Since its first appearance some 13 years ago, the Duster has managed to amass more than 2.2 million sales thanks to Dacia’s value-for-money approach which is still a key criterion and its new, third generation in a row which but it was revealed incorporating significant improvements and for the first time in the history of the model a hybrid set.
Starting with the design, those who remember the original Bigster will spot the reference point in the aesthetics of the new Duster as revealed by the accentuated protective perimeters of the body, the longer aprons and the design of the bumpers as well as certain details such as the vertical crease on the rear doors suggests a more adventurous character compared to the past.
As a reminder, the Renault subsidiary presented the Bigster in 2021, introducing its new era accompanied by a new logo and the revised brand of the company that focuses on the values of durability, adventure and of course affordability as well as a smart approach to everything , regarding the environmental scrolls.
Like its renewed version and all the newest Dacia models, the new Duster adopts the characteristic lighting bodies in a “Y” pattern at the front and back which, combined with the new grille with the “cancer” logo, constitute the brand’s new trademark . An interesting detail as well as indicative of the new approach is the fact that despite its accessibility orientation, the Duster has rear door handles integrated into the third pillar.
In terms of dimensions, with a length of 4,343 meters, the new Duster is not radically different from its predecessor, while the same applies to the dimensions of width and height, which add and subtract a few millimeters respectively for the benefit of a more dynamic performance. The most important thing, however, in the case of the new incarnation of the SUV is that it makes the transition to a new architecture, specifically the CMF-B of the Renault group, a change that has brought improvements to the layout but also promises clearly upgraded driving characteristics.
As far as the first leg is concerned, according to the recommendations, the floor change has also led to an increase in luggage space by 6% to 472 litres, while rear seat passengers have clearly more space for their lower extremities. Duster’s parchments of practicality are complemented by the option for the optional roof rails to accommodate up to 80 kg of extra weight.
Corresponding are the changes in the interior which, although in the name of accessibility avoids flashy options, has a completely redesigned dashboard dominated by a driver-centric design with a tilt, a 10.1-inch screen in the role of infotainment and combined with a seven-inch digital instrument panel . Interesting features include the smartphone holder right next to the infotainment system, the Y pattern in the air vents as well as modern utility elements such as the inductive mobile charging surface, four illuminated USB ports and of course wireless connectivity to take advantage of Android Auto software and Apple CarPlay.
The air conditioning is controlled by physical switches that are also abundant on the steering wheel giving direct access to certain “core” functions. It should also be noted that Duster’s equipment options also include the Sleep Pack, which is aimed at the most adventurous users and can transform the passenger compartment into a sleeping area for two people in just two minutes.
What is no longer present in the Duster options is the presence of a diesel engine. Instead the SUV will be offered, initially in three options. The starting point is a 1.2-liter turbo gasoline engine combined with mild hybrid technology, 130 horsepower and the option of choosing between two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations. According to the recommendations, the mild hybrid configuration promises 10% more fuel savings than a conventional engine of the same displacement.
At the same time, the Duster will be available in a dual-fuel LPG version with 100 horsepower which incorporates an additional 50 liter tank for LPG and promises a range of up to 1,300 km. This version promises 10% lower carbon dioxide emissions than a standard gasoline version of corresponding specifications.
The most important addition, however, takes the form of a hybrid set, similar to the one that equips the Jogger. It combines the presence of the naturally aspirated 1.6 liter engine with two electric motors, a 1.2 kWh battery and an automatic transmission. In the usual logic of the Renault group, one of the two motors takes on the role of generator in this self-charging hybrid assembly.
The presence of a deceleration energy recovery system also contributes to the charging of the battery, while thanks to all of the above, the Duster can start and perform parking maneuvers relying solely on electricity. The combined performance of the whole is set at 140 hp, while according to Dacia estimates, the hybrid configuration offers fuel consumption savings of up to 20% in the combined cycle and up to 40% in urban conditions. In addition, as Dacia notes, up to 80% of movements within the city can be carried out with electric energy.
As far as the less… urban wanderings are concerned, it is worth noting that the Duster in its four-wheel drive versions has a ground clearance of 21.7 cm, which in turn shapes the approach and escape angles at 31 and 36 degrees respectively. At the same time, it integrates a controlled descent system with an operating range of up to 30 km/h and the ability to offer its services in reverse as well. The number of driving programs summarized in Auto, Snow, Mud/Sand, Off-Road and Eco has also increased.
The availability of the model is expected to start from next year and thanks to all the above, it aspires to maintain the comparative advantage that gave the previous generation the title of one of the most popular SUVs in the category in Europe.