Watch Europe's Most Affordable Crossover, Dacia Duster, Stumble Through Moose Test

Dacia Duster is Europe's most affordable crossover in the segment, if we are to leave the MG ZS out, since it is only available in a few markets on the Old Continent. But the Dustr is not exactly a ballerina when it comes to rapid manoeuvres. And its behaviour in the Moose Test proves just that.
Dacia Duster fails the Moose Test 9 photos
Photo: Screenshot | Km77
Dacia Duster fails the Moose TestDacia Duster fails the Moose TestDacia Duster fails the Moose TestDacia Duster fails the Moose TestDacia Duster fails the Moose TestDacia Duster fails the Moose TestDacia Duster fails the Moose TestDacia Duster fails the Moose Test
The Dacia Duster starts at 17,295 pounds (the equivalent of $22,193) in the United Kingdom and at 16,900 euros ($18,734) in Germany. You can’t expect Porsche-kind of road behaviour for the money. But it did its best in the Moose Test, even if its best was not enough to pass.

The one that Km77 got their hands on for the test was a TCe 150 version. That means they had to deal with a front-wheel drive car, powered by a 1.3-liter turbo engine that Renault developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Nissan. The same engine powers compact premium models from Mercedes such as the A-Class and the CLA, for instance.

Going back to the Duster in the test, it is relevant to know that it features an EDC dual-clutch automatic transmission and wears 17-inch wheels with Continental EcoContact 6 tires.

The rules are simple: the car passes the test if it is able to drive through the cones without hitting any of them at 77 kph (47.8 mph). But the best the Duster could do was 71 kph (44 mph).

The team attempted runs at higher speeds, but the suspension bounced, the body roll went bananas, and the driver couldn’t really keep it under control and had to loop his hands around the steering wheel to avoid going off the tarmac. Meanwhile, the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system went out of its way trying to keep the Duster from rolling over.

The driver admits that, from behind the steering wheel, things weren’t as bad as they probably looked from outside.

The time it completed the slalom in was 27.6 seconds, which is worse than that of the Skoda Fabia or Volkswagen Caddy, for instance.

The Dacia Duster has been around for 13 years. Currently in its second generation, the crossover underwent a facelift in 2021, when the Renault-owned Romanian carmaker decided to keep the diesel, but only in an all-wheel drive setup with a manual transmission. The brand brought the new front fascia sporting the redesigned logo and headlights. The car in the test wears Dusty Khaki, one of the new colors that the facelift brought in the lineup.

Km77 has tested the Dacia Duster in the Moose Test before, soon after the release of the second generation. Back then, they used a 110-PS (108-horsepower) 1.5-liter dCi-powered car with an auto box. Not much has improved on the Dacia since then in terms of stability.

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