The Dacia Duster’s interior has lots of room for a car of this price, but that’s about all there is positive to say about it – it looks cheap, feels cheap and packs stone age technology
The words ‘style’ and ‘Dacia Duster’ should not be uttered in the same sentence unless they’re mixed in with the phrase – ‘completely devoid of’. Harsh, but you pay a budget price and a budget interior’s what you get.
As a result, none of the plastics in the Dacia’s interior are soft – unless they’re warmed by the sun, maybe – and they’re all a dreary grey colour broken up by some graphite-grey trim pieces. Some features – such as the 12V power socket in the front – look like they’ve been stuck on as an afterthought.
Top-spec Laureate models get some chrome-look plastic trim pieces and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. They also get lighter upholstery than the darker cloth in Ambiance models – it’s worth going for the darker cloth if you can because it hides stains more easily.
The 12V power socket between the front seats looks like it’s been installed by a monkey with a power drill
Satellite navigation is only available on top-of-the-range Laureate models as a £450 option, plus £90 if you want maps for mainland Europe as well as the UK. The pixellated graphics mean it looks more Amstrad than iMac but the menus are colour-coded to make them easier to navigate.
The system recognises full postcodes – amazingly some don’t – but the painfully slow loading times mean you’d almost be quicker walking. In fairness, it has all you could ask of a basic system including a Bluetooth and USB connection, DAB digital radio and an Aux plug.
It’s a touchscreen system, so operating it on the move as you bounce down the road isn’t particularly easy, and it’s made even more difficult because the system is mounted low on the centre console right out of your eyeline.
The upgraded infotainment system uses the same speakers as the basic stereo, so it sounds tinny and rattles the speakers covers if you turn the volume up too high.