The Dacia Duster has been one of the most eagerly awaited new models of recent months, and following its unveiling at the end of 2023, it is now finally available to order. Although pricing in the UK hasn't been released yet, it is priced in Europe from €19,690. The Duster is available for the first time with electrified engines, both mild hybrid (also with all-wheel drive) and full hybrid.

The range of engines is very similar to that of the Suzuki S-Cross, which is also similar in size to the Duster. Here, then, is a face-off between the two compact SUVs.

The exterior

With the new generation, the Dacia Duster does not gain in length, remaining at 4.34 metres. The styling, however, is completely new, more modern thanks to a redesigned and more muscular front end, complementing the full LED lights with the inverted Y design typical of the rest of the range. The plastic protectors along the profiles are still present, giving an off-road look, and the roof remains perfectly parallel to the ground so as not to steal space from the passenger compartment.

The Suzuki S-Cross has not succumbed to the SUV coupé trend either, and is only 4 cm shorter than its rival. It too features black plastic inserts on the wheel arches and side skirts, to underline the off-road vocation that has always been part of the company's DNA.

<p>Dacia Duster</p>

Dacia Duster

<p>Suzuki S-Cross</p>

Suzuki S-Cross

Model Length Width Height Wheelbase
Dacia Duster 4.34 metres 1.81 metres 1.65 metres 2.65 metres
Suzuki S-Cross 4.3 metres 1.78 metres 1.58 metres 2.6 metres

The interior

The biggest revolution in the Dacia Duster 2024 is to be found in the interior, which has been completely redesigned and is much more refined and technological. Even though the basic version, the Essential, has been stripped down to its bare essentials, with no central screen or digital instrumentation. This choice is in keeping with the company's tradition of offering what is truly essential, leaving out the superfluous, for the benefit of the sale price.

In the most luxurious versions, the digital instrumentation is displayed on a 7-inch screen, while in the centre, in a raised position, is a 10.1-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, including in wireless mode. Underneath are the physical buttons for the climate control, while the central tunnel houses the inductive charging plate for smartphones, the small selector for the wired transmission (for versions with automatic transmission) and various object holders.

Space is good; those sitting on the rear bench seat have the necessary centimetres for their head and legs and two USB type C sockets, but no air vents. The boot capacity has been increased from a minimum of 473 litres to a maximum of 1,373 litres.

<p>Dacia Duster 2024, gli interni</p>

Dacia Duster 2024, the interior

Inside, the Suzuki S-Cross dispenses with digital instrumentation, while in the centre, still in a high position, is the 7" or 9" screen of the infotainment system, which is of course compatible with the various mirroring systems, even without the need for a cable.

At the bottom are the physical climate controls and a single USB type A socket. There is also no optional wireless smartphone charging compartment.

In terms of space, the Suzuki S-Cross replicates what we see on the Dacia Duster, and even tall passengers aren't short-changed when they sit in the back seat. On the contrary, the boot offers a capacity of between 430 and 1,265 litres.

<p>Suzuki S-Cross, gli interni</p>

Suzuki S-Cross, interior

Model Digital instrumentation Central monitor Boot capacity
Dacia Duster 7-inch 10.1-inch 473 - 1,373 litres 
Suzuki S-Cross not available 7 - 9-inch 430 - 1,265 litres

Engines

With the new generation, the Dacia Duster 2024 adopts electrified engines for the first time: the 1.2-litre mild hybrid with 130 PS and the 1.6-litre full hybrid with 140 PS. The diesel has been dropped, while the 1.0-litre LPG has been confirmed. The 2024 Duster can also be fitted with all-wheel drive, coupled only to the 1.2-litre mild hybrid and the 6-speed manual gearbox.

LPG aside, the Suzuki S-Cross offers the same type of engines: a 1.4-litre mild hybrid with 130 PS and a 1.5-litre full hybrid with 115 PS, both of which can be coupled with real all-wheel drive, not 'hybrid': the combustion engine drives the rear wheels. Just like the Duster.

<p>Dacia Duster 2024, il posteriore</p>

Dacia Duster 2024, the rear

<p>Suzuki S-Cross, il posteriore</p>

Suzuki S-Cross, the rear

Model LPG Mild hybrid Full hybrid
Dacia Duster 1.0 100 PS 1.2 130 PS 1.6 140 PS
Suzuki S-Cross n.a. 1.4 130 PS 1.5 115 PS

Selling prices

Prices for the Dacia Duster 2024 start at €19,690 for the Essentiel equipped with the 1.0-litre 100 PS LPG and rise to €28,100 for the Extreme and Journey equipped with the 1.6 full hybrid. As mentioned, the standard base version offers the bare essentials: 16-inch steel wheels, Eco-LED lights, black fixed roof bars, rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assistant, manual air conditioning, cruise control and a 3.5-inch trip computer. To get the digital instrumentation and central monitor, you have to go up a notch with the Expression, from €21,600.

The Suzuki S-Cross, meanwhile, has a list that soars with a base price of €23,660 (£26,099 in the UK) for the mild hybrid with 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, rear parking sensors, heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch central screen and various driver assistance systems.

Model Minimum price Maximum price
Dacia Duster €19,690 €28,100
Suzuki S-Cross €23,660 €36,290