The Duster is a compact family SUV launched in 2010 and sold with Dacia and Renault badges depending on the market. It’s currently in its second generation, which will facelift in the summer of 2021 when it receives a new dual-clutch transmission and other technology. While known to offer decent off-road capability combined with decent ride quality, the Duster isn’t great for dynamic driving. New tests are coming to prove it again.
The video at the top of this page shows the 2023 Duster circling a cone in a moose test conducted by km77.com. This particular car has a 1.3-liter turbocharged gas engine under its hood that produces 150 horsepower. Mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission, this makes one of the cheapest new SUVs in Europe a pleasure to drive. This vehicle uses Continental EcoContact 6 17-inch tires with a size of 215/60.
It may be worth noting that km77.com the team tested the Duster shortly after the launch of the second generation model. The car tested at that time had a 1.5-liter diesel engine with 110 hp and an automatic transmission. It didn’t do well, largely due to the radical intervention of the electronic stability system, as well as the bouncing and soft suspension. Did Dacia improve the situation with the new Duster?
Well, not really. The test driver managed to get through the cone without hitting it at an entry speed of 44 miles per hour (71 kilometers per hour), which isn’t very impressive. Attempts at higher speeds were also made but the Duster’s bouncing suspension left the driver out of control of the SUV in a safety test. The ESC still behaves much like previous versions of the SUV, perhaps trying to prevent the vehicle from rolling over due to its high center of gravity and soft suspension.