We were talking about the Dacia Duster just earlier this week and Romania’s affordable off-roader is back in the news again today. It’s time for the tested and tried SUV to meet its closest competitors, at least when it comes to price, off-road capabilities, and practicality. Well, the latter category has a clear winner here, but let’s leave this conversation for another time.
In a new video from 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 - go to the top of the hill as fast as you can. All three contenders here cost under £20,000 in the United Kingdom and that’s why the Carwow team decided to compare them.
As you would probably expect, all three models have small engines under the bonnets. The Jimny, which is marketed as a light commercial vehicle in the UK, uses a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine good for 101 bhp. The Duster in this race is also powered by a 1.5-litre engine, though it’s a turbo diesel with 115 bhp. Finally, the Niva relies on a proven 1.7-litre naturally-aspirated petrol unit with 85 bhp.
Obviously, there’s not a lot of power waiting to be unleashed in this race. However, power is not everything when it comes to off-road as many other factors, including weight, tyres, and traction, contribute to a vehicle’s overall performance. Also, in some of the off-road challenges in this video, the wheelbase and chassis stiffness also play a significant role.
Gallery: LADA Niva Legend Urban
Not sure if this is expected for you, but the battle between these three affordable off-roaders is pretty close. Each one performs well in different challenges and we have to admit we were surprised by some of the results. So, which car got the overall win? Check out the very interesting video at the top of this page to find out.