Dacia is Duster and Duster is Dacia. That sums up everything that this model means for the brand, or what the brand itself stands for, namely this very model. It's almost like when awkward, freshly in love couples complete each other's sentences. If one says Dacia, the other answers Duster, and vice versa. Kind of disgusting, but to be honest ... also quite cute. But now back to the topic...

What is it?

If we really need to explain what this model is, you've probably spent the last few weeks on some car-free planet. Looking at the number of hits on the various articles we publish here every day, this third generation of the Dacia Duster really stands out.

Gallery: Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) review

No other vehicle in the recent past has received so much attention from our readers. Whether it's the first product presentation with all the details, the first driving report of the 131 PS 4x2 model or crazy (and unfortunately not real) renderings as a pick-up, a convertible or a coupé? These are also being devoured by readers. It will be interesting to see how long the delivery time for a new Duster will be.

And because demand somehow determines supply, we naturally take every opportunity to satisfy the hunger for the new Duster. The latest example? This fresh driving report that you clicked on because you seem to be interested in the all-wheel-drive version of this B-segment SUV. And on that note, off we go!

Fast data Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024)
Engine 1,199 cc R3 turbocharged petrol engine
Gearbox 6-speed manual gearbox
Drive system All-wheel drive
Power output

131 PS at 4,500 - 5,500 rpm

Torque 230 Nm at 2,100 - 3,500 rpm
Base price €24,650 (Expression trim in Germany)

With its 131 PS three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and all-wheel drive, the TCe 130 4x4 version could in some ways be described as the top model. If it weren't for the slightly more powerful hybrid version with multimode automatic transmission.

However, this drive is rather disappointing (the reasons for this will be given in a separate article soon) and the price-sensitive forest-and-meadow clientele probably prefers a semi-classic mild hybrid combustion engine with four driven wheels rather than a vehicle with partially electrified full hybrid front-wheel drive. Does it all make sense? Let's find out now.


Exterior | Interior | Driving report | Things to know and conclusion


Exterior

Visually distinguishing the 4x4 model from its supposedly less off-road-capable siblings is not so easy. Of course, there is the corresponding emblem on the tailgate, but then it gets difficult. Dacia gives the all-wheel drive Duster a touch more ground clearance (217 mm in total - 8 mm more), plus all-weather tyres as standard. And modified skirts so that the front (36 degrees) and rear (31 degrees) angles of approach are somewhat more generous. But otherwise, everything as we would expect from a fully equipped Duster - stylish and robust at the same time.

Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test
Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test
Dimensions Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024)
Length x width x height 4,343 mm x 1,813 mm x 1,656 mm
Wheelbase 2,657 mm
Unladen weight 1,465 kg
Boot capacity 456 - 1,548 litres
Payload 430 kg
Towing capacity 730 kg (unbraked) - 1,500 kg (braked, 12% gradient)

Interior

The interior is primarily intended to be pragmatic. A fundamentally honest attitude, which is expressed above all by a lot of hard plastic. Beyond that, however, the new Duster is in tune with the times. The 7-inch display behind the steering wheel? Clearly laid out. The 10.1-inch infotainment screen? Logically structured - if a little sluggish in terms of computing power. Climate control via analogue buttons? Perfect.

Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test

What's more, the new off-road vehicle has become significantly more spacious than its predecessor thanks to the CMF-B platform with almost identical exterior dimensions. And that applies to all seats. And while we're on the subject of seats, they have also become more comfortable. You can't expect wellness on the manually lockable seats, but at least acute slipped discs should now occur less frequently on longer journeys.

Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test
Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test

Also nice is the so-called "Youclip" feature, which is described as "Simply Clever" from Dacia. These are attachment points distributed throughout the vehicle for which useful accessories can be ordered. For example, smartphone or tablet holders, cup holders with hooks and lamps or other bits and bobs. When will the ice scraper in the petrol cap finally arrive? When Dacia?

Driving report

If you opt for the all-wheel drive model of the new Duster in the future, you will automatically be choosing the heaviest derivative in the range. In fact, even the hybrid version with its additional electric motor and automatic gearbox is lighter. We're only talking about 10 kg here, but still. How does the 1.5 tonnes translate into driving performance on paper? Here you go...

Driving performance Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024)
0-62 mph 11.0 sec.
Top speed 112 mph
WLTP fuel consumption 6.0 - 6.1 l/100km (47.0 - 46.3 mpg-UK)
emissions 135 - 137 g/km

Compared to the corresponding model of the previous generation (the 1.3 TCe 150 4x4), the new edition has not only lost performance in theory. Even subjectively, you can tell on the road that the new platform has made the Duster more comfortable on poor tarmac and more confident in bends, but we still miss the much more harmonious 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine under the now very strongly contoured bonnet.

Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test

So off-road quickly: After all, that's what we're here for, although the term "off-road" is of course a bit of an exaggeration when you're test driving in Germany and not in specially created off-road parks. So we have to make do with the tracks from everyday forester and hunter life. This means sometimes better and sometimes worse forest tracks, tiny twists and turns and the odd daring puddle crossing.

Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test
Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test

Sounds ridiculous, yes. And that's why we only leave the "Auto" mode for test purposes, to find out via the all-road monitor of the infotainment system whether the Duster really manages a fixed 50:50 distribution of drive power between the front and rear axles in "Lock".

Result: It does. But it's just pointless on routes that every other grandfather would have driven in a Beetle in the past without any downhill assistance. At least that's what he would say today.

Dacia Duster TCe 130 4x4 (2024) im Test

So the crucial question is: Would we generally trust the new Duster to tackle even more off-road terrain? And: How does it perform compared to its predecessor on unpaved roads? In a nutshell: Yes, and more confidently, despite the now more stylish appearance with plastic attachments in a recycled "Starkle" look and modern LED lighting.

Interesting facts and conclusion

The Duster is still affordable, but the test car in the pictures is of course no longer really affordable. The base price is always quoted at €18,950, but this is only the bare base model with a 100 PS LPG engine. The 131 PS all-wheel drive, the Extreme full equipment and one or two extras add up to around €30,000. The good news? Because the overall package is right and the model is no longer cheaply made, a fully equipped Dacia can cost that much today. The price-performance ratio is still right.