Dacia’s Duster SUV caused quite a stir when it arrived in the UK in 2012. Its rugged style and impressive build quality, as well as its “shockingly affordable” price tag, attracted a great deal of praise from buyers and industry observers alike. The robust, durable character of the Duster, moreover, makes it eminently suitable for conversion into a van; hence the introduction of the Duster Commercial, a modified edition of the vehicle which boasts an extended loadspace, increased payload, and a choice of two- and four-wheel drive.
Interior and Exterior
The two-seater Duster Commercial gives workers a spacious and tough loading area. Reinforced with a toughened plastic floor and bulkheads, the rear of the van has a maximum volume of 1,150 litres (1,000 litres in the case of models equipped with four-wheel drive) and a maximum loading length of 1400mm. A high maximum payload of 550kg, meanwhile, enables the Duster Commercial to transport heavier types of cargo with ease.
The Duster Commercial identifies itself immediately as a tough, unadorned working vehicle; scuff plates at the front and rear, along with a raised chassis ensuring a ground clearance of 205mm, make it particularly effective for rural and agricultural businesses. Longitudinal roof bars add to the van’s considerable carrying capacity, whilst film-covered rear windows keep equipment and cargo away from prying eyes.
The 1.5 litre, 107hp diesel engine powering the Duster Commercial returns combined fuel consumption of 49.6mpg and notably low CO2 output of 130g/km (although these figures increase to 54.3mpg and 137g/km respectively on models equipped with four-wheel drive), resulting in an impressively low rate of Benefit-in-Kind tax. Considerable torque of 240Nm at just 1750rpm results in a turn of pace surprising in such an obviously utilitarian vehicle – the front-wheel drive Duster Commercial achieves 0-62mph acceleration in 12.2 seconds.
All Duster Commercial models come with electric front windows, a radio and CD player, and Bluetooth connectivity. The top-of-the-range Laureate edition also includes heated and electrically-adjustable door mirrors and manual air conditioning.