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2018 Dacia Duster – prices, specs and release date

The new Duster keeps its bargain price tag, but gains more equipment and a revitalised interior

Words ByDarren Moss

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Dacia Duster

Price from: £10,000 (est) On sale: Mid-2018

If you're looking for the cheapest small SUV you can buy, then the Dacia Duster must be at the very top of your shortlist. With a starting price of £9495, no rival comes close to competing on pure value for money. Plus, the Duster also brings a practical and spacious interior and the availability of four-wheel drive to add to the bargain. This new version, then, aims to keep all of those qualities while also giving buyers more choice.

The Duster is one of 12 cars shortlisted for What Car?'s 2018 Reader Award. To see all of this year's contenders and vote for your favourites, click here.

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.

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

Read our full Kia Soul review

Find a great Kia Soul deal


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

Read our full Audi Q3 review

Find a great Audi Q3 deal


8. Suzuki Vitara

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

Read our full Suzuki Vitara review

Find a great Suzuki Vitara deal

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