We were talking about the Dacia Duster yesterday and Romania’s affordable off-roader is back in the news today. It’s time for the tried and tested SUV to meet its closest rivals, at least when it comes to price, off-road capability and practicality. Well, that last category has a clear winner here, but let’s leave this conversation for another time.
In a new video by Carwow, the Duster challenges the Lada Niva and Suzuki Jimny in a series of off-road races. The three cars follow different philosophies but their goal at the end of the day is very similar: to get to the top of the hill as fast as possible. The three suitors here cost less than £ 20,000 in the UK and that is why the Carwow team decided to compare them.
As you might expect, all three models have small engines under the hoods. The Jimny, which is marketed as a light commercial vehicle in the UK, uses a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter engine with an output of 101 horsepower. The Duster of this race is also powered by a 1.5-liter engine, although it is a 115bhp turbo diesel. Finally, the Niva relies on a proven 1.7-liter naturally aspirated gas unit developing 85 hp.
Obviously, there isn’t a lot of power to unleash in this race. Horsepower isn’t everything when it comes to off-roading, however, as there are many other factors including weight, tires, and traction that contribute to a vehicle’s overall performance. Additionally, in some of the off-road challenges in this video, the wheelbase and chassis stiffness also play a big role.
Not sure if this is expected for you, but the battle between these three affordable off-roaders is pretty close. Each does well in different challenges and we have to admit that we were surprised by some of the results. So which car took the overall victory? Watch the very interesting video at the top of this page to find out.