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Dacia Duster

Until recently, the Romanian company Dacia produced mostly small low-end models. But now with the help of partners from the group Renault-Nissan the situation changed. The lineup was replenished with new Duster - the first off-road vehicle in the brand's history. Its appearance was prefaced by eponymous concept that was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. It should be noted that the production model has nothing to do with its prototype. Romanian stylists have decided not to change the usual sleek design. The similarity with other Dacia is especially noticeable in the form of Duster doors. Nevertheless, the car looks more solid and courageous, than its “brothers”; this will be described in Dacia Duster Review.

Exterior

The firm and adult look is underlined by the massive bumpers and padded wheel arches. The running board, black protective moldings on bumpers and sills, as well as the metal plate covering the bottom – all that add the spirit of an offroadster. Stylish roof rails are available for securing luggage. On the one hand the car looks like a coupe, on the other like a mini-van. It's all about the doors, they are asymmetrical and designed for easy access to the salon. However, the most visible part is the narrow headlights; they are stretched on the entire length up to the door.

Interior

Despite its compact size, the coupe is quite spacious inside. The luggage compartment in the normal state is 475 liters and with the rear seats folded it reaches 1600 l. The most accessible version is equipped with front airbags and ABS anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distributor EBV; side-curtain airbags are available for a fee.

There is enough expression in the cabin. In particular, the driver's seat is an integral with the central tunnel. It is high, so the gear lever is just in a hand. The steering wheel looks original, and the fully transparent roof makes the interior brighter, the interior space is quite large. There is a huge 20-liter glove box and 8-liter compartments in the doors.

Powertrain

At option the Duster offers three engines. The petrol 1.6-liter engine develops 110 hp and aggregated with 5-speed manual transmission. Turbodiesel 1.5-liter is available in two versions (85 and 105 hp). It is available with 6-speed “mechanics”. Basic version is front-wheel, and for the extra charge it can be all wheel drive. It can be activated forcibly by pressing the Lock button: in this case, the torque is distributed uniformly along the axes. Improved flotation ability is gained due to ground clearance of 200 mm, large angle of approach (30 degrees) and departure (35 degrees).

Duster is a very compact car. In length it reaches 4.31 meters and width - 1.82 m. Basic modification weighs 1180 kg. Partners from Nissan helped with the platform, it was borrowed from the Qashqai model. Athletic proportions are emphasized by short overhangs, and huge 21-inch wheels make the design more vivid. Fuel consumption is 5.3 l / 100 km and CO2 emissions - 139 g / km.

Safety

Safety equipment includes: front seat belt pretensioners, airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags, inflatable curtains and a child seat mounting ISOFIX, seat belt reminder on front.

At crush test during a frontal impact the passenger compartment remained stable, but the fifth door cracked open. The protection of chest received satisfactory marks, the security of knees and hips is pretty good, but the lower part of the dashboard is dangerous for the feet of large physique drivers. During the side impact the door opened, and in a collision with a pillar the chest is threatened, neck protection is satisfactory. Safety of a child got the maximum points, both at frontal and side impact. Electronic Stability System is listed only as an option, as well as the technology of the seat-belt reminder of the front passenger.

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