Renault-Dacia unveiled the first facelift of its popular compact crossover , Duster during the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show . The Duster has been around since 2010 and was due for a makeover. Renault-Dacia has made subtle changes to the exterior keeping the original proportions of the compact off-roader intact.
With this update, not just about the aesthetics changed though. Dacia has added new features to the compact crossover that push it further up the ladder in its affordable segment of the crossover market.
Renault-Dacia has also added a new engine to the Duster range. The new turbocharged gasoline engine promises to deliver better mileage and decent performance at the same time. The Duster has tasted success in developing markets around the world, and the new model definitely has what it takes to tackle the challenges faced in highly competitive markets like India, Brazil, etc.
Click past jump to read more about the 2014 Dacia Duster
The Dacia Duster started life as a compact off-roader based on a modified Clio platform. The 2014 Duster has been restyled to emphasize its off-road capabilities. Let’s start from the front where most of the changes have been made. The grille, for instance, has been redesigned to give the CUV a bolder, more rugged look. The twin-slat grille has a trapezoidal honeycomb structure with a chrome finish.
"We built on the appeal of the original model,"
The headlight cluster gets a twin-pod treatment with daytime running lights and turn indicators integrated into one single unit. A large air intake has been provided in lower half of the bumper flanked by a fog lamps on either side.
Moving to the side, the swollen wheel arches of the original Duster are retained. The only change is the new roof rail, which gets "DUSTER" engraved on its shiny surface.
Now to the rear, which retains most of its design qualities. Dacia has given the new 2014 Duster a new set of taillights with reworked reflective surfaces. The lower part of the bumper is finished in black, making the point clear that this Duster is built to go off-road. The new 16-inch "Dark Metal" rims look particularly brilliant on the Duster.
Roof Rail Detail
Like the previous Dacia Duster, the new model has a fairly basic interior, but it goes well with its exterior theme. Dacia also added some user-friendly features that further make the Duster’s cabin a better place to spend time in. The dashboard gives a robust feel to the interior which is essential in a car with its character.
Dacia now offer upmarket upholstery options for the Duster, which include leather. The rear seat bench has been further reinforced, while the front seat design has been changed keeping in mind customer preference. The Duster’s cargo area can gobble up 475 liters (16.8 cubic feet) of luggage. The rear seat bench can folded to access more space if need be.
The company has added new gadgets to the Duster. Dacia MEDIA NAV is a complete multimedia system, which includes Bluetooth and Satellite Navigation. Other equipment includes cruise control, rear parking sensors, motion auto-lock, and an exterior temperature display. Power window switches have been moved to the doors which is a welcome ergonomic update.
Cargo Hull Detail
Rear Seat Detail
The 2014 Dacia Duster gets brand new gasoline engine this time. This new powerplant makes use of a turbocharger to develop acceptable levels of performance without compromising fuel economy. The TCe 125 is a 1.2-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder turbo engine, which delivers 123 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Ninety percent of the torque is available right from 1,500 rpm, which results in better fuel consumption, which is rated at 6.0 l/100 km (39 mpg). This engine can be had along with a six-speed manual transmission.
A 105-horsepower, 1.6-liter gasoline engine is also available on both 4X2 and 4X4 models. Two diesel engines are also on offer on the 2014 Dacia Duster. The 1.5-liter dCi engine is available in two states of tune — 90 horsepower and 110 horses.
A gearshift indicator and Eco Mode function allows drivers to reduce their fuel consumption. The latter limits engine performance and air- con operation to have a check on fuel usage.
Gallery 2014 Dacia Duster
The Skoda Yeti range starts at a slightly higher price point than the Dacia Duster. The Duster remains the most "value for money" product in its segment. The Yeti, being a Volkswagen Group car, offers high levels of quality, as well as decent equipment levels. This comes at a cost though. We have mixed opinions about the exterior styling of the Yeti. But, having said that, the Yeti does stand out in a sea of compact crossovers.
Under the hood, the 1.2-liter TSI engine is the entry-level unit offered on the 4X2 model only. This engine develops 104 horsepower. Alternatively, you can opt for the 2.0-lter TDI diesel unit that generates 108 horsepower. A more powerful 1.8 TSI is the engine to behold for its 158 horsepower. Skoda also offers a six-speed dual-clutch transmission on the 4X4 models.
The Qashqai comes from Dacia’s sister company, Nissan, and straightaway there’s a huge difference in price and quality. Cost-saving measures adopted by Dacia are evident in the Duster, which makes it good value compared to its competition. Being a product of the same parent company, the Nissan Qashqai uses the same engines as the Dacia Duster.
For almost one-third more money, Nissan offers well built interior, complete with the required equipment and occupant safety features. The Qashqai might not beat the Duster to fuel economy and value, but it certainly is "more car" compared to its Dacia rival.
All said, it should noted that the Dacia Duster was not built to compete with the Qashqai. It caters to a specific part of the market who would like an affordable compact crossover with acceptable levels of comfort and convenience. The range of engines and an overall lightweight construction allows the Duster to gain an edge over its rivals.
- Turbo- petrol’s low-end grunt
- Fuel economy
- Value for money
- Quality of interior plastics
- Cost cutting is too evident