The most significant model produced by the Romanian automaker, the Dacia Duster, is now in its third generation. The sub-compact SUV has a more roomy cabin, tougher and more environmentally friendly materials, and a more rugged appearance than its predecessor.
The new Duster is built on the CMF-B architecture, which now underpins Dacia's entire model lineup as well as a number of models from other Renault Group brands. The new platform is said to improve ride quality and comfort while also being compatible with mild-hybrid and hybrid powertrains, in addition to the bi-fuel (gas/LPG) option, but the diesel is no longer available.
The 2024 Dacia Duster features the most recent design language from the manufacturer. Ample amounts of a new material called Starkle, which is 20% recycled polypropylene, are used in the sculpted bodywork. The off-roader stance is completed by the oversized skid plates, boxy wheel arches, and prominent fenders.
In terms of size, the 2024 Dacia Duster measures 4.34 m long, 1.81 m wide, and 1.66 m tall. In addition to its enhanced functionality, Dacia states that the new model has wider front interior space and 30 mm more rear legroom. The boot's 472 liter capacity is 6% more than the previous Duster's, and it features a lower floor and a wider opening.
The new Duster's interior includes a 10.1-inch infotainment display and a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, together with a digital cockpit. With the exception of the entry-level "Essential," all trims include these features as standard. The Dacia YouClip accessory system, which has up to five grips dispersed throughout the vehicle, is another notable addition. Smartphones, tablets, cupholders, storage pouches, and other items can all be held in these grips.
The Duster Hybrid 140 is the most potent model; it boasts a self-charging hybrid system that generates 138 horsepower overall. A naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, a multi-mode gearbox, and a 1.2 kWh battery make up the electrified powertrain shared with the Jogger.
Dacia provides the Duster TCe 130, a less complex option, which has a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder, turbocharged gasoline engine with a 48 V mild hybrid motor and a smaller 0.9 kWh battery. With 128 horsepower, the mildly hybrid Duster is claimed to provide 10% less emissions and fuel consumption when compared to an engine with the same output that isn't electrified. Power can be sent to either or all four wheels via the six-speed manual gearbox that is exclusively mated to the engine, which is sourced from Renault.
Last but not least, a 1.0-liter turbocharged TCe 100 Bi-Fuel engine that runs on both gasoline and LPG is available for the entry-level Duster. With this configuration, the SUV can go up to 1,300 kilometers between fill-ups as long as the 50-liter LPG and gasoline tanks are filled. Since the LPG tank is under the boot floor, the cargo capacity is unaffected.
With a class-leading ground clearance of 217 mm and five selectable driving modes (Auto, Snow, Mud / Sand, Off-Road, and Eco), the optional 4x4 version of the Duster puts it among the most off-road capable models in the sub-compact SUV market.
Although Dacia has always placed a higher priority on cost-cutting than on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), the new Duster now needs to comply with legal regulations. Consequently, it provides a number of safety features, such as automatic emergency braking, automatic headlights, emergency calling, speeding alert, rear parking assistance, emergency stop signal, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and recognition of traffic signs.
The Duster's price has not yet been revealed, but Denis Le Vot, CEO of Dacia, stated that the new model will begin under €20,000 in Europe and that it will have "the most affordable prices in its segment."