When someone mentions the word workhorse, it's easy to imagine a pick-up or a fairly large and bare van. A subcompact crossover isn't exactly the answer most think about. But over in the Europe, haulers come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, that includes these pocket-sized hatchbacks on tall tires.
The latest subcompact crossover that's been transformed into a load lugger comes from Dacia. It's called the Duster Commercial, and it's great news for small businesses. So what does, or doesn't, the Duster Commercial have?
For starters, Dacia chucked away the back seats of this subcompact crossover to maximize its cargo capacity. However, that means this crossover is strictly a two seater. With the back seats gone, the Duster Commercial a cargo area of 57.3 cubic feet (1,623 liters), which is 46.1 cubic feet (1,178 liters) more than the standard model. For reference, the Duster has 15.7 cubic feet (445 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seats.
But despite its utilitarian purpose, the Duster Commercial is fairly well-equipped inside. Even the stripped-out Essential trim level comes standard with cruise control, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and even steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Opt for the Comfort model and it gains an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both versions also come standard with various safety features such as automatic emergency braking, stability control, and automatic high-beam headlights.
As for the exterior, it doesn't look too different from the non-Commercial versions of the Duster. You'll be hard-pressed to tell them apart if you see them side by side. The only giveaway here are the dark rear window and tailgate glass tints for the more utilitarian version. Both standard and Commercial models of the Duster Essential come with steel rims, roof rails, unpainted trims, and daytime running lights. The Comfort adds more colored-keyed panels, alloy wheels, and foglights.
Gallery: 2021 Dacia Duster Lives The Commercial Van Life In The UK
There are four engine options available for the Duster Commercial. It kicks off with the turbocharged 1.0-liter, three-cylinder that makes 90 horsepower (67 kilowatts) and 118 pound-feet (160 Newton-meters) of torque. Up next is a 1.3-liter turbo, this time with four-cylinders and 130 horsepower (96 kilowatts), along with 177 pound-feet (240 Newton-meters) of torque.
If you need to carry your cargo a little bit quicker, there's also a slightly more powerful version of the 1.3-liter turbo. That one puts out 150 horsepower (110 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (250 Newton-meters) of torque. There is also a turbodiesel option that uses a 1.5-liter producing 115 horsepower (85 kilowatts) and 191 pound-feet of torque (260 Newton-meters). All-wheel drive is optional for most variants.