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Dacia Duster: should you still buy the current generation?

While we await the new generation, the Dacia Duster continues to hold its own in France. Five years after its debut, is the current version still a worthwhile choice?

Since its initial release in 2010, the Dacia Duster has been incredibly successful in France and across Europe. In 2022, it was the second best-selling SUV to individuals on the continent and one of the top sellers in France. The current generation dates back to 2018 and is waiting for its replacement, which will be unveiled at the end of November and available for purchase next year. But until then, is the current Duster still a good option? Let’s assess its performance…

A range of engines to choose from

The Duster has excellent mechanics comparable to the Captur. It offers the 1.0L dual-fuel gasoline/LPG turbo, which is sufficiently efficient and economical. For those seeking smooth performance on highways or when the vehicle is loaded, the four-cylinder 1.3 TC e is comparable to competing engines that often have one less cylinder. Both smooth and fast, the automatic transmission that comes with it is very satisfying, while the 1.5 dCi is responsive and fuel-efficient. In terms of handling, the Romanian model is safe, especially when it comes to braking. However, the flexibility of the suspension, slight imprecision in the steering, and somewhat cumbersome front axle make it less effective in corners compared to leaders in the segment like the Ford Puma, Renault Captur, and Nissan Juke.

A comfortable level of comfort

Equipped with flexible suspensions, the Duster is particularly attentive to bumps and potholes, on par with the C3 Aircross on urban speed bumps and bumpy country roads or under construction. With seats as soft as those of Citroën, the results would be excellent. The soundproofing is also satisfactory in terms of air and road noise. However, the 1.3 four-cylinder petrol engines can be slightly noisy during acceleration, especially when compared to the three-cylinder engines of competitors like the Ford Puma, Citroën C3 Aircross, and Peugeot 2008. Nevertheless, the 1.0 LPG engine remains relatively quiet, as does the 1.5 dCi, which has a less intrusive sound compared to other diesel engines.

Satisfactory interior space

In terms of practicality, the Duster meets the basics. Unlike the C3 Aircross, Captur, and Opel Crossland, the Dacia does not have a sliding bench seat that would allow for easy adjustment between the passenger compartment and the trunk as needed. However, thanks to its generous dimensions, it offers both a spacious cargo volume of 517 dm3 and adequate interior space. While the Citroën can provide 548 dm3 of trunk space by moving the second row forward, there is then limited legroom. The Dacia is also appreciated for its large openings that make boarding and loading easier. Nonetheless, a folding front seatback, which is very practical for transporting long items, would be a welcome addition.

Still in the game

Admittedly, the prices of the Duster have risen over time. And it’s difficult to haggle, especially since the range has been updated with new finishes. However, it remains more affordable than most small SUVs. While some may argue that it lacks modern features such as active driving assistance systems like automatic emergency braking or lane-keeping assistance, the Dacia is equipped with plenty of convenience features. The third Journey trim level is particularly appealing, offering automatic air conditioning, a reversing camera, and tinted rear windows, all at reasonable prices. It’s hard to find a similar package for the same budget…

Read also :

Dacia will launch two new models after the Bigster in 2025

Dacia Duster 3: its presentation date is known!

Dacia: prices for the hybrid version in France

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