Dacia Duster review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Practicality is a real Dacia Duster strong point, offering space for five adults and a large boot
Practicality is one area in which the Duster excels, especially when you compare it to the city cars and superminis in the same price range. Another advantage is the 210mm ground clearance, which will be useful in the urban jungle.
The Duster’s door pockets are a decent size, with a cup-holder and storage tray in front of the chunky gearstick and another tray between the front seats. The size of the glovebox is little more than adequate, but you do get a handy tray running along the top of the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. All but the base model also come with a useful 1.1-litre storage bin and extra USB ports at the rear.
At 4,341mm long and 1,804mm wide (excluding the door mirrors), the Dacia Duster is just 53mm shorter and 31mm narrower than the Nissan Qashqai. The height varies depending on whether you opt for the 4x2 or 4x4 version – or indeed, if you fit roof bars – but even in its shortest guise (1,621mm), the Duster is taller than the Qashqai (1,595mm).
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Those generous proportions translate into a good-size cabin. You step up into the Duster, rather than down like you do into a standard hatchback, which cements the SUV feel. Open the tall and wide doors to reveal a passenger compartment large enough to seat five adults. Head, leg and kneeroom are adequate regardless of where you’re sitting, while adults could sit three abreast in the rear without a problem. The outer rear seats also feature ISOFIX points for child seats.
The Dacia Duster has a good size boot, offering far greater luggage capacity than you’d find in a hatchback of a similar price. For maximum volume, opt for the 4x2 model, which offers 445 litres with the rear seats in place or 1,623 litres with the seats folded down.
In the 4x4 models, the capacity drops to 411 litres – or 376 litres with a spare wheel fitted. With the seats folded down, this space extends to 1,614 and 1,559 litres, respectively. For context, the Nissan Qashqai offers a maximum of 1,585 litres.
The rear bench splits 60:40 on all but the now-discontinued Access trim, so avoid this unless you can live with three rear seats that are either entirely up or entirely down. In all cases, the seats don’t fold entirely flat, which might be an issue when carrying long and bulky items.
The loading lip is of a height you’d expect in an SUV, while the boot itself is well-proportioned, with no intrusion from the wheelarches. It’s a pretty basic boot, although a light is standard across the range.
The Duster will tow a maximum braked trailer weight of 1,200kg in 4x2 petrol and diesel guise, although this increases to 1,500kg with the 4x4 diesel. The unbraked towing capacity also ranges from 630kg for the 1.0 TCe 90 petrol 4x2, up to 740kg for the 1.5 dCi 4x4.
In this review
- 1Dacia Duster reviewThe Dacia Duster is better than ever, and is possibly the best value SUV you can buy
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Duster focuses mainly on delivering comfort, while being reasonably economical and rather good off-road
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsCheap to buy and cheap to run – owning a Dacia Duster shouldn’t break the bank
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Dacia Duster looks better than before, and the interior quality is up a notch
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingPracticality is a real Dacia Duster strong point, offering space for five adults and a large boot
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Duster's lowly safety rating might be a concern for some buyers, although Driver Power customer feedback is improving