Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Plenty of space from a relatively compact SUV
  • Lots of boot room, although it's a little narrow
  • Easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces

While the Duster isn't exactly a large SUV, its dimensions mean that it doesn't slot easily within conventions used by most car manufacturers. Take parent company Renault's range, for example: the Duster slots neatly between the dainty Captur and popular Kadjar in terms of length, but its pricing is more closely aligned to the smaller model.

Three adults can sit in the back of a Duster without too much trouble, although whoever's relegated to the middle seat isn't going to be happy on longer journeys: not only is that position narrower than those to its sides, the seatbelt buckles will press into the occupant's buttocks and the centre console will rob their feet of space, too. Kneeroom for rear passengers is also on the tight side, particularly if those in the front have the seat moved all the way back.

Despite its SUV billing, the Duster feels relatively compact and easy to manoeuvre. The elevated driving position gives a good view of the road ahead and the rear visibility is better than it looks, despite the wide rear pillars and small windows.

Remember that higher-spec Dusters come equipped with parking sensors and external cameras to help make manoeuvring even easier. And if you buy a Bi-Fuel Duster, you can't use it in certain places, such as the Channel Tunnel.

Adequate boot space

Open the tailgate and you'll find that the Duster's boot is big enough for most families' needs. It's long, but relatively narrow, plus there's a substantial lip to lift luggage over, which makes loading heavier items trickier than it need be.

Frustratingly, the rear seats don’t fold flat either, which means that if you need to slide large and heavy loads all the way into the boot and into the pasenger area, you’ll have to use some muscle to haul them over the step made by the base of the folded seatback.

Go for a four-wheel drive Duster and boot space drops from 445 litres to 411 with the rear seats in place. If a spare wheel is fitted that falls further to 376 litres – the same figure for the Bi-Fuel version, where the gas tank replaces the spare wheel. In terms of absolute volume for Dusters fitted with four-wheel drive that stands at 1,559 litres if a spare or LPG gas tank is fitted and 1,614 litres without.

Disappointing Duster safety rating

  • Only scored three stars in Euro NCAP crash test
  • Latest test more stringent than previous versions
  • Marked down for lack of crash-avoidance equipment

Frustratingly, the Duster's safety rating is not as positive as it could be. Yes, ABS brakes, electronic stability control (ESC), front and side airbags and blindspot detectors, which flag if there any cars alongside you that you may not have noticed are all available. Yet it lacks kit that is standard on pricier rivals, such as AEB – automatic emergency braking – which dramatically limits its crash test rating.

As a result, the Duster only gets a three-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. While this doesn't look bad when compared with a similar rating for the value-focused, petrol-engined MG ZS, it ignores the fact that parent company Renault has a strong record for building five-star scoring cars. It's disappointing that it didn't see fit to ensure Dacia's newer models score similarly well.

This means that the Duster lags behind pricier models that do a better job of preventing being involved in a crash in the first place, but even if you ignore the clever crash-avoidance kit, the Dacia does a notably worse job of protecting adults in the front and children in the rear than the smaller SEAT Arona and Hyundai Kona.

While the Duster is not unsafe, several of these alternatives could keep you out of trouble in the first place and keep you better protected if you do have a crash. Isofix child seats can be fitted onto the Duster’s outer rear seats, but note that this will leave that narrow centre rear seat free for only the most slender of teenagers or adults.

Watch: Dacia Duster SUV Euro NCAP crash test

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Dacia Duster SUV.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • PAS
  • Remote locking
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Lumbar support
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Roof rails
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steel wheels
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment

Access equipment

Access standard equipment
  • Roof rails
  • Steel wheels
Access optional equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment

Comfort equipment

Comfort standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
Comfort optional equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Service indicator

Essential equipment

Essential standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Roof rails
  • Steel wheels
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
Essential optional equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Front fog lights
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Service indicator

Prestige equipment

Prestige standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
Prestige optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Service indicator

SE Twenty equipment

SE Twenty standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
SE Twenty optional equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Service indicator

Techroad equipment

Techroad standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Lumbar support
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
Techroad optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Service indicator

Euro NCAP Rating – 3 stars

The Dacia Duster SUV was tested by Euro NCAP in 2017 and was awarded a 3 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

3 star rating
Test 2017
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 71%
Child Occupant: 66%
Vulnerable Road Users: 56%
Safety Assist: 37%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.