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Parkers overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 4.7

Incredibly affordable small SUV offers style and substance

Dacia Duster SUV (18 on) - rated 4.7 out of 5
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PROS

  • Fantastic value – both cash and monthly finance
  • Practical, nicely designed interior
  • Pleasant to drive with slick gearbox
  • Well-equipped for the price

CONS

  • More road noise than pricier rivals
  • Ride could be more settled
  • Rear seats don’t fold flat
  • Diesel models comparatively pricey

At a glance

New price £10,995 - £19,955
Lease from new From £162 per month
Used price £6,500 - £16,645
Used monthly cost £160 - £411
Fuel economy 40 - 64 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 9 - 15 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Fantastic value – both cash and monthly finance
  • Practical, nicely designed interior
  • Pleasant to drive with slick gearbox
  • Well-equipped for the price

CONS

  • More road noise than pricier rivals
  • Ride could be more settled
  • Rear seats don’t fold flat
  • Diesel models comparatively pricey

Dacia Duster SUV rivals

Kia
Soul
4 out of 5 4.0

The Dacia Duster is the UK’s cheapest SUV, but despite that you really shouldn’t feel short changed here – although the entry-level Access version is ultra-basic. That stripped-out model means that prices start below £10,000, but more importantly, PCP finance costs are even more impressive.

At launch you could get a Duster for far less than £150 per month even with a deposit of just over £600 (on a three-year, 6,000-mile-per-year contract)*. That’s far less than the Suzuki Vitara, SEAT Ateca and Kia Soul would set you back – both in cash and finance terms – and these are hardly bad value machines.

Even far smaller crossovers would still set you back much more. Don’t think this Dacia has just low pricing to offer – the company claims that it offers vastly improved comfort, refinement and overall feeling of quality. And this is no exaggeration – sit inside and you’d undoubtedly vastly overestimate how much the Duster costs.

New Dacia Duster: not only cheap but good value

As a result, the Duster is not only one of the cheapest cars you can buy, but more importantly it really is one of the best value – as you get a surprising amount for the money. Better still, its boxy-but-streamlined styling is appealing in the metal, it’s enjoyable to drive and the interior is practical and clearly laid out.

So, this is not only a car you’d buy because of the low price, but because it appeals in its own right. That’s quite an achievement for an off-roader that cost well under £17,000 even in its most expensive incarnation at launch.

Top cars for £100/month - read more here

Despite looking similar to its predecessor, every panel is new, giving it a more modern, upmarket style than before. Adding to that impression, the Duster is available with kit that has never been available on a Dacia before, too, including keyless entry, climate control, a parking camera system and automatic headlights.

Four-wheel drive optional

Duster buyers can choose between a 115hp 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 115hp 1.5-litre diesel. Both are only available with a manual gearbox initially, with a four-wheel drive option for the petrol.

Additional engines – including a more powerful turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol – further four-wheel drive versions and an automatic gearbox should arrive at a later stage.

As for specifications, four trims are available, varying from super-spartan to a top version that includes kit you’d expect in far more expensive machinery.

Available in four trim levels

As with other Dacia models, the Duster is available in extremely basic Access form. This costs just £9,995 – £500 more than for the previous version – though Dacia claims it offers lower like-for-like PCP finance costs, making it extremely affordable for those who don’t have lots of cash in the bank.

Available only with the 1.6-litre petrol engine, the Access version does without air conditioning, a radio and speakers, meaning that many drivers will want to pay the extra to step up to Essential trim. This adds niceties such as air-conditioning, radio, Bluetooth and split-folding rear seat, making it much more appealing for most drivers.

Dacia Duster

A similar price hike takes you up to Comfort specification, which gains alloy wheels, a touchscreen multimedia system with sat-nav and reversing camera with parking sensors.

Range-topping Prestige trim, meanwhile, includes larger 17-inch alloy wheels, part-leather seats, climate control and parking cameras for easier maneuvering.

Rock-bottom finance costs

You’d expect a car with low cash prices to offer affordable finance, but the Duster’s PCP and PCH finance deals are particularly strong value. The Duster is so affordable that it’s likely to appeal to many drivers considering financing a used car – as it’s cheaper to finance than a four-year old, 15,000-mile entry-level version of the previous Duster, despite that having a far lower cash price and being a much less appealing car.

Dacia Duster SUV rivals

Kia
Soul
4 out of 5 4.0

Other Dacia Duster models: