2010 Geneva Auto Show: Dacia Duster

The 2010 Geneva Auto Show witnessed the introduction of Dacia's first-ever SUV, the Duster, a compact off-roader that will go on sale in select European countries this month. Before jumping into details, the price for the Duster starts at 11,900 Euros for the two-wheel drive version and at 13,900 Euros for the 4x4 version. However, it seems like Romania's a bit luckier as the car will be sold for 10,500 Euros and 12,300 Euros, respectively (VAT included).
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The Duster measures 4.31 meters in length and 1.82 meters in width, while weight depends on the configuration you choose: 1,160kg in 4x2 specification and 1,250kg for the 4x4 version.

Dacia says the Duster has unbeatable space for its price and the specs are really supporting this statement. Based on a platform derived from the Logan family, the SUV has a boot capacity of 474 meters (depending on version) while overall, it proves a carrying capacity of up to 1,636 liters.

There will be three engines available across the range for both 4x2 and 4x4 versions: one petrol engine (1.6 16V 110hp) and two diesel engines (dCi 85 and dCi 110). If we are to trust Dacia's official figures (and we really should since most of these engines are already available on various Renault vehicles) the dCi versions emit from 135g of CO2/km for the 4x2 version (which qualifies it for the Dacia eco2 signature) and from 145g of CO2/km in the case of the 4x4 version.

The 4x4 configuration comes with a rear MacPherson-type multi-arm suspension and a six-speed gearbox with short first ratio, thus improving performance on off-road terrain. Additionally, the 4x4 configuration provides three driving modes:

  • AUTO: the front/rear torque split is calculated automatically, with torque transmitted to the front wheels only in normal conditions. If the car goes on uneven terrain, some of the torque is automatically transferred to the rear axle, with the process conducted by an electromagnetic torque converter supplied by Nissan.
  • LOCK: the driver uses only the 4x4 mode, so throttle control and braking are automatically configured for all-wheel control.
  • 4x2: the appropriate mode for normal conditions, with the configuration optimized for educe emissions and fuel consumption

In terms of safety, the Duster is equipped with two front airbags (depending on market) and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats, to which pyrotechnic pretensioners can be added. Additionally, two lateral head/thorax airbags can be fitted in addition to the driver and passenger front airbags depending on the version you choose.

The Duster will go on sale this month, with the Romanian badge to be carried on in Turkey and the Maghreb region (Algeria, Morocco). From June 2010, Duster will also be available – badged as a Renault – in the Ukraine, the Middle East (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt) and other African countries. Additionally, it will go on sale in Brazil, Russia and Gulf states to be sold as a Renault.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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