Getting in and out of the Duster is a breeze thanks to tall and wide front doors, and once you’re in, there’s a decent amount of head room up front. However, the front seats don't slide very far back at all so you'll struggle for comfort if you're really long in the leg.
While the Duster is pretty good for passengers, it’s not so great for storing their stuff. Take for example the front cupholder: It’s simply too shallow to put anything spillable in there, and you’ll only squeeze a 0.5-litre bottle into each door pocket. The MG ZS trounces the Duster here with deeper cupholders and larger doorbins.
As with those at the front, the Duster’s rear door openings are tall so access is easy, and the height of the seats from the ground means you don’t have to bend down too much to get kids in and out of child seats. It’s possible to fit three child seats across the back, depending on their size, but there’s a wide centre tunnel that any adult middle passenger will have to sit splay-legged to accommodate.
The Duster offers quite a lot of space in the rear, and certainly feels like it'll fit into family life. However, at this bargain end of the family SUV price spectrum, the MG ZS is even more accommodating.
Seat folding and flexibility
Entry-level Dusters have an all-or-nothing one-piece folding rear bench, but Essential models and up have a rather more versatile 60/40 split-folding arrangement. Folding the rear seatbacks is easy enough and leaves a very long but not particularly flat load area. Still, if you first flip up the rear seatbases, the seatbacks fold flatter.
The front passenger seat doesn’t adjust for height, but you can fold the backrest forward by about 45deg to allow more space for long loads when the rear seats are folded.
The Duster’s boot is large by any standards; four-wheel-drive Dusters have slightly less space than the front-wheel-drive version, but both can fit seven carry-on suitcases. That’s more than you’ll find in the Suzuki Vitara, which takes five, or the Nissan Qashqai, which fits six, but the same as the Seat Ateca, even though the Ateca’s boot is actually considerably smaller. Regardless, there’s easily enough space in the boot to carry a week’s holiday luggage, a fold-up buggy or an especially large family grocery shop.
With the rear seats folded, front-wheel-drive cars offer 1623 litres of volume; plenty for a visit to that well-known Swedish store for some flat-pack furniture. The boot itself is also a very practical shape: wide and high, with only a small lip to load items over.