If the European car industry does not squeeze itself into a corner waiting for Chinese brands to wipe it off the map in the late 2020s, it will be largely due to the fact that some manufacturers are sticking to hybrid models with a gasoline engine that is. cheaper than electric cars. One of the hopeful survivors may be Dacia, as it became the world’s leading budget car maker under Renault’s control over the past decade. The entry-level model called Sandero has been at the top of the European sales list several times because it is spacious, practical and, despite its second-rate technical solutions, quite affordable.
The recipe for the third-generation Duster SUV presented on Wednesday is the same. The first generation model was launched in 2010, there were only model changes after seven years, and a total of 2.2 million copies have been sold so far. In 2019, more than 200,000 Dusters were produced in developed European countries, almost all of them came off the assembly line of the parent company in Pitesti, but the type is also known in India and Mexico, and even before the war it was also produced. in Russia, although there under the Renault brand, the local market.
The new model is the same length of 4.34 meters as the previous one, but slightly lower, 1.66 meters. It has a width of 1.81 meters, making it slightly larger than before. The basic shape is more angular and robust, but the all-new Duster is easily recognizable with its LED headlights and taillights and large unpainted plastic fenders that protect the body. Renault is very serious about the character of the everyday hero that was emphasized in the model description, the ground clearance of the Duster wheel car is 217 millimeters, which is a record in the segment.
Thanks to the short front and rear parts of the body, the front and rear ground angles are 31 and 36 degrees, respectively, so the Duster will not blow its nose even at low altitudes, but it is not necessary to expect it. any friction when going down a hill, where however from 0 Electronics supports the driver up to a speed of 30 km/h.
The interior of the new Dacia has the same simple design as that of all Romanian cars of the time, but it is wider at the front and back than before. 20% of all plastics in the car are recycled and unvarnished, a combination developed at Dacia. There were many of these near the passenger, but there was also a cloth cover. These are simple and easy solutions, and the message is clear: buy a Dacia for those who can refuse any interpretation of needle-carved luxury.
A 7-inch display is visible in front of the driver in the non-budget Dusters, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the eco model is placed in the middle. Finally, not only the messages of the infotainment system and the main functions of the car can be displayed and controlled, but it can also be used to connect the phone via USB or bluetooth, and the software environment supports Apple Carplay and Android. Car rates.
The third-generation Duster is based on the CMF-B floor plate of the Renault group in the same way as the Clio, Nissan Juke, or Dacia Jogger. The boot space of the front-wheel drive version of the Romanian SUV is 472 liters on the base, which is only six percent more than that of the previous generation. At the same time, they will also offer a folding bed 190 cm long and 130 cm wide, which can be converted into a smart storage room when not in use, with an easily adjustable roof rail system, similar to. Jogger, can carry a load of 80 kg.
Most of the new Duster will probably be chosen by buyers with a front-wheel drive, as they have done so far, although the roads are not the biggest trip of their lives, they can still order a Dacia with all-wheel drive. run. Of the three engine variants, there is no diesel and only electric construction, currently the 140 horsepower hybrid developed by the Renault group a few years ago is the most attractive option. Inside, a 1.6-liter, 94-horsepower gasoline engine was combined with a 49-horsepower electric motor, supplemented by a starter generator.
Unlike Toyota hybrids, this one does not have a stepless planetary gear, but has four gears for the gasoline engine and two for the electric motor. The system control is completely electronic, there is no clutch, and Duster with this car always starts in electric mode, and only then the gasoline engine is turned on. Although, according to Dacia’s announcement, Dacia hybrid can work in electric mode in up to 80 percent of the cases, so its use in the city can be 40 percent lower, and in the case of mixed use, 20 percent lower than that of normal. gasoline car, don’t expect much from a car battery with a capacity of 1.2 kilowatt hours.
Perhaps, a 100 horsepower version of Duster called ECO-G, which can be filled with natural gas and gasoline, will not be common on the Hungarian market. In this regard, the factory promises that if the gas tank of 50 liters and the gas tank of 50 liters is full at the beginning, we can travel up to 1,300 km to the next well, and we can choose between types of fuel while going. . The 100 horsepower Dacia petrol produces on average 10 percent less carbon dioxide emissions compared to performance petrol cars. Today, few European manufacturers have stuck to LPG models, which explains why Dacia is the market leader in this segment today.
The third engine version, called TCE 130, has a 1.2-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which is assisted during acceleration by a 48-volt hybrid system with a battery with a capacity of 0.9 kilowatt hours, which works. inconspicuously reduce consumption and production. This powertrain is perhaps the closest thing to modern cars, as it will have a six-speed manual transmission, and is the only configuration that will be available with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Currently there is no official information on the price of the new Duster, but in recent years the brand has expressed many times and in many different ways that it no longer wants to develop as a cheap car manufacturer, but focuses on models with rights. price to value ratio. The low-cost, petrol, front-wheel drive version of the outgoing Duster series is available for less than HUF 6.4 million, while the more expensive Duster with all-wheel drive and a diesel engine costs HUF 8.9 million in Hungary.
Although these are incomprehensible amounts for many car buyers here, it is worth getting used to them, because the idea of affordability is slowly starting to change the content of the European car discourse, and the time is approaching when we will have to call the promised electric cars at a price of less than a million 10 as a deal, as before you can also see it in our articles about Volkswagen and Renault plans. The opposition continues at the moment, other manufacturers, including Suzuki and Dacia, compete successfully for the interests of many people who still want a traditional car in the 2020s and support the modest but fair offerings of many brands.