The Dust Settles

Welcome to the all-new Dacia – now even Dustier.

Eat my Duster! Image: Dacia UK

Why are you showing me this? I can see it’s a Dacia Duster.

Yes, but this is the new Dacia Duster.

Really? Not being funny or anything, but this looks more like a mild facelift. Are you certain it’s new?

We’ve only got Renault’s word on this, and while it’s clearly on the outgoing car’s inner structure, Dacia insist every exterior panel has been changed. This is what they have to say on the matter:

“Dacia has renewed Duster, the brand’s iconic SUV which boasts modern, all-new robust styling. All-New Duster’s adventurer pedigree and ability to stray off the beaten track are expressed by the latest version’s updated design. In keeping with the model’s DNA, All-New Duster combines robust, muscular styling with a truly assertive personality that is emphasised by a brand new body colour, Atacama Orange”.

Gracious me! For a brand that markets itself on no-nonsense values that’s one bulging sack of steaming hyperbole.

I know, shocking isn’t it? I was tempted to satirise it, but it’s beyond parody.

I didn’t think the existing car was that old anyway.

Interesting you should say that. The Duster (as we know it) has been around now since 2010, which surprised me a little as well. According to Renault it’s since sold in excess of a million examples Worldwide.

Dusty’s Trail. Image: Autocar

Leaving aside this ‘all-new’ business, it does seem pretty well executed.

Agreed, I think it’s quite a decent piece of work, appearing a little more slick but retaining the outgoing car’s sturdy appearance.

I notice the tail-lamps seem a little more integrated now. They do look a little familiar however. In fact they seem uncannily like those from a Jeep Renegade?

True, the old ones did look as though Dacia were too cheap to fit the entire unit and now that you point it out, these new ones do look rather familiar.

Anything else been changed?

Well, according to Renault, the windscreen has been brought forward 100 mm and given a steeper rake, which lends the vehicle a sleeker appearance and increases the illusion of space inside. It’s got a higher beltline as well.

Hang on though, isn’t the Duster supposed to be an honest, rugged, upright workhorse, not some prancing lifestyle accessory with ‘adventurer credentials’?

Don’t look at me matey, I’m only the messenger.

Exit Planet Dust(er). Image: Daily Express

I suppose the interior is similarly ‘adventurous’.

Dacia haven’t released photos as yet, but design chief, David Durand claims “it’s more revolutionary inside”. Expect touchscreens.

Wonderful. But speaking of familiar, is it me, or does the front-end ever so slightly resemble a LR Discovery?

I can see what you’re getting at. But you know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

You say that, but I don’t see them ‘copying’ the current Disco’s rear end.

Be realistic. Nobody would be that idiotic.

So what do you think Gerry McGovern’s excuse was then?

Hmmm. I suppose everyone has an off-day.

That’s one hell of an off-day…

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. Content Provider.

4 thoughts on “The Dust Settles”

  1. With a new windscreen geometry and raised beltline, this Duster is probably more ‘all-new’ than its look wants to make us believe. It seems more than just a simple reskin.
    In a way, Dacia here follows Audi with its latest A4 or VW with the new Polo. Let’s call it micro-evolution. Conservative, prudent cars for conservative, prudent customers. “It’s ‘all-new’, but don’t be scared, it’s still the same. Never change a winning team.”

  2. I rather like these “Renegade” tail-lights. I think we’ll see more of that sort of thing over the next couple of years. Hopefully we won’t see any hommages t0 the new Disco’s above-mentioned asymmetrical tailgate. There’s nothing wrong with asymmetry – it’s an established 4×4 / SUV leitmotif – but that one just looks distressing to the eye.

    The Duster’s relatively superfical re-skin approach makes sense with a vehicle which is produced in at least six different locations, as the cost of re-tooling is kept down.

    Modern Dacia are not immune from model cycles. The first (2004) Logan was replaced after 12 years, but the 2007 Sandero’s replacement appeared after only five years. There’s a two-tier system emerging; there are some Dacia manufacturing bases where the original Logan, and Sandero are still produced. If you’re in a restricted, transport-hungry market like Iran or Colombia, you’re happy to take what you can get.

    Elsewhere, where competition is fiercer, Dacia have to move with the times, and seem to be doing so successfully going by the numbers on the road in western Europe’s ‘sophisticated’ markets. Even the Germans like the Duster. I know they’re canny folk, but does it not bother them that their car’s name is an umlaut short of being ‘dreary’ or ‘dismal’?

  3. For Dacia, SUVs are the perfect segment to hide their more simple design lines and details. So Dacia did already a great job with the first Duster (the doors of the Duster were the same doors as those of the Sandero, pretty cool). For me the old Duster was Dacia´s best juwel and the new Duster will shine even brighter. It looks more expensive than an Ateca or a Jeep Rehegade for me, but it looks solid too. The only thing i don´t like at the new Duster are the rearlights. Not bad, this Renegade-like rear-lamps. But i always loved the slim lights of the old Duster with the responding design of the tailgate.

    The new Duster will be hit, no doubt about it.

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