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Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards 2023: Best Commercial SUV

If your business isn't large enough to need a van, you might consider a commercial SUV instead – and the Dacia Duster Commercial proves that you don't need to spend a lot to get a great one...

Best Commercial SUV

Dacia Duster Commercial

VOTY 2023 logo with sponsor

Priced from £13,995 (excl VAT) Fuel economy 45.6- 53.3mpg (WLTP) CO2 emissions 127-139g/km Load space 1.6m3 Payload 503kg Power 89-147bhp Torque 118-192lb ft

The Dacia Duster Commercial is the only working vehicle offered by the Romanian brand in the UK, and this rufty tufty SUV-based van holds the same value-for-money principals at its core that have made the brand’s road cars appeal to budget conscious buyers. Indeed, it represents a refreshing alternative to high-priced rivals which have dominated this segment in recent years.

Last year’s winner, the Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial, has incredible off-road ability, but it just can’t match the jaw-dropping price of the Duster Commercial, which starts from just £13,995 for a front-wheel-drive van or £17,495 for the four-wheel drive model. 

Dacia Duster Commercial rear

To put that into context, you could almost buy three basic Duster Commercials for the price of an entry-level Land Rover Defender Hard Top, or two 4x4 models with plenty of change left over. For businesses it’s simple arithmetic; for the price of a single vehicle elsewhere, you can have the beginnings of your own Duster Commercial fleet.

Although the Dacia is basic, it works well as an unpretentious working vehicle; its payloads match the similarly sized (although not four-wheel-drive) Ford Fiesta Van, but the Duster gives you one and a half times the amount of load volume. 

Dacia Duster Commercial interior

The Duster also offers a more diverse range of power options than the Land Cruiser, with petrol or diesel engines that deliver brilliant fuel economy along with plenty of grunt. They are all a bit noisy, though, and some rivals are better to drive; the Duster Commercial’s soft suspension does a good job of smoothing out most ruts and bumps for a comfy ride, but also means the van leans a fair bit through corners. And the steering, while accurate, could do with more weight.

But these are small foibles when you consider the Duster Commercial’s stellar value. It’s cheap to buy, offers the promise of low running costs, and is practical enough for anyone in need of a small commercial vehicle with off-road ability. It might be an only child in Dacia’s working vehicle range, but it’s a star nonetheless.

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