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.