Login
My Garage
New hero

2024 Dacia Duster (2022 - )

Dacia says that although the Duster is the same size as before, the new platform creates more cabin and boot space.

Starting price:
TBC (outgoing model from £17,295; from £21,195 in Journey tr

Why we love it:
  • Great value for money
  • Nice-looking interior
  • Solidly built
Where it could be better:
  • Euro NCAP safety rating history (new Duster’s score TBC)
  • Comfy, but not particularly fun to drive
Secure your test drive today
Request a Dacia Duster test drive

Introduction

All-New 2024 Dacia Duster

Over the years, Dacia – the plucky Renault-owned Romanian marque – has slowly carved out a reputation for providing quite a lot for comparatively little, writes Tim Barnes-Clay. Its cars are bargains – offering superb value for money for those on a tight budget. This simple strategy has worked wonders, especially with the Duster SUV, the company's best-selling model in Britain. It is easy to see why, too, as it comes well-equipped despite the low price tag – and this new version aims to take things even further. From what Dacia has revealed, not much has changed on paper, with trim levels and equipment lists looking familiar. Mechanically, though, there's a significant difference. The new Duster is based on the CMF-B platform, which is also used on cars such as the Renault Clio, Captur and Arkana, the Nissan Juke, and the Mitsubishi Colt. Dacia says that although the Duster is the same size as before, the new platform creates more cabin and boot space. In addition, the engine line-up has changed, with the entry-level TCe 90 and top-of-the-range TCe 150 petrols discontinued. The TCe 100 Bi-Fuel (which can run on LPG) remains, as does the 1.2-litre TCe 130 petrol, which adds mild-hybrid technology to its arsenal. Meanwhile, the new self-charging Hybrid 140 comprises a 1.6-litre petrol mill and an electric motor. Despite the Duster being available for us to test, Dacia has only provided a snippet of what equipment will be included with each trim level. The entry-level Essential will likely remain bare. Dacia claims it’ll get no infotainment touchscreen, but it does have Bluetooth, a DAB radio, fixed roof bars, and rear parking sensors. Sixteen or 17-inch wheels, cruise control, electric front windows and manual air conditioning are also likely. Expression grade will get 17-inch alloys, a 10.1-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a reversing camera. The following two trims sit equally, with the Extreme version aimed at off-roaders, while the Journey grade is aimed at families seeking superior cabin technology. So, while both will get 18-inch alloys, SatNav and automatic air conditioning, only the Extreme trim gets modular roof bars, copper interior decorations, rubber mats and MicroCloud upholstery (which Dacia says is easy to wash). On the other hand, Journey gets a wireless phone charger, an upgraded Arkamys sound system, a hands-free keycard, an electronic parking brake and fog lights.
 

All-New 2024 Dacia Duster

The most significant change in the Duster's looks is that its previous friendly, roundedness has largely gone. Now, far straighter edges and shapely body panels dominate, adding a meaner and more imposing stance. The new Dacia emblem also inspires the grille, headlights, and taillights on the back. New fenders feature on the side, while the flared wheel arches of the old Dacia now extend further back, making the whole car bulge outwards when viewed from the rear. Inside, there’s been an overhaul, too. The old Duster was a cheap car – and you knew it by sitting inside it – but not anymore. Dacia’s worked hard at dressing it up, with plenty of silver decor, an almost hexagonally shaped steering wheel and a modern-looking infotainment screen. That said, despite the inclusion of softer materials, the cabin still has an undoubtedly low-cost feel. Many hard plastics are on display, but the overall build quality impresses - and a pleasant aesthetic is about far more than just materials. Dacia has evidently taken this very literally, doing an excellent job, given it can’t be kitting a budget motor like this with high-end products. The same value-for-money feel is evident in the infotainment system. It is reasonably good for what it is, although it lacks the advanced sophistication of some rivals' systems - but it does what it says on the tin. Given the price point, the graphics are reasonably sharp, the menu layout is straightforward, and the digital instrument display behind the Duster's steering wheel is a lovely addition. Physical controls are retained for the air conditioning, which is another plus. Meanwhile, the interior features Dacia’s very handy YouClips, enabling you to fix personal belongings in place, such as mobile phones, in predetermined positions in the cabin. When you come to the options list, you can choose from many different packs, offering everything from dash cams to styling elements. One, though, stands out in particular – the sleep pack – which turns your Duster into a mini-bedsit. We tried it out – sleeping in the stunning French Alps, of all places. The sleep pack includes blinds, a fold-out unit containing a mattress, and even a dining table that sits beneath the opened tailgate. It is simply awesome - so, forget a motorhome – get an all-new Duster!

On The Road

All-New 2024 Dacia Duster

Handling & Performance

Our test drive takes place in the TCe 130 mild-hybrid in Journey trim. The old TCe 130 (which didn't have mild-hybrid help) was the pick of the range before, and, in our opinion, it still is. The hybridity only adds an extra mile per gallon of fuel economy, but it feels sprightly despite an (albeit improved) 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds. Admittedly, the engine doesn't sound refined, but nobody buys a car at this price expecting perfection. And, in terms of the performance offered, it’s nothing special but a good all-rounder. The new Hybrid 140 is more powerful and offers superior fuel economy, but it’s likely to command a premium. The TCe 100 Bi-Fuel could also help cut running costs if you use the LPG fuel tank, but the number of LPG filling stations is declining as hybrids and electric vehicles become commonplace. Another reason to choose the TCe 130 over the hybrid is that the latter has a four-speed automatic transmission, while the former has a six-speed manual gearbox. The manual isn’t amazing, but the clutch pedal is light, and the gearchanges feel seamless. A big advantage of the Duster's new platform is that Dacia has improved ride comfort despite firming up the suspension. This means the old Duster's wallowing motion, which quickly caused it to feel unsettled, is a problem of the past. The all-new Duster feels soft yet planted, smoothing out potholes and creases despite the large 18-inch alloys on our Journey-trimmed test car. Admittedly, the firmer suspension hasn't improved the handling, which isn't a strong point, given that the Duster is set up as a vehicle for comfort. The steering weights up in the bends but lacks any real feedback, and the grip levels aren't on a par with those of more driver-focused competitors, such as the Ford Puma. Nevertheless, the Duster does well, controlling body lean around corners better than expected. A four-wheel drive version of the TCe 130 powertrain is also offered with improved rear suspension, while a dial in the cabin switches between five off-road modes, depending on the surface you’re driving on.
 

All-New 2024 Dacia Duster

Space & Practicality

There is plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, including height adjustment in the former, and front headroom isn’t an issue, so you can perch yourself relatively high in the cabin if you wish. Forward visibility is good, too, thanks to the relatively thin front pillars. Still, the ones at the back are significantly thicker, making it difficult to see over your shoulder, although parking sensors and a reversing camera mitigate the problem. Front legroom is decent, but the tallest drivers may wish the seat went back a little further. Rear legroom will only be an issue if you've got a tall driver and a lofty passenger sitting behind. The rear middle seat is positioned slightly higher than the outer seats, making it a little less cushy. Despite this being an SUV, three fully grown adults in the rear might be a squeeze on long journeys. The cargo capacity depends on the Duster grade you choose. Our TCe 130 front-wheel drive car gets the most boot room at 474 litres, expanding to 1,609 litres with the rear seats folded down in a 60:40 configuration. The Hybrid gets the least (349 litres, expanding to 1,545 litres), while all models feature a slight loading lip and no adjustable boot floor. There are plenty of places to store belongings in the cabin, although the cupholders are pretty shallow, and the door bins aren't huge.
 

Ownership

All-New 2024 Dacia Duster

Running Costs

Our TCe 130 front-wheel drive mild-hybrid returns 46.3mpg and emits 124g/km of CO2. We don't know the figures for the all-wheel drive version, but it won’t be as economical. The Hybrid 140, on the other hand, manages 55.3mpg and emits 115g/km of CO2, while the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel returns 43mpg on petrol and 34mpg on LPG and releases 147g/km of CO2. If you’re after a company car, the Hybrid 140 is one to go, but a plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicle is what's really needed, given that Benefit In Kind tax greatly favours them. Dacia isn't bad for reliability, either. It offers an impressive seven-year, 75,000-mile warranty as long as the car is maintained at a Dacia-authorised service centre.

Verdict

All-New 2024 Dacia Duster

Overall, the all-new Dacia Duster is another step up for the Renault-owned Romanian brand, which makes it even more tempting. The TCe 130 is still our powertrain of choice, and the Journey trim is impressive. However, you won't be short-changed if you opt for the next one down (Expression). Off-roaders will need the Extreme trim to unlock the four-wheel drive option. The all-new Duster is practical, reasonably roomy, looks nice, has a well-designed interior and is very comfortable to drive. Truly, a car this cheap has no right to be this good.
 

Secure your test drive today
Request a Dacia Duster test drive
By Tim Barnes-Clay
Jun 24, 2024

Similar Reviews

Toyota Aygo X Air Edition (2021 - )
The five-door Aygo X Air Edition is a compact city car that is very big on personality and the addition of a canvas roof offers open-top fun...

Regit review

8 / 10 Read review

New from

£ 15,945 Get advice
Toyota Aygo X (2021 - )
Toyota's popular city car, the Aygo, is being replaced by a bigger, better and stylish new compact crossover called the Aygo X. It oozes...

Regit review

8 / 10 Read review

New from

£ 15,945 Get advice
SEAT Ibiza (2021 - )
SEAT has given its fun-loving Ibiza city car a refresh with upgraded technology, improved safety features and a snazzy new look. But with...

Regit review

8 / 10 Read review

New from

£ 19,505 Get advice