The Duster is a compact family SUV launched in 2010 and sold with Dacia and Renault badges depending on the market. It is currently in its second generation, which was facelifted in the summer of 2021 when it received a new dual-clutch transmission and other technologies. While it is known for offering decent off-road capabilities combined with decent ride quality, the Duster isn’t particularly good for dynamic driving. A new test comes to prove that yet again.
The video at the top of this page shows a 2023 Duster going around the cones in a moose test performed by km77.com. This particular car has a 1.3-litre turbocharged gas engine under the bonnet generating 150 bhp. It is mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission, making one of the cheapest new SUVs in Europe really nice to drive. The vehicle rides on 17-inch Continental EcoContact 6 tyres in 215/60 size.
It’s probably worth pointing out that the km77.com team tested the Duster shortly after the launch of the second-generation model. The car tested back then had a 110-bhp 1.5-litre diesel mill and an automatic gearbox. It didn’t do particularly well, mostly due to the radical intervention of the electronic stability system, as well as the bouncing and soft suspension. Has Dacia improved the situation with the refreshed Duster?
Gallery: 2023 Dacia Duster Commercial
Well, not really. The test driver managed to go around the cones without hitting them with an entrance speed of 44 miles per hour (71 kilometres per hour), which isn’t very impressive. Attempts at higher speeds were also made but the Duster’s bouncing suspension made it impossible for the driver to keep the SUV under control in the safety test. The ESC kept behaving just like the previous version of the SUV, probably trying to prevent the vehicle from rolling over due to its high centre of gravity and soft suspension.