AUTO NEWS – Dacia Duster vs Nissan Qashqai: 2022 group take a look at assessment

Dacia Duster vs Nissan Qashqai: 2022 group take a look at assessment

Dacia is pushing full steam forward with an up to date vary of vehicles that attraction to the budget-conscious purchaser. We’ve been actually impressed with the all-new Sandero and its chunky Stepway alter ego, and there’s even a brand-new mannequin within the type of the Jogger seven-seater on the best way. Plus there’s this: an up to date model of the acquainted Duster SUV. It’s not a very new mannequin just like the Sandero, however there are a handful of modifications to maintain the automotive updated.

Selecting out competitors for the Duster is hard. Sure, there are many crossovers and SUVs in the marketplace to select from, however only a few which are fairly as low-cost because the Duster – costs begin from simply £14,295 and even the top-spec mannequin with each further accessible doesn’t break £22,000. For that cause, the plucky SUV is usually thought-about extra of a rival for a used automotive than different new fashions, which is why we’re pitching it right here towards a second-hand Nissan Qashqai.

You may decide up a Qashqai that’s a number of years outdated for across the identical worth as a brand new Duster, and since Dacia’s sister model Renault is linked to Nissan, these two vehicles truly use the identical 1.3-litre engine, albeit in a special configuration. 

Extra critiques

Automotive group checks
In-depth critiques
Lengthy-term checks
Highway checks
Used automotive checks

We’ll discover out which mannequin is the most effective worth by their skills as a household automotive, together with consolation, practicality, financial system and tech. Learn on to search out out which is the most effective wager.

Dacia Duster 

Mannequin: Dacia Duster TCe 130 4×2 Consolation
Value:  £16,845
Engine:  1.3-litre 4cyl turbo, 128bhp 
0-62mph:  10.6 seconds
Take a look at financial system:  42.4mpg/9.3mpl 
CO2:  141g/km 
Annual highway tax:  £155

The Dacia Duster we’re testing is a TCe 130 automotive with front-wheel drive, a six-speed guide gearbox and in Consolation trim, which is more likely to be a well-liked alternative. On paper it’s the candy spot of the vary for worth, however how does it maintain up on the highway?

Design & engineering

The newest Duster isn’t all-new, merely a heavy replace of the automotive that made its debut in 2017. It makes use of the identical platform as earlier than, and most of the identical engines can be found. The 1.3-litre turbo petrol on our automotive is joined to a six-speed guide gearbox that drives the entrance wheels. This motor can also be accessible with a DCT computerized transmission for the primary time as a part of this facelift, however that model has a bit extra energy. The one had been driving has 128bhp and 240Nm of torque, so it’s fairly near the Nissan.

The 1.3-litre engine is an enchancment over the earlier 1.6-litre unit, and produces plenty of torque from low down within the rev vary, so the Duster is extra modern-feeling than earlier than to drive.

This newest Duster will get a brand new grille, some totally different wheel designs and, most notably, an up to date set of lights with a special LED gentle signature.

The Dacia’s inside has hardly modified from earlier than, although. There’s a brand new centre console and upgraded infotainment, however the modifications are fairly minor and don’t actually alter the general impression, which is of a really low-cost automotive that isn’t pretending to be anything. The supplies are laborious and scratchy, but it surely all appears nicely sufficient put collectively and you may forgive the low-rent really feel in what is among the least expensive SUVs you should buy.

You get loads of customary tools with Consolation trim, although. Air-conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, electrical home windows, a leather-based steering wheel, fabric seats, a reversing digital camera, parking sensors and cruise management are all fitted as customary. You additionally get an eight-inch infotainment display screen, together with smartphone connectivity.


Sharing a lot in frequent with the pre-facelift Duster, the same driving expertise is to be anticipated, and that’s precisely the case. On the entire the Dacia is snug and easy sufficient, though there may be some vibration on rougher roads. 

The general suspension set-up is sort of delicate, and meaning over uneven surfaces it by no means absolutely settles down; physique actions make their approach into the cabin greater than they do within the Qashqai. The experience is smoother on the motorway, however the barely uncomfortable seats imply that it’s not the most effective companion for long-distance drives. There’s a contact extra wind and highway noise than in its rival, too, though it’s not unbearably loud at excessive velocity. 

In bends the Duster falls behind the Nissan, as a result of it has extra physique roll and fewer grip than its rival. It’s no driver’s automotive, however then neither is the Qashqai; these fashions are designed to be pushed in a relaxed approach, so this isn’t a lot of a priority.

The 1.3-litre engine is a powerful level so far as the driving expertise goes, as a result of it’s quiet and easy. It’s unintrusive even in case you carry the revs up – but you by no means must, as a result of it’s actually punchy from low within the rev vary. In reality, you possibly can drive it like a diesel motor, maintaining revs down and utilizing the torque to make progress. It has the identical 240Nm of torque because the Nissan but it surely’s a lighter automotive, so it feels barely punchier from low velocity than its rival.

The six-speed guide gearbox isn’t very nice to make use of as a result of there’s lots of slack within the linkage and the gearlever itself feels very low-cost to carry. It does the job, however robs some enjoyment from driving on nation roads. This isn’t new, although, as a result of the outdated Duster additionally had a little bit of a disappointing gearchange as nicely. The Nissan’s is best, however not by an enormous quantity; a Skoda Karoq is best than each.


Put the driving to at least one facet, and the Duster’s best energy on the new-car market is how a lot house it affords for the money. The boot has a beneficiant 478-litre capability that expands to 1,623 litres whenever you fold down the rear seats, and its large, sq. form and low opening imply that loading massive objects is a breeze. 

There’s loads of room within the again seats as nicely, and though the cheap-feeling supplies imply it’s hardly an opulent place to journey, they seem hard-wearing and will stand as much as some punishment in case you’ll be carrying youngsters round. Smaller passengers will like the massive home windows; not solely is it straightforward to see out, but it surely’s vivid inside, too.


One draw back of the Dacia’s funds nature is that the newest driver-assist programs are briefly provide. Because of this, the Duster scored solely three stars when the earlier mannequin was examined in 2017. This newest model advantages from extra equipment, together with a reversing digital camera and autonomous emergency braking in Consolation trim. The Qashqai was examined to much less stringent requirements in 2014, however achieved a most five-star ranking.

Dacia struggled within the 2021 Driver Energy survey, coming in twenty seventh, and final, place within the producer record. However it’s a must to keep in mind this can be a new automotive, so it will get extra guarantee than the Nissan and even comes with three years’ value of breakdown cowl.

Working prices

Gasoline financial system swings issues again in favour of the Duster; at 42.4mpg, it was extra frugal than the Qashqai. At present gasoline costs, this works out at £1,857 over 12,000 miles for the Duster and £2,072 for the Qashqai.

The Duster additionally sits in a decrease insurance coverage group than the Nissan and repair plans are fairly a bit cheaper, too, so the general working prices of the Dacia, together with peace of thoughts from its manufacturing unit guarantee as a brand new automotive, imply it does nicely right here.

Testers’ notes 

“The Duster’s jacked-up stance and chunky tyres imply it’s good for gentle off-roading, even in two-wheel-drive type, not like the road-biased Qashqai”

Nissan Qashqai

Mannequin: Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T 140 N-Connecta
Value:  £18,000
Engine:  1.3-litre 4cyl turbo, 138bhp 
0-62mph:  10.5 seconds
Take a look at financial system:  38.0mpg/8.4mpl 
CO2:  121g/km 
Annual highway tax:  £155

The Nissan Qashqai has at all times been among the many high sellers within the UK, and there are an enormous quantity to select from on the used market. The automotive in our photos is a 69-plate mannequin with a 1.3-litre petrol engine and an auto gearbox, however for the needs of this take a look at we’re a mannequin with a guide gearbox to match the Duster’s. In N-Connecta trim you should buy one with round 15,000 miles on the clock for roughly £18,000, which is simply over £300 greater than the Dacia with choices included (paint and a spare wheel). Negotiate a bit and the value might be similar.

Design & engineering

Whereas they give the impression of being nothing alike, there are similarities between the Qashqai and the Duster underneath the pores and skin. Specifically, each use a model of the identical 1.3-litre engine, however within the Qashqai it’s somewhat bit extra highly effective: 138bhp, to the Duster’s 128bhp. Each have the identical torque determine of 240Nm at 1,600rpm, although.

The 2 vehicles even have a six-speed guide gearbox, ship their drive to the entrance wheels, and use the same torsion-beam suspension format on the rear.

When the Qashqai was new, it felt a bit cheaper inside than most of its rivals, however subsequent to a brand new Duster it truly seems like a step up. There are extra soft-touch supplies in key locations, so the Nissan’s cabin seems like a extra nice house wherein to spend lengthy journeys – assuming, after all, that the two-year-old automotive you’re shopping for has been nicely sorted by its earlier homeowners.

The Nissan is best outfitted than the Dacia, too. This N-Connecta trim stage comes with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot help, autonomous braking, parking sensors and a rear digital camera, local weather and cruise management. It’s value noting that some issues equivalent to heated seats and LED lights had been accessible as a part of choice packs on the Qashqai, and the primary proprietor could have specified them. In lots of instances they don’t improve the price of a used automotive by a lot, so that you may get fortunate and discover a mannequin with these included at an excellent worth.


The second-generation Qashqai was on sale for a few years, so there are masses on the market with totally different engines, however we reckon this 1.3-litre mannequin is the most effective of the lot. The engine is rather more nice to make use of than the older 1.2-litre petrol, as a result of it’s quieter and has plenty of torque for a calming driving expertise.

The clutch and gearbox aren’t straightforward to make use of easily as a result of they each really feel barely imprecise, however the Dacia suffers from the identical drawback. The engines in each vehicles are superb from an all-round perspective, and supply a punchy energy supply mixed with affordable refinement underneath something aside from laborious acceleration.

As with the Dacia, the Nissan’s suspension is delicate, however the Qashqai is extra composed, snug and grippy by means of the corners. The Nissan isn’t completely relaxed at velocity, and there are different rivals which are fairly a bit extra snug, however subsequent to the Dacia it does really feel noticeably extra refined. That is largely because of it being lots quieter within the cabin, with wind and highway noise higher suppressed, whereas the seats are additionally extra supportive. It implies that in case you do lots of long-distance journeys, then the Qashqai is the mannequin to decide on. Round city, there’s not an enormous distinction between the 2, however the Nissan is barely quieter right here as nicely. 

The Qashqai’s steering has somewhat extra weight than the Duster’s; though that makes it really feel extra pure on the open highway, its new challenger is barely simpler when driving in city areas – a top quality backed up by the Dacia’s superior visibility.


Entry to the Qashqai’s again seats is simple. The doorways open huge, and as soon as inside there’s loads of house for adults or youngsters. Isofix mounts enable the protected set up of kid seats, and each vehicles have them. The Nissan’s are situated behind detachable covers, that are barely simpler to entry than the Duster’s brackets.

Nevertheless, the Nissan isn’t as sensible as its rival total. The boot capability is 430 litres, which isn’t nice for a SUV of this measurement, and places it behind its rival right here. Fold the seats down and there’s 1,598 litres, which is sweet, however nonetheless behind the Duster for complete quantity. It’s additionally solely capable of tow as much as 1,300kg, but the Duster can pull a 1,500kg trailer.


Dacia didn’t do very nicely within the 2021 Driver Energy survey, however Nissan wasn’t a shining star both, ending in 18th place total. Plus, as a result of this can be a used automotive we’re reviewing, you’ll solely have one 12 months’s value of the producer’s guarantee remaining (on a 69-plate automotive) or probably much less – and servicing prices for the Qashqai are additionally greater than for the Duster.

Nevertheless, the Qashqai is a safer alternative. It scored 5 stars in its Euro NCAP crash take a look at in 2014, and the model we’re testing comes with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot help, entrance and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree digital camera and 6 airbags. This stage of security tools is head and shoulders above what you get within the Dacia.

Working prices

The Qashqai proved to be thirstier than the Duster on our take a look at, returning 38mpg. Having taken a depreciation hit already, you do get extra in your cash when shopping for although – particularly contemplating all the additional equipment for a similar worth. But working prices can be somewhat greater for the Nissan, with much less guarantee to fall again on, and consumables like tyres and brakes extra more likely to be nearer to the tip of their life. 

The Dacia’s residual worth of 53.7 per cent exhibits that as a result of it’s already so low-cost as a brand new automotive, it doesn’t truly lose lots whenever you come to promote. 

Testers’ notes

“The 1.3-litre engine in each vehicles is extensively used; it’s even present in some Mercedes fashions. That’s excellent news with regards to components availability.”


First place: Dacia Duster

This is a really shut outcome, however the Dacia is our alternative proper now. Excessive used-car costs plus nice PCP offers on the Duster imply that it’s higher worth, and it comes with every thing you want by way of equipment. It’s actually roomy inside, has a a lot larger boot than the Nissan’s, plus higher infotainment tech, and the engine, though much less highly effective, feels simply as punchy and enjoyable to make use of. 

Second place: Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai is best to drive than the Duster – quieter, extra snug and safe – and the cabin feels plusher. But it surely’s not as sensible and its infotainment is clunky. You don’t get the peace of thoughts that comes with a brand new automotive, plus excessive used-car costs imply that proper now, it isn’t the most effective worth. Poorer gasoline financial system and better working prices imply it should accept second. 

Additionally think about…

SsangYong Tivoli 

  • Used: SsangYong Tivoli 1.2 Ventura
  • Value: £17,345 
  • Engine: 1.2-litre 3cyl, 126bhp

One other funds contender within the SUV section, the Tivoli is nice worth and appears rather less rugged than the Duster. It’s barely quieter on the highway, too, whereas its three-cylinder engine has virtually as a lot energy because the Duster’s four-cylinder unit.

Skoda Karoq

  • Used: Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI SE (2018)
  • Value: £18,000 
  • Engine: 1.5-litre 4cyl, 148bhp

The Karoq is a wonderful household SUV with a punchy, quiet and environment friendly vary of engines, a cushty experience, plenty of house and up-to-date tech. You’ll must go for a decrease spec or greater miles to only squeeze in underneath funds, but it surely’s nonetheless a best choice.


  Dacia Duster TCe 130 4×2 Consolation Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 140 N-Connecta
On the highway worth/complete as examined £16,845/£17,690 £18,000/£18,000*
Residual worth (after 3yrs/36,000) £9,046/53.7% N/A
Depreciation £7,799 N/A
Annual tax legal responsibility std/greater charge £556/£1,113 N/A/N/A
Annual gasoline price (12k/20k miles) £1,857/£3,094 £2,072/£3,453
Insurance coverage group/quote/VED 11/£472/£155 15/£668/£155
Value of 1st/2nd/third service £399 (3 years) £640 (3 years)
Size/wheelbase 4,341/2,673mm 4,394/2,646mm
Peak/width 1,693/1,804mm 1,590/1,806mm
Engine 4cyl in-line/1,332cc 4cyl in-line/1,332cc
Peak energy/revs  128/4,500 bhp/rpm 138/5,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs  240/1,600 Nm/rpm 240/1,600 Nm/rpm
Transmission  6-speed man/fwd 6-speed man/fwd
Gasoline tank capability/spare wheel 50 litres/£250 55 litres/varies
Boot capability (seats up/down) 478/1,623 litres 430/1,598 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,242/525/1,500kg 1,300/495/1,300kg
Turning circle 10.7 metres 10.7 metres
Primary guarantee (miles)/restoration 3yrs (60,000)/3yrs 1yr remaining/none
Driver Energy producer/seller pos. twenty seventh/N/A 18th/thirteenth
NCAP: Grownup/baby/ped./help/stars 71/66/56/37/3 (2017) 88/83/69/79/5 (2014)
0-62mph/high velocity 10.6 secs/120mph 10.5 secs/120mph
Auto Specific econ. (mpg/mpl)/vary 42.4/9.3/466 miles 38.0/8.3/460 miles
WLTP mixed  45.6mpg 41.4 mpg
WLTP mixed  10.0mpl 9.1mpl
Precise/claimed CO2/tax bracket 154/141g/km/31% 172/121^g/km/N/A
Airbags/Isofix 4/sure Six/sure
Parking sensors/digital camera Rear/sure Entrance + rear/sure
Auto field/lane-keep/blindspot/AEB No/no/no/sure No/sure/sure/sure
Local weather management/cruise management Air-con/sure Sure/sure 
Leather-based/heated seats No/no No/decide
Metallic paint/LED lights £595/no Decide/decide
Keyless entry & go/powered tailgate No/no Keyless go/no
Sat-nav/digital dashboard Sure/no Sure/no
DAB/linked providers Sure/no Sure/sure 
Wi-fi cost/CarPlay/Android Auto No/sure/sure No/sure/sure

AUTO NEWS – Dacia Duster vs Nissan Qashqai: 2022 group take a look at assessment


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