Dacia Duster – a reliable partner

Interview with Narcis Costache, Founding Member of the “Club Duster” Association 

How long do you have your Dacia Duster and how did you decide to make this purchase?

I am the owner of a Dacia Duster 4x4 on gas (1.6 l, 105 HP, 16 valves), brown cajun in colour, the Laureate version since September 2010. I made up my mind for the Dacia Duster considering my and my family's preferences for goint out in the mountings and driving in areas that are difficult to access for town cars: forest roads, roads to lakes and rivers, in rural areas etc. I am a passionate of off-road and I discovered in the Duster a reliable "partner" for the "soft" outings of this kind. I made a price and quality analysis compared to what the market also offers in this segment, and Dacia Duster is a very suitable option of SUV/Crossover 4x4 for medium budgets, but with high expectations of the buyers of this type. The price was an important element taken into account, but, after you purchase the car, you are pleasantly surprised to find out that it offers more than you expected! I, at least, am still amazed!

On what purposes do you drive your Dacia Duster, the most often?

As I said before, the most frequent uses of the Duster are in the cases of week-end outings and during holidays.

How would you characterize your relationship with the vehicle?

I may say that the "reliable partner" definition is the most suitable considering that until now it has not deceived me and took me out brilliantly of situations where, maybe, another SUV would have not gone farther. I feel safe with the Duster on the mountain abrupt roads and we go like two campers to face the various challenges of the mountain! I already know what its limits are and I don't push it off. It may be also compared to a faithful mountain horse (an agile drafter) from which you request performance (and it likes that) on hard field, but you must be careful for it not to get harmed so as we get along together! Road clearance, the entering angle and the angle of departure are important features of this motor car! Also, the first gear is very short and thus it offers good speed and couple for the slow driving speed and can climb without problems inclined slopes and get out of mud or snow. Of course, an essential condition is to also be "shoed" with the right tyres: for summer, Mud & Snow, All Terrain, Mud Terrain. I can tell you, with no reticence, that I have fallen in love with this car!
You were recently on holiday. Where did you go and how did the car behave? 
We were through Europe for two weeks. Our trip passed by many countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy. We drove on highways, but we wanted to see the localities and the places you don't usually see from the highway and thus we drove a lot the car on common roads, turns: in the Italian Dolomites, in the Austrian and Italian Alps, in the mountains of Germany, on the Italian beaches etc. I can say that the Duster did not disappoint me either on straight ways, or on turns at heights of over 2500 m! As we drove these 6000 km of roads, the only care of ours was to fuel the Duster. For the rest, the car responded perfectly to all our demands and did not ask for anything additional in exchange! We went with a special tent for cars that is put up on the bars of the carrier and that looks like a big box with a tarp on it when it is folded. This "package" opposes a great resistance to advance (it is not aerodynamic, unfortunately) and in order not to have a too great fuel consumption, the average driving speed did not exceed 100-110 km/hour. The Duster is not a high speed car, but, if you want to, you can reach easily 160-170 km/hour on the highway, that is very decent for a SUV/Crossover!

You are one of the initiators of the "Dusterists" forum. What does this communication platform mean? What is its part?

To say the truth, the forum received me, too, there in September 2010 (it was established in March 2010) and I am the one of the enthusiastic owners that wishes to develop it furthermore in Romania. I am the event planner onwww.forumduster.ro . This communication platform has, by my opinion, the role to: 
- offer to the forum people the possibility to exchange technical information about the Duster (good or bad) and about the warranty and post-warranty service for it. In one word: to discover and better know this car both the owners and those who would be interested in an eventual purchase!
- help the exchange of ideas and personal experiences that the forum people had with this motor car: photos, movies, new and interesting routes and destinations;
- offer to the forum people the possibility to know each other, to drive/go on trips together, to socialize in an informal environment, to test together the limits of the Duster, to help each other with advice and little "secrets";
- allow the forum people, under the protection of anonimity, to "complaint", if applicable, freely about the problems that occurred or to request for help from the most experienced ones who already discovered solutions for the problems that occurred to save time, nerves, money for finding the adequate solutions; actually, it is also a sort of a platform where anyone can be heard and can also listen to others!

You prepare for the first reunion of the owners of Dacia Duster in Romania. How about the preparations?

That's right! We are on the "straightline" with our preparations for the organization of this event! On this occasion, the owners of Dusters will meet for the first time, will introduce their wonderful cars, wil compete (by the beauty of their cars and against the clock, on hard terrain), will make together an offroad route, will plan new challenges in which the Dusters would be "principals", will know and will learn from off-road specialists and technicians from Dacia! The meeting will take place during the period 22 – 24 July 2011 in the Rucar – Arges area and we invite, by this means, as well, all those who want to take part, to get enlisted on www.forumduster.ro (in the Meetings & Events section) or by sending us a e-mail at evenimente@forumduster.ro. Automobile Dacia will be out host during a visit at the Duster production line, an experience for which we thank them, we are sure it will be very interesting! Also for the first time, I notify on this way the establishment of the "Club Duster" Association, an independent, non-profit organization, that will protect and promote the interests of the Duster owners in a organized legal environment. Details related to the future activities and enlistment in the Duster Club will soon be offered on www.forumduster.ro.