Stepping inside a fully-optioned Dacia Duster for the very first time you might get the wrong impression. The first pleasant surprise for us came from the rather appealing black leather upholstery. Sadly, it didn't last long, as we soon found out the one covering the seats and the gear shifter wasn't natural leather. Still, even so, we approximated its feel and look quality as that of a lower-spec 1-Series with the basic leather package, which means it isn't half bad and some people probably won't even notice this.
The glossy brown plastic inserts on the center console and the interior of the doors is surprisingly better-looking in person than in pictures and at least it doesn't try to appear more expensive by attempting to be wood.
As far as the interior design is concerned, the Duster's center console and dashboard are pretty much identical to the ones found in any Dacia Logan or Sandero - a 99.86% similarity.. The only exceptions reside in the steering wheel and the upper part of the dashboard, which are exclusively found on the Duster. In other words, you've seen a modern Dacia's interior, you've pretty much seen them all.
With similar design comes similar unrefined habitability. Just to give a few examples about the complete lack of ergonomics inside the Duster just picture the following. In order to use the car's horn you have to reach behind the steering wheel and press on the signal and headlights knob, just like on some cars from the 1960s and 1970s, while the button for adjusting the exterior rear view mirrors is situated right under the hand brake, between the front seats.
To top it all, the buttons for the front windows are situated on the center console, which is only half-bad, while the ones for the rear windows are somewhere between the front seats, behind the hand brake lever. Probably to make things somewhat easier to reach, there is no central armrest for the driver and front passenger.
The overall space is even bigger than that in the Logan or the Sandero, fitting four or even five passengers, but the seating position is quite similar, since we're talking about the very same seats, plus the "leather" upholstery. The luggage compartment has a great opening and is almost shaped like a cube, while its volume is gigantic, with between 475 liters (16.8 cubic feet) and 1600 liters (56.5 cubic feet) available depending on the configuration of the rear seats.Continue reading