The Duster has a surprisingly good ride for such a modestly-priced, budget built SUV.
Ride and Handling
The Duster has a surprisingly good ride for such a modestly-priced, budget built SUV. The suspension is set soft enough to absorb the bumps pretty well, and even quite deep potholes do not trouble it unduly. The downside is that you pay a bit of a price for this ride comfort in the handling. The big Dacia holds onto the bends well enough, but there is quite a bit of body lean on the bends if you press on briskly along a twisty country road. The highish centre of gravity means that you can’t avoid noticing this, but it is also a trait that is quite common to other SUVs.
Ease of Use
It’s a bit of a step up into the Duster, so you may need to give your aged aunt a hand, but apart from that it is an easy car to access, with reasonably sized doors to let you clamber in with ample room. The tailgate is a good size, wide and square, to give plenty of space for loading the boot. It has a highish boot sill height, which means that you have to hump any luggage quite a way up into the load bay, but the boot is a decent size at 475 litres. It can be extended to a very handy 1,636 litres if you fold down the back seat row and use the car as a temporary two-seater.
Vision out of the car is very good at the front, with a large windscreen and deep front windows. The window line curves upwards towards the back, and there is a clutter of pillars at the rear of the car, so you need to take care when reversing because the rear three-quarters view on either side is a bit restricted. At least you know where the back edge is, thanks to the steep vertical shape of the tailgate, so straight-back reversing is easier to judge with the Duster than with some other SUVs.