No rattles or hums mean Duster could well clean up
The left-hand Duster I drove off-road and on-road in Co Wicklow yesterday betrayed few signs of budget-basement pricing.
Admittedly it was better equipped than the basic model that kicks off at €14,990 which will be unashamedly aimed at the cost conscious.
For that money you won't be getting air con or leather or cruise control. This is the real world.
Yet one thing was generally agreed: how solid it felt.
There were no rattles, shakes or hums as I clunked it over, for example, a series of embedded railway sleepers set at distances designed to knock it out of its stride.
There isn't altogether as much cabin room as its long, low-slung chunky body suggests -- though when I took the tour in the back seat I had plenty of room. And there was a lot of space in the boot.
The 1.5-litre (110bhp) diesel engine we know well from Renault and Nissan.
And therein lies, in great part, the secret of how they can keep the cost down.
They can draw on well-tried technology and parts from what is called the Renault-Nissan alliance.
This allows the two giants to share technology etc and therefore spread the cost.
Dacia, owned by Renault, is benefitting big-time. It now claims to be Europe's fastest-growing car brand.
While potential buyers here can order now for delivery next January, I suspect they will want to touch, drive and feel the Duster (mostly as a two-wheel drive I imagine) for themselves as right-hand drive models get here later in the year.
But no matter what, it is going to make for an interesting 2013.