The new Dacia Duster does not leave much room for criticism. It has everything you would expect from a budget SUV. And maybe something more.
The Duster is already a cult model for the Dacia car company, which is loved by households from almost all corners of Europe. The cheap but at the same time robust car is now in its third generation. And as expected, it once again steps out of the shadow of its cheap car media image and goes a step further. The previous generation offered country folk a brand new SUV with a full warranty at a used price. What will this new one offer?
The design is definitely not settled anymore, the third Duster is all edge and muscle borrowed from the earlier Bigster concept. If the previous generation looked robust, this third one clearly screams its tenacity to the world and gives the impression of a valuable and durable car. I bet if it wasn’t for the Dacia logo, many would think it was something from Japan.
The design is also purposeful. The side skirts, wheel arches, front bumper triangles, front and rear bumpers and rear bumper trims are made from the new robust Starkle material developed by the automaker. Yes, the Duster does not have painted bumpers. But it’s not because of the low price, dacia expects you to use the car as you have it, so the above-mentioned elements are more durable and won’t show scratches on them.
The interior is also brand new, which really has little in common with the previous generation. You may notice the same door handles, buttons on the steering wheel or the head of the gear lever. Otherwise, the steering wheel is new and perhaps the layout of the dashboard has completely changed. The new 10.1-inch infotainment (from the Expression trim) is now above the air vents and is turned towards the driver. Air conditioning controls have changed from rotary controls to a panel of buttons.
In the case of the Extreme equipment, you have upholstery made of washable Microcloud fabric or rubber mats in the front, back and trunk. You can support the usability of the car with InNature accessories, where there is also a Jogger-style sleeper. At the other end of the range, with the Essential equipment, the car will offer the Media Control multimedia system, which can be controlled via a mobile phone application.
A keen eye will surely have noticed the digital instrument panel instead of the classic instrument panel, which will be customizable and is standard from the Expression trim. The equipment of the new SUV can also include wireless charging of mobile phones or USB-C connectors. The presence of items such as cruise control, windshield defroster or steering wheel heating is also pleasing.
Duster stands on the CMF-B platform, with which the manufacturer promises us less noise and vibration while simultaneously increasing driving comfort. At the same time, the spaciousness of the interior has increased and the volume of the luggage compartment has increased by 6 percent to 472 liters. Duster will also be available in this generation with all-wheel drive, while in this configuration it will offer a ground clearance of up to 217 mm. Front and rear approach angles are 31 and 36 degrees. Important information about off-road driving, including the tilt angle, can be monitored via the display. There is also an assistant for driving down slopes.
The behavior of the all-wheel drive will be able to be adapted to one of the driving modes, which are Auto, Snow, Mud/Sand, Off-Road or Eco. But now finally to the engines. Fans of LPG will certainly be pleased with the Eco-G 100 engine, a three-liter three-cylinder, which, thanks to a 50-liter gasoline tank and an equally large gas tank, can travel up to 1,300 kilometers per fill. There is also a three-cylinder one-two, which will now offer mild-hybrid technology. The car with it should be more responsive and respond better to the gas pedal than the current version with the TCe 130 engine. This engine can be had with all-wheel drive and a manual.
Finally, there is the new Hybrid 140 motorization. The previously announced ecologically oriented motorization is also the most dynamic. You will find a gasoline one-six with a capacity of 94 hp, which is supported by an electric motor with a capacity of 49 hp and a starter-generator. You already know the transmission from Renaults, it is an automatic with four stages for the combustion engine and two for the electric motor. The battery has a capacity of 1.2 kWh and it is possible to travel up to 80 percent of the driving time in the city on electricity.
Finally, Dacia mentions the equipment that we have already covered a little during the text. The basis is Essential, where you will find roof rails, central locking, manual air conditioning or automatic dipped headlights. The higher Expression will offer 17-inch aluminum wheels, a digital instrument panel, 10.1-inch infotainment, parking camera, smartphone connection, electric rear windows or automatic wipers.
The Extreme version adds fog lights, washable upholstery, automatic air conditioning, a hands-free card, electric mirrors or modular roof rails. Journey is also based on Essential and adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, Media Nav Live multimedia system with navigation or Arkamys premium speakers. With the new Duster, Dacia is once again aiming for the best price/performance ratio on the market. We will inform you about entering the Czech market.
Dacia is a Romanian car manufacturer that has been part of the Renault group since. It was founded in 1966 and was already cooperating with Renault at that time.
Dacia’s portfolio mainly includes cars of a lower price category, for example the off-road Dacia Duster, which in 2017 received its second generation.
Dacia Logan • Dacia Sandero • Dacia Duster • Dacia Lodgy • Dacia Dokker