While the second-generation Duster’s outward appearance is similar to that of its predecessor, Dacia insists that every single body panel on the SUV is new.
The styling changes that have been made seem relatively subtle and minor at first glance, but when you look closer and consider them together they do work to give the Duster an appearance that’s more sophisticated than before.
At the front, the design of the headlight clusters has been overhauled, while the headlights themselves have been moved closer to the lateral extremities of the front end in order to emphasise the Duster’s width. There’s a new grille, while the base of the car’s windscreen has been brought forward by 100mm and the screen itself is now more steeply raked (or less upright) to give the impression that there’s more room in the cabin.
Round the back, new tail-lights – which could almost have been lifted straight off the back of a Jeep Renegade and rotated through 45deg – are the most noticeable change.
For now, two four-cylinder engines are offered: the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol found in our test vehicle and a 1.5-litre diesel. Both develop 113bhp at 5500rpm, while torque stands at 115lb ft at 4000rpm for the petrol, rising to a meatier 192lb ft at 1750rpm for the oil-burner. Four-wheel drive is currently available exclusively on petrol-powered Dusters, although ours was front driven. A five-speed manual transmission was standard on our two-wheel-drive petrol, while diesel and four-wheel-drive petrols use a six-speed ’box.