Three years after the launch of the second generation, the Dacia Duster updates with the most classic of restyling mid-career.
It is a fine restyling: from the outside it changes in the details, with the main innovations that are concentrated inside and, above all, under the hood, with the arrival of a new 150 HP engine – which is positioned directly at the top of the range – combined with an automatic double clutch transmission. The premises are all there: trust me, the Duster has never been so comfortable. Here’s how it goes.
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External | Interior | Guide | Curiosity | Prices
The shapes and proportions of SUVs are the same as always, with the Dacia Duster 2021 that follows the previous MY in terms of dimensions: it is 4 meters long and 34, high 1.69 and wide 1.80, with the height from the ground which is always important, of 21 cm.
Looking into her eyes, it is impossible not to notice the new ones LED optical groups with an inverted Y-shaped daylight signature, very similar to the one we have already seen on the latest generation of Sandero and the more recent Jogger, a detail that gives an extra touch of modernity to the entire front. We also find the same motif on the more elaborate and subtle grid.
The profile changes little, right in the design of the circles in alloy that can be chosen from both 16 and 17 “, while new ones are also making their debut at the rear to do – no longer concave in shape – which reflect the Y design seen at the front. Above, the little one spoiler on the rear window has a different shape. A curiosity, think how much aerodynamics affects efficiency: all these changes have made it possible to reduce CO2 emissions per km by 5.8 g.
Inside, the most important novelty is certainly theinfotainment, with the size of the touch screen that goes from 7 to 8 ”and, as standard, it is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while Wi-Fi connectivity is only possible on the top-of-the-range set-up. A armrest traditional front, sliding but not adjustable in height, replaces the two smaller ones that were previously incorporated into the seats, while the air conditioning does not change and always remains analog and manageable through three solid rotors.
The passenger compartment is also spacious for five people and since the Duster was mainly designed for use with the family, with this restyling particular attention was paid to connectivity: in the lower part of the center console there are 2 USB sockets and a 12 V (previously there was only one housed in the infotainment screen frame), and two more USB are found on the rear tunnel.
The surfaces are almost all plastics rather rigid, but the couplings and assemblies are of a good standard except in the lower parts and more hidden from view. Drawing from the list of options it is then possible to customize the machine with over 100 aftermarket accessories for both the interior and exterior, in the name of outdoor sports and adventure.
One of the main innovations of the restyling is certainly the motor 1.3 turbo gasoline yes 150 CV combined as standard with front-wheel drive only and a automatic gearbox six-speed dual-clutch. Have you ever driven the previous Duster? Here, at the level of comfort it seems to be on another car, a really nice upgrade especially in those traffic situations and use in the city where the automatic is undoubtedly more comfortable. Every now and then he has some hesitation in climbing and there is a minimum of slippage, but these are details that do not affect the excellent performance.
The thrust of the 1.3 is good as well as the recovery with 250 Nm of torque, with the engine that is progressive in gaining speed; lightning fast shots aren’t to be expected, but that’s enough to complete most overtaking safely. Apart from that, the Duster is still the Duster: it has not been touched in the chassis and in the set-up and this is not a bad thing, given that the way it is on the road has always been one of its strengths.
L’trim it is balanced, an excellent compromise – in the good sense of the word – to perform at its best in all contexts in which the Duster could be used. The suspensions they absorb even the most marked imperfections of the asphalt well, thanks also to the rims that reach a maximum of 17 ”in diameter and to tires with a large shoulder. At the same time, the roll in corners is contained – there is, but it is not exaggerated – and the same thing is true for the pitch under braking.
It steering the right amount is reduced considering that we are always on SUVs high off the ground and reactions that are too fast and abrupt could jeopardize stability. It is light, homogeneous not particularly precise and direct, with the load that cannot be changed electronically. In fact, there is only one driving mode in addition to the basic one, the Eco, which only affects the response of the engine by cutting a lot of power to reduce consumption.
During the test we traveled about 150 km, with an average marked by the on-board computer of 6.4 liters every 100 km, over 15 km and a half per liter. The soundproofing is very good especially from the engine, with the aerodynamic rustles and the rolling of the tires to peep out once over 100/110 km / h.
The visibility it is exceptional because of the large glass surfaces and the low waistline, mind as regards the equipment of devices driving assistance is still poor: standard cruise control, automatic emergency braking and the detector of another vehicle in the blind angel. A step back from the competition, a large portion of which already counts on level 2 autonomous driving.
The Dacia Duster is confirmed unstoppable even in off road. Even if for a few minutes, we had the opportunity to try the 115 HP 1.5 diesel all-wheel drive, and we were amazed by the excellent performance on rough terrain, including twists, fords, muddy climbs and side slopes of over 30 degrees overcome as if nothing had happened.
In case of zero visibility, a great help comes from the perimeter cameras that act as eyes in the most difficult moments, while for the most demanding routes it is possible to lock the center differential through the lever on the tunnel near the gearbox. In addition, the first gear is very short to better manage the torque and get the Duster out of any difficult situation.
The restyling Dacia Duster is already configurable on the official website and can be ordered in dealerships, with the first deliveries starting as early as September 2021. Prices start from 12.950 euro and there are four configurations available, with LPG which, at the same level, costs 500 euros more than 90 HP petrol and four-wheel drive that can only be had on diesel at 2,200 euros more.
Too bad that the automatic transmission is only available in combination with the 150 hp and not with the less powerful petrol and diesel. Starts from 22.150 euro and you can have it only in top of the range Prestige version to which, if desired, a few options can be added and all of them at an affordable price. Metallic paint costs 610 euros, 500 leather seats, 260 360-degree cameras, 250 spare wheel and 240 keyless access.