The facelifted 2022 Dacia Duster SUV has been unveiled in Europe – a model that's likely to be high on the wish list for Dacia's slated Australian launch in 2022.
Dacia – a Romanian budget brand owned by Renault – has treated the Duster to a revised exterior design in line with its latest Sandero and Logan models, plus new interior technology and the addition of a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
New headlight units with Y-shaped daytime-running lights (as per the Sandero) and a revised front grille pattern feature up front, with the Y-shaped theme continuing into the tail-lights at the rear.
A reworked rear bumper design and new 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels "put to the test in a wind tunnel" claim to have improved aerodynamics, combining with more efficient tyres (offering a 10 per cent reduction in rolling resistance on two-wheel-drive models) for a 5.8g/km reduction in CO2 emissions on all-wheel-drive versions.
Inside, a new 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen features as standard, offering wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, six speakers and voice recognition is standard. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with inbuilt satellite navigation can be had as options.
Other interior updates include new fabric seat upholstery, redesigned front-seat headrests, and a higher centre console with a sliding armrest. Automatic climate control and heated front seats on flagship models are carried over from the pre-facelift model.
New for 2021 is a '4x4 Monitor' display within the infotainment system on all-wheel-drive models, which displays pitch and roll angles, a compass, altimeter and a "summary log" of an off-road journey.
Dacia claims ground clearance ratings of 217mm and 214mm for front- and all-wheel-drive models respectively, along with a 30-degree approach angle, 21-degree breakover angle and 33 to 34-degree departure angles, depending on model.
Under the bonnet, the range-topping 110kW/250Nm 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder gains a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while Europe's 74kW Bi-Fuel petrol and LPG engine scores a larger gas tank.
Other engines on offer include a 66kW/160Nm 1.0-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder, 96kW/240Nm 1.3-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder and an 85kW/260Nm 1.5-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder – all paired to six-speed manuals and front-wheel drive, bar an available all-wheel drive option for the 1.5-litre diesel engine.
Keeping retail prices down is a lack of active safety features, with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition and driver attention monitoring all not available on any Duster varaint.
Blind-spot monitoring is available, however, along with rear parking sensors, hill-hold assist, multi-view cameras and, on all-paw models, hill-descent control.
The facelifted 2022 Dacia Duster will go on sale in Europe later this year.
While an Australian launch for the Dacia brand has yet to be officially locked in, expect the Duster to lead the local range if it's brought Down Under next year.
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