How much should a car’s price affect how we think about it? Were the Dacia Duster priced alongside those cars you’d regard as its natural competitors, it’d be in for something of a kicking now.

The truth is that compared to the class leading Yeti, the Duster is way off the pace in every important area save interior space. Moreover in certain regards, refinement, handling and NCAP crash test result in particular, the Duster performs poorly by almost any standard.

The Duster is not without appeal, but it's not a car for everyone

But you cannot ignore the pachyderm sitting patiently in the corner. The Duster is an attractive, spacious and, with diesel power, a relatively frugal SUV available for much less than you’d expect.

Its proposition to the marketplace is truly remarkable and so long as you go into the dealer knowing the car you’re looking at is far from the state of the art, certain allowances can be made.

Besides for cash strapped families living in difficult times, the Duster is a proposition unlike any other on the market. It may be based on some old technologies and it certainly has its flaws, but it is relevant, effective and cheap.

In our eyes and those of the thousands all over Europe who’ve turned it into such an astonishing success and will doubtless now do the same in Britain, that is what counts for most.

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