2021 Dacia Duster facelift revealed: price, specs and release date
Updated Dacia Duster family SUV gets tweaked styling, an upgraded interior and a wider range of safety kit...
On sale: Late summer | Price from: £12,500 (est)
As any younger sibling will tell you, sometimes you just have to wait your turn. So while a whole host of Dacia models have made their debuts in recent months, the Dacia Duster family SUV has been sitting in the corner, patiently waiting for the right time to receive its mid-life refresh. And, finally, here it is.
With bolder looks including more aggressive front and rear bumpers, a wider choice of alloy wheels and new headlights with LED indicators, the new Duster should have no trouble standing out against a field of rivals that includes the Seat Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Renault Kadjar.
Inside, you'll find a new 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system which replaces the 7.0in screen of the old car. We criticised Dacia's old set-up for its low-resolution graphics and a clunky operating system, but if this new system is anything like the one in the latest Sandero, it should be much better to get along with.
The basic Media Display system gets DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports and a wired smartphone connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as voice recognition. The Media Nav system, meanwhile, adds on-board sat-nav and wireless smartphone mirroring.
Regardless of which system you choose, each has a dedicated display to show you how economically you're driving, plus a 4x4 Monitor with an altimeter and inclinometer in four-wheel drive models.
There are also new seats that promise to be more supportive for comfort on longer journeys, plus a new centre console which a wider armrest. This also hides a small storage compartment under the armrest, plus two additional USB sockets so that rear-seat passengers can charge their devices.
While value is still very much at the Duster's core, standard kit on all models still includes automatic lights, cruise control and a 3.5in screen in the instrument cluster. Go for a model higher up the range, though, and you'll unlock extras including climate control and heated front seats.
The Duster's engine line-up consists of an 89bhp 1.0-litre petrol, badged as the TCe 90, which acts as the entry point to the range. Next up is the mid-rung 128bhp 1.3-litre TCe 130 petrol, which is our preferred choice in the current Duster, while the 148bhp 1.3-litre TCe 150 sits at the top of the line-up. Buyers who will be covering lots of mile can choose from either a 113bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine or a bi-fuel 1.0-litre TCe 100 that can run on either petrol or natural gas (LPG).
Available safety kit on this updated Duster includes a blind spot warning, parking sensors and a multiview camera that can display an image of what's behind or to the side of you on the car's infotainment screen.
There's no change to the Duster's passenger or luggage space, so you'll just about squeeze three adults onto the rear bench, while the boot is large by family SUV standards and a family's holiday luggage will likely pose no trouble.
Pricing for this facelifted Duster hasn't been announced yet, but Dacia won't want to increase it by too much; the Duster is currently the cheapest new SUV you can buy and a starting price of around £12,500 would allow it to retain that title.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Best family SUVs 2021
Want practicality, class and an elevated driving position in a relatively small package? Then these are the top 10 cars you should be looking at – and the ones that are best avoided
Dacia Duster long-term test review
The new Dacia Duster is our favourite family SUV in the lowest price point. So, does it exceed expectations of a £15k car?