Price from: £10,000 (est) On sale: Mid-2018
If you're looking for a cheap SUV, the Dacia Duster is probably on your shortlist because, with a starting price of £9495, no rival comes close to competing on cost.
The current Duster also offers a spacious interior and the option of four-wheel drive, but you do get what you pay for in other areas: it's a noisy car, the interior plastics are hard and scratchy, and the safety rating is disappointing. The new version, which goes on sale next year, is designed to fix those failings without losing the qualities that made the Duster populr in the first place, but is it likely to succeed?
2018 Dacia Duster features
The Duster gets a new front grille similar to that of the Sandero, as well as wider headlights and rear lights that have been moved towards the edges of the car, thus empahsising its size.
This Duster sits on the same underpinnings as the current model and is no larger in size, so its ride and handling characteristics are unlikely to change – we find the Duster relatively comfortable, especially on small 16in alloy wheels, but we awarded the current car just one star for handling.
2018 Dacia Duster interior
Inside, the Duster receives a new infotainment system, which sits on the upper half of the centre console. The system now includes a multi-view camera to help with parking, as well as sat-nav on some models. Other equipment includes automatic lights, a blind spot monitoring system and climate control.
Dacia Duster engines
Engine options in the Duster are expected to remain unchanged, too, meaning drivers will have the choice of a 1.6-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel. It's the diesel we recommend in the current Duster, for its low running costs and reasonable refinement.
Dacia Duster price
Another thing that's unlikely to change much with this new Duster is the price tag. While a small increase is expected, the Duster's starting price should remain below £10,000, meaning it will still be the cheapest small SUV on sale.
Thinking of buying an SUV? See below for our full rundown of the best small SUVs on sale right now.
Top 10 small SUVs currently on sale
10. Kia Soul
The Soul is more of a jacked-up hatchback than a fully fledged SUV. However, it still offers many of the benefits buyers in this market are looking for – it's competitively priced and the interior is roomy and well equipped. All of the Soul's engines could be more efficient and quiet, though, and there's plenty of wind noise at motorway speeds. There's a fully electric version to consider if you'll mainly be driving in town.
Our pick 1.6 GDi 2
9. Audi Q3
While high-end versions are pricey, the Q3 is a desirable choice in this market, with a high-quality interior. It's also good to drive and relatively inexpensive to run, with engines that are mostly smooth and strong.
Our pick 2.0 TDI 150 SE
Compact on the outside but spacious inside, the Vitara is an easy car to live with. There's lots of standard kit on offer and it's relatively practical. It's just a pity that CO2 output for the petrol engines are unusually high for this class.
Our pick 1.6 SZ4
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