While many of Renault’s rivals criticized and made fun of the French for taking a relatively unknown East-European producer and turning it into a Continental brand, they quickly shut up after seeing models such as the Sandero and Duster SUV.
The Dacia Duster is a subcompact SUV/crossover – a model that entered a niche segment that has since exploded and somehow managed to retain its ability to entice customers. That’s because while most of the B class crossovers today (including the top seller Renault Captur) have close to no off-roading credentials, the Duster – which married the Clio 2 platform to 4×4 components from Nissan models – is a model that hits the sweetspot. You can have it as a 4×2 and will deliver classic crossover credentials. Or you can go for the 4×4 model which even comes with a locking mode to deliver 50% power to both axles. And off-roading prowess ensued. Just check YouTube if you don’t believe us.
Now since the Duster facelift has also grown long in the tooth, Dacia is preparing the second generation model. And while the last time around no one was having expectations, the success of the first iteration has quickly established a high standard. So far the model hasn’t been doing the rumor mill’s rounds too much, but that might change as we stumbled upon a reported spy photo of the new generation’s dashboard. First and foremost, the steering wheel looks completely new, and there’s even a regular honk button on the airbag protection. Unfortunately, the instrument cluster looks unchanged – and we’re hoping it’s just an unfinished pre-production unit.