this new Duster and it’s looking less square. All the body panels are new, but it’s a gentle evolution of styling that enhances the Duster’s rugged appeal and will certainly not isolate fans of the first generation of the vehicle.

The interior of the 2018 Dacia Duster
The interior of the 2018 Dacia Duster

Inside the 2018 Dacia Duster

Hop inside and you will be greeted with swathes of hard grey plastic that allow the Duster to compete at such a low entry price. The dashboard and interior have been revised, though it remains plain but seemingly well screwed together. There’s a multimedia touchscreen display in the centre of the dash, though the graphics do look quite dated. The seats have been completely redesigned with denser foam for improved comfort and support, and the driver enjoys the same high seating position as the previous car.

In Ireland there are three trim levels: Essential, Comfort and Prestige. Standard features include LED daytime running lights, Emergency Brake Assist, 16-inch steel wheels and DAB radio with steering-column mounted controls and Bluetooth connectivity. Comfort trim  (from €19,790) adds 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, leather steering wheel, rear parking camera and sensors, electric front and rear windows and the MediaNav 7" touchscreen multimedia system. The Prestige version (from €21,290) adds 17-inch alloy wheels, multi-view camera, blind spot warning, climate control and keyless entry.

Will the Duster fit my gear?

Interior space in the Duster is good for this size of vehicle. The footwells in the rear are of a good size, and there’s plenty of headroom. In terms of the width of the rear bench, two will be more comfortable than three, which is similar to competitors. The boot is also very usable with a practical shape and a generous capacity of 445 litres.

The Dacia Duster is available from €17,390
The Dacia Duster is available from €17,390

In terms of engines, Dacia Ireland is now offering the Duster with a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, along with the well proven 1.5dCi. Both engines offer 115hp, though the diesel has more torque and is the best for economy in the range. Standard models are front wheel drive, though 4x4 is available from €20,590 with the diesel engine from January 2019.

What's the 2018 Dacia Duster like on the road?

The model I tested was a front wheel drive Dacia Duster Prestige 1.5 dCi with a list price of €22,490. With that pricing it’s still quite the bargain for a diesel compact SUV. Over a few days of driving my fuel consumption was 6.1 litres per 100kms and motor tax for this model is €200 per year.

On the road, the diesel has plenty of power to move the Duster efficiently and is reasonably refined too. Dacia has improved the sound insulation in the cabin and the 2018 Duster also comes with a new electric power steering that reduces the effort required to turn the wheel by 35 per cent.

The steering is very light, so it’s great for parking and manoeuvring, but contributes to a more vague feel at speed. Dynamically the Duster could be sharper and more refined, but on the plus side it's comfortable and perfectly acceptable considering the price point of the vehicle.

Dacia has improved the packaging of the Duster considerably with a smarter exterior, more equipment, and improved comfort and refinement. The interior finish and the driving experience hint at the Duster’s more budget positioning in the market. But this Duster is a likable and very affordable compact SUV with an attitude far bigger than its humble beginnings!

The Dacia Duster offers great value in the compact SUV segment
The Dacia Duster offers great value in the compact SUV segment

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Dacia Duster Prestige Blue dCi 115 4x2
Price: 
€22,490 (Range from €17,390)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo diesel
Power:
115hp
Torque: 260 Nm
0-100km/h:  
10.5 seconds
Top speed: 178 km/h
Economy: 
4.4/100km
CO2 emissions: 
115 g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


The 2018 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland!

New Dacia Duster Arrives In Ireland!

The 2018 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland!
The 2018 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland!

The new Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland, priced from €17,390. The 2018 Dacia Duster has a new look and interior with significant tweaks to refinement, comfort, engines and technology.

This is the second generation of the popular Duster. Since 2013, over 10,000 Dusters have found homes in Ireland.

Specifications and pricing for Dacia Duster in Ireland

The new Duster will be available in three trim levels in Ireland: Essential, Comfort and Prestige.

Essential trim, available from €17,390, includes LED daytime running lights, 16-inch steel wheels, body coloured front and rear bumpers, heat adjustable driver’s seat, DAB radio with steering-column mounted controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

Comfort trim, available from €19,790, adds 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, leather steering wheel, rear parking camera and sensors, electric front and rear windows, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors and a MediaNav 7" touchscreen multimedia system (Satellite navigation, USB and AUX connection points).

The top-of-the-range Prestige version, available from €21,290, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, multi-view camera, blind spot warning, climate control and keyless entry.

Prices above are for petrol models; diesel models carry a €1,200 premium.

Diesel power and a new petrol engine for Duster 

The new Dacia Duster will be available with an improved 1.5-litre diesel engine 'Blue dCi 115'. New for 2018 is the 'SCe 115', a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, also with 115hp. Both engines use a manual gearbox. The Blue dCi 115 will be available with a 4x4 transmission from January 2019 with pricing from €20,590.

The new Dacia Duster is available from Dacia dealerships nationwide from 10th September.


The 2016 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland

2016 Dacia Duster Range Goes On Sale In Ireland

The 2016 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland
The 2016 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland

The popular Dacia Duster has been updated just in time for the new 162 registration period.  The 2016 Dacia Duster Duster has already made quite an impact on the Irish market since launch in 2012. It has sold 5,786 models in Ireland to date.

‘Duster Phase 2’ gets a refreshed look inside and out, and there is now more equipment available from standard.  The value pricing remains with an entry price for the range of €16,690. It's a price increase of €300, but all cars now come with digital radio.

Inside there is a new dashboard design with a dark carbon effect finish.  There is also a new satin chrome centre console surround, and the lower steering wheel insert changes from piano black to satin chrome finish. This improves the perceived quality in the cabin. Alternative and Signature trim have new seat upholstery.

A new metallic paint finish has also been added to the range, Altai Green.

Available with two wheel drive or four wheel drive, the Duster range is powered by a well proven 1.5-litre dCi diesel with 110bhp, with two wheel drive models falling into tax band B (motor tax of €200 per year).

What are my options for the 2016 Dacia Duster?

Alternative and Signature trim will be joined by a new top of the range Prestige trim. The new trim will be available in both two wheel drive and four wheel drive models. In addition to the Signature trim equipment, Prestige will feature 16” TYROL diamond-cut alloy wheels, MediaNav Evolution multimedia system, parking sensors and rear parking camera.

The MediaNav Evolution has been re-designed with a full-colour menu screen. It's now compatible with Apple’s SIRI voice recognition function and TMC live traffic information. There have been hardware improvements. The system allows access to the AHA cloud platform via a free smartphone app.

Through a 7” multi-media touchscreen users have access to navigation, infotainment and hands-free telephone services, can stream music via Bluetooth or a USB or AUX connection, and can connect to social networks via a smartphone.

New options available across the Duster range include 16” TYROL diamond-cut alloy wheels (available on Signature), rear parking sensors (available from Alterative trim upwards) and rear parking camera (available on Signature trim), as well as new ‘Aspira’ part-leather upholstery.

Dacia Duster pricing

Pricing for the 2016 Dacia Duster in Signature trim starts at €18,690, and at €19,890 for Prestige models. Four wheel drive models start at €20,690.

An EDC automatic gearbox will arrive later this year for two wheel drive models. Pricing will be announced in late 2016.

The new Duster is now available from Dacia’s 26 Irish dealerships.

Read our latest review of the Dacia Duster!

Caroline Kidd