Dacia Duster Review 2023
Dacia Duster At A Glance
It might not be the sub-£10,000 SUV it once was, but the Dacia Duster continues to offer exceptional value for money in an increasingly expensive sector. Prices start from around £14,000 – and for that, you get an awful lot of physical car for your money. Our Dacia Duster review explains all...
So, what's the catch? As the old adage goes, do you get what you pay for? In some respects, yes.
The interior does without any of the soft-touch finishes or plush materials you get in mainstream competitors – it looked dated even when the second-generation Dacia Duster first went on sale in 2018. Time hasn't been kind, but Dacia has made various updates over the years to keep the Dacia Duster vaguely fresh.
There are now just three Dacia Duster trim levels to choose from, namely Essential, Comfort and Prestige. Even the most affordable model (the Dacia Duster Essential) comes with things like a radio, cruise control and air conditioning as standard – not something that could be said about the old Dacia Duster.
You'll have to upgrade to the Dacia Duster Comfort for features like alloy wheels and a new-for-2021 eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Oh, and there's even a Dacia Duster Bi-Fuel model, combining LPG with petrol power. That's a strange move when the rest of the world is moving towards electric but, with LPG roughly half the price of petrol, it could save you a surprising amount of money.
All Dacia Duster models will be pretty cheap to run, while reliability ought to be pretty good, too – indeed, HonestJohn.co.uk readers ranked Dacia top in the latest Satisfaction Index – suggesting Dacia Duster owners are generally very happy with their cars.
Performance can be a little lethargic – particularly from the most affordable models – but the Dacia Duster 1.3-litre TCe petrol (available in 130 and 150 forms) will be punchy enough for most SUV buyers.
And if you wish to venture off road, look for a Dacia Duster dCi 115 diesel 4x4 – it's not quite a true off-roader like the Suzuki Jimny, but snowy rural roads won't be an issue.
Overall, the Dacia Duster is a very likeable small SUV. Its interior quality lets it down compared to mainstream competitors like the Skoda Karoq, but it feels well made and offers a huge amount of space for the money.
It won't suit everyone but, with prices for a brand new model starting from £14,000, it's a very impressive family car for the price of a city runaround.