Sales success of SUV from Renault’s value-for-money brand prompted firm to take evolutionary approach to redesign
James Attwood, digital editor
12 September 2017

The new Dacia Duster has been revealed in full at the Frankfurt motor show. While the already revealed exterior of the SUV is an evolutionary design - which Laurens van den Acker, Groupe Renault's senior vice president, corporate design, said was down to its sales success, the interior has been substantially upgraded.

The Duster’s cabin has been reworked by Dacia to give it a more upmarket feel, although while ensuring that the machine remains affordable and usable. 

The dashboard has been redesigned, with the navigation system moved to the upper part of the dashboard. That system now includes an optional multi-view camera for the first time. Other new equipment options available on a Dacia for the first time include blind spot warning, automatic air conditioning and automatic headlights.

The latest Duster sits on the same platform as the 
old model and has identical overall dimensions, although the windscreen has been moved forward slightly to improve interior space. 

Dacia Day 2017: Autocar visits an owners' meet with a difference

The car now sports a broader front grille and wider headlights, and the rear lights have been moved to the corners. The square-wheel-arch style of the previous Duster has been retained with new roof bars added. 

Renault-owned Dacia has sold more than a million Dusters since 2010 and year-on-year sales are continuing to rise. Van den Acker said that influenced the firm’s thinking about the new model’s design. 

“The big revolution is that we’re not doing a revolution,” he said. “The Duster’s not
 at the end of its life. We
still can’t make enough to satisfy demand. So why change a good thing? But if you get close, you’ll see that everything has been touched.” 

Renault 'surprised' other firms haven't copied Dacia business model

Dacia design boss David Durand said ensuring 
the Duster retained an unpretentious feel, reflecting value for money, was vital. 

“The original brief was 
a white page, so we could explore everything — even if we did go back to familiar themes,” said Durand. 

“When we are designing a Dacia, we always think about the customer. For example, if we put too many decorative chrome parts on, he will sit in it and say: ‘This has no usage. Why am I paying for that?’” 

Dacia has yet to show the Duster’s new interior, but Durand said: “The car is a strategic evolution on the outside, but it’s more revolutionary inside.” 


Why didn’t you increase the size of the Duster?

“The Duster has a bit of a magical size. We felt there was more worth to be created for our customers by fixing the design ‘mistakes’. If we decide we’ll need a bigger car, we’ll do it with something else.” 

Did having Dacia help shape a design direction for Renault?

“Dacia helped us to push Renault in a more emotional direction. Renault has become more Latin, more emotional. Renault’s history is a little more humble than where we’ve pushed the brand to now, and I’m sure if we didn’t have Dacia, a part of the company would be saying : ‘Captur is great, but we used to have affordable cars. We need that as well.’” 

Can you explain Dacia’s success?

“Dacia is a brand that established itself and maybe those are the strongest brands. The customers took ownership of it, really. Sometimes, we joke the less we manage the Dacia brand, the better it goes. If we start thinking about it, we might mess it up!” 

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Renault 'surprised' other firms haven't copied Dacia business model

Our Verdict

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is a no-nonsense machine that wears its bargain price tag like a badge of honour. And we can’t help liking it for that.

Join the debate


30 August 2017

Difficult to see the basic, un-trinketed version in these official pics, but it's possibly lost the simplicity of the original. I loved the UN-white basic launch version - basic transportation with no pretensions. 

30 August 2017

Of all the reveals today - Bently, Porshce - this is the one that actually interests me the most. Either I'm getting old and cynical, or high-end vehicles aren't really progressing much between new infotainment screens and the like.

30 August 2017
m_bowl wrote:

Of all the reveals today - Bently, Porshce - this is the one that actually interests me the most. Either I'm getting old and cynical, or high-end vehicles aren't really progressing much between new infotainment screens and the like.

I agree with, although worth noting yhecreason the dimensions gave not changed is because this is just a facelift and not an all new car.  Whereas the Cayenne us all new but looks like a refresh only!

30 August 2017

For me, a facelift is a tinkering with the peripheral design elements of a car's design, like grilles, bumpers and light graphics, while leaving the sheetmetal largely alone. This new Duster might retain it's predecessor's platform, but it has an all-new body, complete with a windscreen that's been pushed 100mm further forward.

30 August 2017

These cars succeed these days because there's no such thing as a bad car anymore. Even a cheap SUV serves it's purpose well and cheap SUV's like this and the Vitara have a certain 2 fingers up in the air to Q2 and X3 type owners.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

30 August 2017

Good basic motoring that is proving poular where people are spending their own cash. Keep up the good work Renault.

Steam cars are due a revival.

30 August 2017

Just look at that ground clearance! Now that's a proper SUV.

30 August 2017
Guy08 wrote:

Just look at that ground clearance! Now that's a proper SUV.

Agree, and at a price your not going to cry over if it scrapes over a bit of rock unlike many of the 'best rated off-road' SUV's now in the 60K+ and then some range, where the only people taking them off road are journalists in demo cars they don't have to worry about damaging.

30 August 2017
Guy08 wrote:

Just look at that ground clearance! Now that's a proper SUV.

Agree, and not just the ground clearance. Look at the ramp and departure angles as well. You don't see that in SUVs designed exclusively for the roads.

30 August 2017

Actually looks bigger than the outgoing model , maybe it's just the shot. Something appealing about this no nonsense SUV  which is more purposeful than Mokas Jukes etc. Glad they have evolved the design as it's a good formula that seems to work. 


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