Dacia Duster - best small 4x4s
Entry into the 4x4 segment needn’t be bank-breaking, as proved with the Dacia Duster.
The Dacia Duster is not just one of the cheapest SUVs on sale, it’s also one of the cheapest cars you can buy.
Four-wheel drive can be had from Comfort-spec models and coupled with a variety of engines. The 4x4 versions aren’t the smoothest thanks to short gearing, but the 113bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel is a tried and tested powertrain and will muster 62.5mpg on the WLTP cycle. If you want your Duster with some punch, the 148bhp TCe150 petrol is the most powerful engine but still offers a respectable 44.4mpg.
The Duster presents itself as an off-roader capable of shaming 4x4s many times its price thanks to 210mm of ground clearance and a wading depth of 350mm. On the road, the Duster is easier and more refined than the old car but still some way off its German and Japanese rivals due to excessive road and wind noise and an inert driving experience.
The interior is functional, which will be music to the ears of 4x4 enthusiasts, but it’s laden with equipment you wouldn’t expect at the Duster’s price-point. Touchscreen, sat-nav and a parking camera are available on the Comfort spec and upwards.
Best small 4x4s to buy now
- 1IntroductionNeed 4x4 capability without big SUV fuel bills? Take a look our top 10 small 4x4s instead
- 21. Skoda KaroqFour-wheel drive versions of the Skoda Karoq add to the car’s all-round appeal
- 32. Volvo XC40The Volvo XC40 benefits from some clever interior packaging, refined engines and four-wheel drive gives it some off-road prowess
- 43. Dacia Duster - currently reading Entry into the 4x4 segment needn’t be bank-breaking, as proved with the Dacia Duster.
- 54. MINI Countryman Don’t let the MINI purists deter you - the Countryman is a solid 4x4 with plenty of style and practicality
- 65. Mazda CX-3Mazda’s smallest SUV comes in the shape of the CX-3 and it’s a tempting offering
- 76. Jeep RenegadeJeep has an image built on iconic 4x4s and the Renegade does the brand proud
- 87. Fiat Panda 4x4A city car with four-wheel drive, the Fiat Panda 4x4 is a niche option but a good one
- 98. Suzuki JimnyThe new Suzuki Jimny is a talented off-roader which oozes personality
- 109. BMW X1The BMW X1 is one of the best all-round small 4x4s on sale
- 1110. SEAT AtecaThe SEAT Ateca is not only a great 4x4, it’s also a practical family car