This is a car in which cabin noise at a cruise has been halved in comparison to the old Duster, says Dacia. It can be had with equipment never seen on a Dacia before, from a multi-view reversing camera to keyless entry and a blind-spot warning active safety system. It still comes with the option of two driven axles and more than 200mm of ground clearance, but now you can have leather seats and climate control with it.
The Duster was updated in 2016, but the changes were limited to new alloy wheels, a tweaked front grille and new colours. The minor updates will be difficult to spot, yet the car’s charms in 4x4 spec mean it blends on-road comfort with grip and stability in slippery conditions at an incredibly affordable price. Performance is only adequate, but with decent efficiency, plenty of room and a good kit list in Laureate trim, the Duster is still a great compact off-roader for the money.
We need more Dacia type vehicles as simply most so called "mainstream" brands are becoming too complicated and expensive for the average family. A car is basically about getting about and to me basic is good, less un-necessay kit means less to go wrong and to some of us a wipe clean hard plastic interior is better from a lifestyle point of view than say a Nissan soft material interior that looks like it was lifted from a 1980s sofa material catologue. So as people start to stop thinking about what "others think of them" and think how can I be on the road cheaper because I can think for myself, Dusters will become a more common sight on UK roads.
The Dacia Duster gives you a lot of space for little money. However, it’s easy to see why it’s much cheaper than a Skoda Yeti or Nissan Qashqai because it has a budget interior, agricultural driving manners and a poor crash-test rating.
Unprepossessing excellence, that's what the Dacia Duster Mk2 encapsulates. There's nothing showy about this reasonably large crossover-SUV but, conversely, there's no feeling that if you bought one, you'd be forever making excuses to your neighbours as to why you couldn't afford something a bit better.
Because this is all the SUV you could ever need. It has a plain but spacious cabin with a pleasing smattering of toys, a very decent all-round set of dynamic characteristics and it actually looks pretty good on the outside, too. Factor in its likely super-budget pricing (once confirmed) and it's easy to see why people are increasingly switching on to this brand, because vehicles as superb and unpretentious as this deserve the widest possible audience.
The model I tested was a front wheel drive Dacia Duster Prestige 1.5 dCi with a list price of €22,490. With that pricing it’s still quite the bargain for a diesel compact SUV. Over a few days of driving my fuel consumption was 6.1 litres per 100kms and motor tax for this model is €200 per year.
On the road, the diesel has plenty of power to move the Duster efficiently and is reasonably refined too. Dacia has improved the sound insulation in the cabin and the 2018 Duster also comes with a new electric power steering that reduces the effort required to turn the wheel by 35 per cent.
The steering is very light, so it’s great for parking and manoeuvring, but contributes to a more vague feel at speed. Dynamically the Duster could be sharper and more refined, but on the plus side it’s comfortable and perfectly acceptable considering the price point of the vehicle.
Dacia has improved the packaging of the Duster considerably with a smarter exterior, more equipment, and improved comfort and refinement. The interior finish and the driving experience hint at the Duster’s more budget positioning in the market. But this Duster is a likable and very affordable compact SUV with an attitude far bigger than its humble beginnings!
My girlfriend and i bought a brand new Duster 2 months ago and are very satisfied.with it.
Car reviewers should not forget that this is a budget suv, and therefore should stop complaining about it.
We’re expecting the turbo petrol engine to add a star to the Duster’s performance rating, but even with the underwhelming 113bhp unit this is a very impressive car if your priorities are about practicality, ruggedness and versatility rather than B-road driving pleasure or all-day motorway cruising.
It’s fantastic value, whether you’re paying cash or exploring the PCP options. And the fact that it now looks and feels much smarter, slicker and more modern is a bonus.
"The Dacia Duster is not the most sophisticated car to drive, but it’s spacious, practical and incredibly affordable."
It looks good, is practical, comfortable and quieter than before and all for a bargain price. I'm struggling to see the catch. A group test is definitely needed.
I am very satisfied with the Dacia Duster. So far I have not driven it off-road or in snow, but I have no reason to have any doubts. It is extremely comfortable to drive.
The new Dacia Duster is a big step forward, but lags behind rivals with its cheap interior and poor petrol engine. But the Duster shouldn’t be compared to other cars, as at this price point it’s virtually in a class of its own.
It’s impeccably cheap, yet still drives well, is practical and providing you choose the right trim level, it’s excellently well-equipped for the money.
For the price, nothing can match it and that's why we decided to rate the bargain crossover top marks.