Updated Renault Duster breaks cover in Dacia clothes

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Words: Matthew Hansen
23 Jun 2021

It might have only joined the Kiwi market last year, but the Renault Duster has been on offer in Europe for years under Renault’s budget sub-brand, Dacia.

Now, after four years in its current guise, Renault (sorry, Dacia) has given the Duster an update, showing it off online overnight.

In terms of aesthetics, the update is a mild one. The headlights and tail lights get new Y-shaped LED light signatures. There’s a new grille. And, there’s a new rear spoiler (you know, for downforce). The remainder of the somewhat handsome crossover’s outer shell is more or less unchanged, which isn’t a bad thing.

Changes inside are similarly minor, with the focus instead turning to tech. The Duster now features a new 8-inch infotainment system that will be standard in all models. There’s also more available safety features on the options list, including blind spot monitoring, parking assist, adaptive hill descent, and numerous exterior cameras.

Some of these features might seem a bit stingy to leave off the options list in 2021, but it’s worth remembering that the Duster has different market positioning in Europe relative to New Zealand. Models offered there are mostly lower spec, and priced at the very, very bottom end of the market.

Other new cabin features? Well, the upholstery is new, as is a 1.1-litre cubby hole under the arm rest and a smattering of new USB sockets for passengers front and rear. There’s also a 4x4 Monitor, which shows an altimeter, inclinometer, and compass for those getting their Duster dusty outdoors.

The biggest update of the bunch is undoubtedly under the bonnet. The updated engine line-up now adheres to Euro 6D emissions regulations. There’s no hybrid available, with Dacia issuing petrol, diesel, and petrol-LPG options for now. Each is hooked to a new-for-the-model six-speed dual clutch transmission.

There are two petrol units; a 1.0-litre producing 66kW and a 1.3-litre producing either 96kW or 110kW depending on the trim you buy. The lone diesel is a 1.5-litre unit producing 85kW. And, the curious bi-fuel powertrain uses a 1.0-litre engine and produces 74kW of power while complementing the 50-litre petrol tank with a 50-litre LPG tank.

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