There’s plenty of room in the Dacia Duster’s front and back seats for tall adults to get comfy and the boot’s pretty generous, but it isn’t particularly easy to load very heavy luggage
Put simply, the Dacia Duster packs more space into its boxy body than any equally affordable family car. There’s plenty of room in the front for you to get fairly comfortable – even if you’re very tall – and all but entry-level cars come with driver’s seat-height adjustment to make sure you get a clear view out. In Essential models and above you can also move the steering wheel in and out as well as up and down to find a comfortable driving position – something you couldn’t do in the old Duster.
Sadly, it’s not all good news – your front-seat passenger doesn’t get a height-adjustable seat and you can’t get the Dacia Duster with adjustable lumbar support to help reduce back ache on long drives.
The Duster claws back some points with its roomy back seats, however. There’s more head and legroom than you get in any other equally affordable family car so two six-foot-tall passengers will have plenty of space to get comfortable.
Knee room is just about OK, however, but the Dacia Duster’s fairly wide cabin means there’s space for three adults to sit side-by-side in the back without fighting over shoulder room. The central seat is reasonably well padded – if a bit narrow – and there’s no annoying lump in the rear floor to get in the way of your passengers’ feet.
The Dacia Duster’s large side windows mean it doesn’t feel cramped in the back like some smaller family cars and the wide door openings make it a doddle to lift in a large child seat.
Unfortunately, the Isofix point markers don’t quite match up to the anchor points behind the seat padding so it’ll take a few blind stabs before the seat base clicks into position.
It isn’t just passengers that the Dacia Duster can carry with ease, it also comes with a few handy storage bins to help you hideaway an assortment of family bits and bobs. All four door bins are big enough to hold a large 1.5-litre bottle – just – and the glovebox is large enough to tuck away a few bulky valuables such as a camera.
There’s an extra storage shelf above the glovebox along with two slots in the centre console that’ll comfortably carry a phone each. Comfort models and above also come with a useful tray under the front passenger’s seat that’s just about big enough to hold a small road atlas.
The Dacia Duster definitely delivers bang-for-your-bucks when it comes to passenger space – no other equally cheap car can match the room you get in this bargain SUV
There’s space in the Dacia Duster’s 478-litre boot (467 litres of you pick a four-wheel-drive model) for two large and two small suitcases and a few soft bags – and that’s all without removing the parcel shelf.
Unfortunately, if you need to remove the shelf to carry bulkier luggage, there’s nowhere to store it under the Duster’s cheap-feeling boot floor. You do get a few tether points and a shopping hook to stop smaller bags rolling around, however, and Comfort models and above come with a 12V socket in the boot – perfect for plugging in a small portable vacuum cleaner.
Every Dacia Duster comes with folding back seats, but entry-level Access versions come with a single-piece folding rear bench that means you can’t carry long luggage poking through fro the boot and a back-seat passenger at once. Go for an Essential car or above, however, and you get a two-way split (60:40) rear bench with some neat slots to hold the rear seat belt buckles out of the way and stop them getting caught when you flip the seats down.
With the back seats folded, the Dacia Duster’s boot grows to 1,623 litres in two-wheel-drive models and 1,614 litres in four-wheel-drive versions. That’s easily big enough to carry a bike with both its wheels attached, but the back seats don’t fold completely flat which makes it difficult to push heavy boxes right up behind the front seats. You can’t get the Dacia Duster with an adjustable boot floor either, and the rather tall lip by the boot opening makes it slightly tricky to load very bulky luggage.