The Renault (Dacia) Duster is a compact SUV that first hit the market back in 2010 and has since undergone a few updates to its design and features. Despite facing increasing competition from other models in the same category, the Duster has remained a popular choice for many drivers. So, is the Renault Duster a good car?
Overall, the Renault Duster is a decent car that has a lot to offer. It’s relatively affordable to buy and maintain, and it comes with a range of engines that offer a good balance between power and fuel efficiency. The exterior design is bold and rugged, making it stand out on the road, while the interior is functional but not particularly exciting.
Reliability-wise, Renault has made improvements in recent years, but some owners have reported issues with various components of the vehicle, including the transmission and suspension. However, it’s worth noting that these issues don’t affect all Dusters and may depend on how well the car is maintained.
Overall, the Renault Duster is a solid choice if you’re looking for a compact SUV that’s affordable, practical, and stylish. While it may have some reliability issues, it’s still a good car that offers a lot of value for the price.
The Renault Duster offers a range of engine options, most of which are gasoline-powered. The most common engine is the 1.5L 4-cylinder petrol engine with 105hp, which is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The only diesel model is the 1.5L 4-cylinder with 115hp which is also available with these transmission options.
The Duster also has a 1.3L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 130hp or 150hp, paired with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission. The Duster is only available in the front-wheel drive but can be had with FWD in certain markets and engine choices.
The 1.5L engine has an average fuel economy of 39-41 MPG UK, while the 1.3L turbocharged engine returns 37-38 MPG UK. Overall, the Duster’s engine options may not be the most advanced in the market, but they do offer good efficiency and adequate power for the vehicle’s size.
Design and Driving Experience
The Renault Duster design is bold, rugged, and sporty, with a muscular stance that hints at its off-road capabilities. It has a chiseled front fascia that is highlighted by Renault’s signature grille and sleek headlights. The rear of the Duster features a large tailgate and squared-off bumper that complements the front-end design.
Overall, the Duster’s design makes it stand out from other SUVs in its class. The driving experience of the Renault Duster is comfortable and engaging, thanks to its refined suspension system that offers a smooth ride. The steering is responsive and precise, making it easy to maneuver through tight corners and winding roads. The cabin is well-insulated, providing a quiet ride even on the highway.
Reliability and Common Issues
Older generations of the Duster were much more problematic than the later ones as Renault did its best to make the Duster as reliable as possible as that is partly what makes it so attractive. However, there are some things worth taking a closer look into as the Duster is far from perfect.
The most common problems include engine issues (catalytic converter, timing system), issues with the transmission, issues with the suspension, various electrical issues, and potential issues with the DPF filters with diesel-powered variants.
Practicality and Pricing
The Renault Duster is an affordable compact SUV that offers practicality and value for money. With a starting price of around £14,000 (UK exchange), it’s one of the most affordable SUVs in its class, making it an appealing option for budget-conscious buyers.
One of the main selling points of the Duster is its practicality. It has a spacious cabin that can comfortably seat five passengers, and the rear seats can be folded down to create a large cargo area. The boot space is generous, providing up to 475 liters of space with the seats up, and up to 1,636 liters with the rear seats folded.
Is Renault Duster the Same as Dacia Duster?
Yes, the Renault Duster and Dacia Duster are essentially the same vehicles, with only minor differences in terms of exterior design, equipment levels, and optional features. The Dacia Duster is manufactured by Renault-owned Romanian automaker Dacia, and it is sold in several markets around the world under the Dacia brand name.
In some markets, such as India and Russia, the Duster is sold under the Renault brand name. In essence, the Dacia Duster is the budget-friendly version of the Renault Duster, with fewer frills and features but with the same basic mechanics and functionality.
Why is the Duster called Dacia in Europe?
By selling the Duster under the Dacia brand, Renault is able to offer a budget-friendly SUV to European consumers. The Dacia brand is associated with affordable and practical vehicles that are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of customers, from families to commercial buyers.
The Duster, sold under the Dacia brand, has been very successful in Europe, thanks to its combination of rugged styling, practicality, and affordability. Another reason why the Duster is called Dacia in Europe is that Dacia first came out with the Logan which seemed to have gathered a bunch of sales all across Europe and prompted Renault/Dacia to also introduce a more rugged model.
Is the Renault Duster the Cheapest Car in Its Class?
In some markets, such as India and South Africa, the Duster is indeed one of the most affordable SUVs in its class. In other markets, such as Europe and the United States, the Duster may not necessarily be the cheapest car in its class, but it still offers good value for money.
It’s worth noting that the Duster’s affordability does not necessarily mean that it compromises on quality or features. The Duster offers a range of modern features and technology, and it has received positive reviews for its driving experience, practicality, and most importantly, simplicity.