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In-depth reviews

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£15,409 to £24,420
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​Practicality is one area in which the Dacia Duster excels, especially when you compare it to city cars and superminis in the same price range. Another advantage is the 210mm ground clearance, which will be helpful 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 glovebox size 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 comes with a useful 1.1-litre storage bin and extra USB ports at the rear.

Size

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 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, wide doors to reveal a large passenger compartment to seat five adults. Head-, leg- and knee room 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.

Boot

The Dacia Duster has a practical 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.

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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, but the seats don’t fold flat, which might be an issue when carrying long, bulky items.

The loading lip is of a height you’d expect in an SUV, while the boot is well-proportioned, with no intrusion from the wheel arches. It’s a pretty basic boot, although an interior light is standard across the range.

Towing

The TCe 90, 130 and 150 petrol variants of the Duster can all tow a maximum braked trailer weight of 1,200kg. The Bi-Fuel model isn’t far behind, though, with a 1,100kg limit.

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