Read Caroline’s Dacia Duster review for everything you need to know about buying Dacia’s popular compact SUV in Ireland in 2022.

The Dacia Duster has been a huge success in Ireland since it was first launched back in 2013. Over 14,000 Dusters have found homes in Ireland since it first went on sale.

Now in its second generation, Dacia has updated the Duster again for 2022.  Duster gets more modern features to keep it competitive in the compact SUV segment.

Dacia is truly carving out an identity for itself beyond the brand’s budget beginnings. 2021 saw the launch of the new Sandero and Sandero Stepway, with this model securing the title of Continental Tyres Irish Compact Car of the Year.

2022 will also see the launch of the brand’s first seven seat model, the Dacia Jogger.

The new Dacia Duster on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Dacia Duster on test for Changing Lanes!

What’s so special about the Dacia Duster?

But the Duster is a brand-defining car for Dacia, the one that really put the brand on the map here. It’s perfectly placed to make the most of a market in love with the SUV.

It’s available with petrol, petrol/LPG or diesel engines, with 4WD available as an option too.

Priced from €21,190, the Dacia Duster remains one of Ireland’s truly affordable new cars.

The Duster is now very recognisable on Irish roads for its chunky, rugged design. You don’t mess with an icon! So the Duster facelift has been minor. New light units include Y-shaped daytime running lights, which look more contemporary and seem to fit better, especially at the rear. This new shape also inspired the new 3D chromed radiator grille. Front LED direction indicators debut here for the first time in the Dacia range.

There’s also a new colour – Arizona Orange – that really makes the Duster pop.

Dacia says Duster’s aerodynamic performance has been improved with the simple design of the new rear spoiler and 16/17-inch alloy rims.

The Duster goes on sale in Ireland priced from €21,190
The Duster goes on sale in Ireland priced from €21,190

Inside the 2022 Dacia Duster

Inside, the cabin of the Duster is lifted by the addition of a new 8″ touchscreen with more modern graphics and a glossier finish. It replaces the old 7″ unit.

The USB ports have also moved to a neater location further down in the centre console so the cable no longer dangles across the touchscreen.

The cabin is composed almost entirely of hard plastic in line with the car’s budget positioning in the market. But Duster somehow gets away with it. It’s reassuringly basic. The new infotainment system certainly helps improve the cabin feel.

The cruise control buttons have been moved to a stalk on the multifunction steering wheel. There’s also new upholstery and new slimmer headrests.

Dimensions have not changed but the Dacia Duster’s boxy shape still makes it very practical and great value for the money. Duster will seat five, with the rear footwells offering more space than many more salubrious rivals in the B-SUV segment. The high roofline gives loads of headroom, adding to that feeling of space.

The boot is also a good size with up to 478 litres available in two wheel drive models, and 467 in four wheel drive Dusters. Isofix child-seat mounting points are fitted to the outer rear seats.

The interior of the Dacia Duster
The interior of the Dacia Duster

What are my options?

The new Duster is available in Ireland with petrol and diesel engines in 2022, as well as a petrol/LPG ‘bifuel option’ by special order. All wheel drive is available on diesel models.

The range kicks off with the 1.0-litre TCe petrol engine with 90 hp and a manual gearbox at €21,190. There’s also a new petrol/LPG option priced the same, with 100 hp and a 6-speed manual gearbox.

It can run on petrol alone, but benefits from having an LPG tank fitted beneath the floor of the boot, in place of the spare wheel. LPG (liquid petroleum gas) is sold cheaper at the pump than petrol from some fuel stations around Ireland.

The diesel option in the Duster range is the familiar 1.5-litre dCi with 115 hp available in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. Four wheel drive Dusters are available from €26,140. They are extremely capable off-road for a small SUV, as I found out driving the Duster 4×4 in France.

With a bit more power, Duster is offered with a 1.3-litre TCe 150 hp petrol engine. It’s sold as two wheel drive. It is the only engine in the range offered with an automatic gearbox.

Rear seating in the Duster
Rear seating in the Duster

Driving the Dacia Duster

The latest Duster features a new type of tyre, no matter which version a customer opts for. The two-wheel drive version is fitted with ‘green’ CO2-optimised tyres as standard. It’s said to give a 10 per cent reduction in rolling resistance.

The Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi is a reliable companion for the Duster with a good return on economy. My average fuel consumption over a week of driving was 5.3 litres per 100 km. Performance is adequate for this class of vehicle, with the diesel offering a healthy amount of torque to keep the Duster moving competently from town to motorway.

Behind the wheel, the high driving position gives the Duster the surprising feeling of an authentic off-roader. The diesel can get noisy under acceleration but it’s simple to drive, with light controls and good agility.

Duster’s all-electric power steering has been recalibrated on medium and high speed driving. So from 70 km/h, the steering becomes slightly heavier but the Duster is not the sharpest performer in its class with more body roll than some competitors. Yet it’s comfortable where it matters over long distances and copes with rougher surfaces on rural roads and in town reasonably well too.

The Dacia Duster is a great value small SUV
The Dacia Duster is a great value small SUV

Anything else?

In Ireland the Duster is available in three trim levels: Essential, Comfort and Prestige. There’s also a limited edition Extreme model.

The Duster Essential (from €21,190) has steel wheels, automatic headlights, and black roof bars. Inside there’s a height and reach-adjustable steering column, cruise control with speed limiter, on-board computer, DAB Radio and manual air conditioning.

The Comfort (from €23,390) is more desirable for 16-inch alloy wheels, black-painted heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, body-coloured door handles, front fog lights, and hill descent control. The interior has upgraded upholstery, height-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, leather steering wheel, electric rear windows, rear parking sensors with rear camera, and the 8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto® and Apple CarPlay®.

The Prestige trim (from €25,290) adds 17-inch alloy wheels, grey door mirrors and roof bars, dark-tinted rear windows, and an acoustic windscreen. Inside there’s automatic air conditioning, keyless entry, multiview camera, front parking sensors, blind spot warning system, heated seats, on-board navigation system and wireless smartphone connectivity for Android Auto® and Apple CarPlay®.

The Duster Extreme (from €25,590) has 17″ black alloy wheels, orange inserts on the front grille, side-mirror housing, roof rails, and tailboard, and inside on the air-vents, door panels, and centre console. There’s also special fabric/TEP upholstery with orange stitching. There’s an exclusive colour too – Urban Grey.

The Duster holds a 3-star Euro NCAP safety rating with some safety equipment like lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking still absent.

The new Dacia Duster Extreme limited edition
The new Dacia Duster Extreme limited edition

Did you like it?

The latest edition of the Duster gets a smartening up all round with a timely upgrade to the infotainment. This goes a long way to lift the cabin, though it is still on the more austere side compared to more expensive models.

Duster is the lovable rogue of the B-SUV class. It looks great with a tough utilitarian look. Even basic models have a simple rugged charm to them.

Clearly the Duster is not the one to get for cutting edge technology. Power still comes exclusively from combustion engines, keeping the price accessible in the Irish market. Though the Duster Bi-Fuel that can run on LPG is an intriguing option at a time when fuel prices are at their highest.

The Dacia Duster offers a lot for a five seat SUV. With that sort of pricing, it’s impossible to ignore in today’s market for cheap and accessible motoring!

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

Model tested: Dacia Duster dCi 115 Comfort
1.5-litre turbo diesel
115 hp
260 Nm
10.5 seconds
Top speed: 
179 km/h
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 
111 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€200 per year