Extreme value for money with new special edition Duster

WHAT'S better than a Dacia Duster? The Dacia Duster Extreme SE, that's what, a new 'special edition' (just in case that 'Extreme' badge wasn't enough of a 1990s-flashback) of this well-regarded budget SUV from Renault's sister company.

The Duster is already quite a lot of car for not very much money – a bare bones poverty spec Duster Essential costs just £14,995 while a 'fully-loaded' Duster Prestige with four-wheel-drive and every available option ticked will still only relieve you of just under £25k.

Attractively priced from £17,495 OTR, the Extreme SE is actually based on the range-topping Prestige trim (which starts at £21,345) and adds a touch of extra-rugged exterior styling in the form of optional trim-specific Urban Grey paint and blacked-out alloys, plus grey quartz-finished door mirrors, front grille and roof bars all with contrasting orange highlights.

This theme is continued inside with special Extreme SE upholstery, while the standard Prestige equipment list – which includes automatic air-con, touchscreen navigation and entertainment system with multi-view camera and smartphone connectivity, rear parking sensors and hill start/descent assist – is topped up with heated seats and keyless entry, luxuries unique to this special edition.

If you want change from £18k when you buy your Duster Extreme SE, you only have the choice of two engines: the weedy TCe 90 petrol, which offers just 90 bhp and 118lb ft of torque, or the slightly less anaemic 100bhp TCe 100 Bi-Fuel, which is also smoother and quieter.

Top of the price list is the Extreme SE equipped with the four-wheel-drive version of Dacia's Blue dCi 115 diesel engine, which puts out a rather more useful 115bhp and 192lb ft of torque. That's available from £21,645 and is a must for anyone who intends on discovering whether the Extreme SE can live up to its name in an off-road setting.

Orders are open now, with initial deliveries expected in May.

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