Carrying over the original Duster’s B0 model platform doesn’t seem to have been the worst news for the second-generation version as far as this section of the road test is concerned.
This is a fundamentally simple vehicle, after all, and the incremental fettling of its ride and handling, rather than starting again with an all-new component set, has delivered a car that rides in the fairly soft, quiet, comfortable and obliging way you might expect of something with 16in alloy wheels and 65-profile tyres (both almost unknown among rival compact crossovers).
While the car clearly puts comfort and ease of use ahead of outright grip and dynamism on its priority list, it also handles just fine – with decent steering response, present but progressive lateral body roll and a good balance of grip that doesn’t deteriorate too much when you need to hurry it through bends.
The fact is, the meekness of the engine makes you unlikely to regularly investigate exactly how much cornering speed the chassis can carry – and when you do, it won’t be for the fun of it.
If there’s any telltale of the Duster’s cut-price status in evidence here, it may be on outright shock absorption and general ride isolation, because sharper edges certainly find their way into the cabin more readily than they might in a more expensive rival and there are times when the car’s vertical body control could be more settled.