The New Dacia Duster was first introduced to the market in 2010 with a second generation Duster coming along in 2017. The current model has won several awards, including What Car? Best Family SUV, Best For Value, and the Auto Express Road Test Winner. These awards prove its popularity and successes in the market as a key model in Renault's budget brand.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway is crossover car based on the Dacia Sandero. After a launch in Brazil in 2008, the European version arrived the following year and become available in most European markets. The third current generation was launched alongside the third generation Dacia Sandero and Dacia Logan in September of 2020 and continues to be one of the cheapest cars available on the market brand new.
Our guide will compare the Dacia Duster VS Sandero Stepway to highlight where there are similarities but also how they differ so that you can be sure to choose the model that suits you and your needs best.
The Dacia Duster is the larger of the two cars with an additional 242mm in length, 45mm in width, and 106mm in height inside the cabin. It also has 9mm additional ground clearance, making it easier to get in and out of if you have mobility issues or find the Dacia Sandero Stepway too low.
Both models were given a slight restyle in June 2022 to accommodate Dacia's new branding. As a result the grilles and the steering wheel on each model were altered to work with the new imagery. They have also benefitted from the addition of Dacia's Y-Shaped headlights, roof bars, and an interior refresh.
Essential models of the Dacia Sandero Stepway now come without an infotainment screen or integrated radio in the centre console but have Dacia's new Media Control system. This is an alternative to a traditional media system that relies on the use of your smartphone and Dacia's Media Control App.
Your phone slots into the purpose built slot on the dashboard and is held in place as you drive. Through Bluetooth your phone becomes the infotainment screen and allows you to use its features, such as media and navigation, safely, as you drive.
The Duster, in comparison, has a basic DAB radio interface in the centre console in its Essential models which some customers may prefer over using their phone in the Sandero Stepway.
Drivers and front passengers will have almost the same amount of headroom in either the Dacia Duster or the Dacia Sandero Stepway; the former has 900mm compared to 898mm in the latter.
There is a little more of a difference for those in the back seats with the Duster offering 892mm and the Sandero Stepway offering 878mm, making the Duster every so slightly better for taller passengers.
If boot space is an important part of your car then both Dacia models will give you a great amount of room, especially compared to competitors.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway offers 328 litres of space with all five seats in use, which is 42 litres more than the similarly sized Toyota Yaris, and it opens up to 1108 when you fold all of the rear seats down. The Dacia Duster offers more room, as you'd expect from the larger car, with 445 litres when all five seats are in use and then 1623 if you fold the rear seats down.
At the entry level Essential models for both the Dacia Duster and Dacia Sandero Stepway there are only a few differences in equipment. The Sandero Stepway offers Flex wheels and Dacia Media Control whilst the Dacia Duster offers steel wheels, 25% tinted windows, a backlit steering wheel, Eco mode, stop/start, and a gear change indicator.
Both models have electric power steering, cruise control, a speed limiter, and a trip computer as standard with additional equipment such as keyless entry and fog lights becoming available on higher trim levels. Interestingly, only the Sandero Stepway offers an electronic parking brake on its top trim level.
The New Duster does have the advantage of having an additional trim level that the Sandero Stepway does not: the Extreme SE. This offers 17 inch alloy wheels, orange details throughout the vehicle, dark glass on the rear windows, front and rear skid plates, automatic electrically folding door mirrors, an acoustic windshield, a multiview camera, and integrated navigation with Western Europe mapping subscription included for 3 years.
The only options available on both models are an emergency spare wheel and an upgrade to a metallic paint colour, meaning that all other equipment is included in one of the trim levels offered.
When comparing both the Dacia Duster and the Dacia Sandero Stepway for performance you'll be pleased to know that both models have a strong selection of engines, including Dacia's alternative Bi-Fuel engine.
The TCe 100 Bi-Fuel runs on both a petrol engine and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) which is delivered via an integrated injection. You can either manually make the switch between them or the car will do this automatically when the LPG tank is empty. It also gives you a 60% increase on your driving range thanks to the larger fuel capacity.
For variety the Duster has the Sandero Stepway beaten. The latter offers a 1.0 litre 90HP petrol engine in both manual or automatic whilst the former offers the 90HP petrol engine alongside a 1.3 litre 13oHP and a 1.3 150HP petrol engine.
It's the Sandero Stepway and the manual 90HP engine that appears to offer the best performance with a combined mpg of 50.4 and CO2 emissions of 127 g/km.
The Dacia Duster still offers one diesel engine the Blue dCi 115 which is available in either front wheel or four wheel drive, both with 115HP. The front wheel drive option provides the best fuel consumption figures of all the available engines on both the Duster and the Sandero Stepway with a combined mpg of 58.9. However, as is the downfall of all diesels, it has a much greater negative impact on the environment.
Opting for either the Dacia Duster or the Dacia Sandero Stepway will guarantee you a great car with a much smaller price tag than competitor brands. Whilst entry level trims on both models are a little sparse there is room to upgrade to include additional equipment, with the Duster having an additional trim over the Sandero Stepway.
There's also a great selection of engine and performance options, with the Duster offering more again but the Sandero Stepway has ditched diesel more quickly to have a lesser impact on the environment.
For more information or to book a test drive of either model, please don't hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team at John Clark Dacia in Aberdeen.