Named after a classic 1970s Plymouth muscle car, the Dacia Duster stands apart as a distinctive compact SUV. Hailing from the Romanian Renault subsidiary, this vehicle has gained immense popularity in Europe since its debut in 2010, boasting a production of 2.2 million units. Recognized for its affordability and off-road capabilities, the 2024 Duster aims to uphold this reputation while introducing a touch of elegance. Regrettably, it will not be available for purchase in the United States.
The previous Duster, while not unattractive, exuded a somewhat generic appearance. The latest design, however, showcases a sculpted and confident look, featuring striking Y-shaped patterns in the headlights and taillights. Robust wheel arches contribute to its all-terrain persona, while front and rear skid plates safeguard essential powertrain components. The showcased Extreme trim exhibits copper accents, adding a touch of flair.
Dacia describes the black trim as a “belt” enveloping the vehicle, shielding it from dents and extending from the bumpers around the sides to the front edge of the front doors. Constructed from a novel material called Starkle, developed by Dacia and containing up to 20 percent reused polypropylene, this trim remains unpainted to reduce the carbon footprint.
Approximately 20 percent of the Duster’s plastic is recycled, emphasizing the eco-friendly aspects, including the absence of decorative chrome and real leather. Even the user manual adopts a more sustainable approach by using less paper.
Internally, the cabin seamlessly blends Dacia’s practical and budget-conscious ethos with contemporary elements, preventing it from feeling like a dreary econobox. Straight lines and sharp angles contribute to a visually robust interior, complemented by washable fabric upholstery on the Extreme trim and rubber floor mats, with 20 percent made from recycled materials. The Y-shaped motif extends to the air vents, and the driver-oriented 10.1-inch central touchscreen is supplemented by a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster.
Dacia offers a range of powertrains, including the Hybrid 140 with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with electric motors. The TCe 130 combines a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder with a 48-volt electric motor, while the ECO-G 100 features a turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder with dual fuel tanks.
The Duster provides an array of driving modes and features, including a terrain-control function for 4×4 models, offering options like Snow, Mud/Sand, and Eco. Off-road enthusiasts can opt for accessories such as a roof rack and the Sleep Pack, a versatile box that transforms into a bed in just two minutes.
Although prices remain undisclosed, Dacia pledges to maintain “the most affordable prices in its segment.” Regrettably, the Duster will not be available in the United States, remaining a coveted choice in Europe and Latin America, where it has previously been marketed as a Renault.