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Dacia Duster (2010) first official photos

By Richard Webber

First Official Pictures

08 December 2009 15:50

This is our first look at the new 2010 Duster – the new economy crossover from Dacia.

My memory’s a little dusty – remind me about Dacia...

Dacia has been building cars in Romania since 1966, and, since a Renault takeover in 1999, has expanded to produce over half a million cars annually, built at plants across the world and sold in countries as diverse as Germany, Iran, Russia, Morocco and Colombia.

Since 2004 all of its cars have been based on the company’s B0 – that's zero, not a whiffy 'O' – platform, and top sellers are the mid-sized Logan saloon and estate, and the five-door Sandero hatchback.

Didn’t Dacia present a crossover concept at Geneva 2009?

So you don’t see the resemblance? Yes, the Duster concept appeared at Geneva, and though we’re used to seeing production cars remain true to their concept these days, not so here.

The coupé profile, 21-inch alloys and suicide doors are, unsurprisingly, not present on this budget soft-roader, but the Duster is still a fairly handsome little chunker, sporting fluid lines not associated with the Logan or Sandero. It will seat five and is bigger than the Skoda Yeti, though 12% lighter than its Czech rival in two-wheel drive form.

Will the Duster clean up off road?

Don’t expect Landie-bothering performance away from the black top, but the Duster does have basic credentials for at least a jaunt across the golf course. It has a much wider track than the Logan, over 200mm ground clearance and a sump guard, and the four-wheel drive variant has a Nissan-sourced torque converter to make best use of available grip.

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