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Used test: Dacia Duster vs Skoda Yeti

Rugged SUVs often cost a hefty amount to buy, but not if you go for one of these two. But which of them is the better car?...

Used test: Dacia Duster vs Skoda Yeti

The contenders

Dacia Duster 1.2 TCe 125 4x4 Lauréate

List price when new £14,895
Price today £7000*
Available from 2013-2018

Big, roomy and durable, the Duster is an old-school SUV that's always represented good value for money.

Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI 110 SE

List price when new £18,550
Price today £7000*
Available from 2009-2017

The Yeti has long been a popular used choice, thanks to its impressive driving experience and superb practicality.

*Price today is based on a 2016 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

The Skoda Abominable Snowman doesn't roll off the tongue all that well. The Skoda Yeti? Much better, although we're still waiting on the Skoda Bigfoot. 

Here's another catchy name: Dacia Duster. It certainly made for a memorable (although arguably quite annoying) TV ad back in 2016, with Another One Drives a Duster – a comical twist on Queen's 'Another One Bites the Dust'.

Used Dacia Duster front cornering

Catchy names aside, these cars are relatively inexpensive ways to get yourself inside a rather rugged and practical small SUV, and that is especially true here, where we're testing used examples of each that can now be bought for buttons.

The only caveat is that you'll need to settle for an example with a few years behind it. That said, some cars age like fine wine, so let's see if that's the case here.


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

The Duster has a 124bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre engine and six-speed manual gearbox, a combination that delivers fairly sprightly progress throughout most of the rev range. However, the gear ratios are very short, so you do find yourself changing gear an awful lot.

You'll also find a 1.2-litre petrol engine inside the Yeti, albeit with slightly less power – 108bhp, to be specific. It also has a six-speed manual 'box – a sweeter, slicker one, though. Acceleration isn't quite as swift in the Yeti as it is in the Duster, but performance remains strong enough to satisfy the everyday motorist. 

Used Skoda Yeti front cornering

You have quite soft suspension with the Duster and, while it soaks up bumps well, there's a fair lick of body lean in the corners. The Yeti is firmer, but still largely comfortable. It offers the sharper driving experience, even if neither of these cars will get the heart racing. 

The Yeti suffers from some suspension noise, but is otherwise quiet and refined. The Duster generates more wind and road noise.