By on June 25, 2013


Despite being one of the most antiquated vehicles in Renault’s lineup (at least from a technology standpoint), the Dacia Duster is still its most popular. Through the first 5 months of the year, the Duster sold 155,729 units in Europe, besting the Clio (139,397 units) Megane (133,116 units) and Sandero (124,918).

September will bring about a heavily revised (but not all new) Duster that will address the major shortcomings of the Duster, namely the relatively poor CO2 emissions as well as a lack of sound deadening. The interior will also be revamped to make it nicer than the current bare-bones version currently on sale.

Dacia is now making up as much as 40 percent of Renault’s sales, and the Duster, sold under both nameplates, is riding a wave of popularity around the world as consumers embrace crossovers like never before. But the growth of Dacia is a double-edged sword. Now that it’s no longer seen as a car brand for the underclass, middle-class professionals are embracing vehicles like the Duster as a frugal transportation option – and that’s eating into sales of Renault’s own vehicles.

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18 Comments on “Great News Everyone, The Dacia Duster Is Renault’s Best Seller...”

  • avatar

    It’s just so derpy looking, I couldn’t deal with it.

  • avatar

    Gee, Corey, and here I was thinking it’s selling well because it isn’t as goofy looking as the typical French car.

  • avatar

    And let’s not forget this is selling like hotcakes in India

    And consequently in a RHD fashion also in UK/Ireland.
    Here in Ireland I can see quite a few of these in the street even if it’s been sold just for a few months. It’s ranking about 15th on the market, with virtually no ad campaign (besides a basic yet active facebook page, and despite a lousy website)

    • 0 avatar

      The Dacia guy at the local Renault dealer told me that most of the cars that make up the last couple of months sales figures haven’t even been delivered yet, there’s an 12-18 week delay for RHD cars because people are ordering models that were not expected to be so popular.

      He said that some people have had free upgrades to the middle spec model from the base spec because they’ve waited so long and the middle spec model was already in the UK. Base spec has been hugely popular, the UK was expected to be a premium market.

  • avatar
    Joe K

    I blame James May

  • avatar

    Hey Derek, don’t need to try hard to find a better picture.

  • avatar

    I would be interested to know why it sells so well. I suspect I know why.
    I feel that other manufacturers need to be looking into this BUT..
    Us consumers need to know this to.

  • avatar

    It sells well because it’s cheap, useful and honest, and lacks the bloat so often seen in modern cars. We’ll see how it holds if/when the recession finally ends.

  • avatar

    Duster is not the oldest Renault car, wtf? It is by far the cheapest SUV on the market though, which is why it sells. It is SUV for cheaper than C class hatchback.

    Most Renault cars are in fact older than Duster, Duster is barely 3 years old!

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, it’s older technology though you’re right to say it’s not an old model. I think the petrol engine (in the UK, at least) pre-dates the current shape Clio and the diesel hasn’t been used in the UK for four years.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The Duster is built on a stretched Clio platform.

    I just came back from France a few weeks ago and there are lots of them. Most I say rattled past so they are diesel. I don’t know what size engine.

    In real life they look quite attractive. To the point where I think there would be a market in the US for them. A grill change would be welcomed though.

    The photo on TTAC the other day of the ‘Nissan’ Duster has a much more attractive grill.

    They are almost the size of a long wheel base RAV4.

  • avatar

    “. . . namely the relatively poor CO2 emissions . . .”

    Would anyone else rather see auto journalists refer to fuel consumption as fuel economy, or gas mileage, or hydrocarbon thirst, or pretty much anything but “CO2 emissions”?

  • avatar

    Hi all. I bought a brand new 2012 Dacia Duster Laureate 4×2 (built in Morocco) in December 2012 and cost me £12,000 GBP. One of the best decisions I have ever made and always look forward to driving it. 6,700km done already!

    The car drives very well on and off road; smooth, comfortable and soaks the bumps/potholes brilliantly. Great all round visibility and particularly comfortable in the back seat (so I’m told!!!). Boot is brilliant too and adequately equipped.

    There are a few things I don’t like about my 2012 model, which I’m sure Dacia will be revising in the new models, and they are as follows:

    1) The engine (1.6 Petrol) is just a tad noisy, thirsty and somewhat gutless when you hit the open road at high speeds, which I do occasionally in Spain. If given the option now, I would’ve gone for the dCi.

    2) Buttons for the windows are awkwardly placed. Front windows are on centre console and rear windows are down by the transmission console, at the feet of those sitting at the back. However, I understand that the 2013 model places them on the door as per every other car.

    3) Central locking is only available as remote central locking, doesn’t open all doors when opening with the key.

    4) At high speeds, you can hear the wind outside so you need wind deflectors for your windows.

    Apart from that, an excellent car well worth every penny. My only recommendation is to wait for the latest models after the revisions so minor irritations like the ones above are dealt with.

    Dacia are very popular where I live. The local dealer always sells the Dusters soon after stocking and are now stocking the Sandero, Dokker and Lodgy. In Morocco where they’re built, they are the nation’s favourite. The Moroccan taxi service is replacing their knackered out cars with brand new Dacia cars, covering the entire country.

    I’m a big fan of Dacia and they’re well worth keeping an eye on, easily the next big player.

    Hope you find my comment insightful! :-)

    Best wishes,

    A happy Dacia owner

  • avatar

    I had a Duster for 2 1/2 years myself in Spain and in response to your things you did not like I found

    1) The 1.5Dci 85BHP was just right for normal driving and gave me 47MPG in the life cycle of my ownership. If towing I suspect the 105BHP engine would have been required

    2) I only had electric front windows but did not find the switch position that bad and I can’t say I’m a fan of them in the doors as on my Lodgy that I now own for 1 year+.

    3) Central locking not happening with the key here in Spain is a good idea as you can throw your valuables onto the passenger seat and nobody can open that door in a distraction robbery. I believe other cars have this feature as well. You can of course always lock all doors from the inside central lock button as soon as you are in the car but the key method is best if traveling solo.

    4) Are you talking about wind noise with the windows up or down as I never found the wind noise that intrusive on my car and I seldom travel with the radio on.

    I personally found the style of the Duster very pleasant and inoffensive unlike several other 4×4 style vehicles and the whole of the range from Dacia looks pretty good in comparison with like for like vehicles.
    People said how ugly the Lodgy looks but put it side by side with a Chevrolet Orlando and they could almost be twins but nobody but nobody said the Orlando was ugly, could be because nobody expects American cars to look stylish though.

    My irritation was if you lifted the seat base to lower the seat back to get maximum volume in the back it was a terrible job to get the seat belt buckles back onto place, I solved it up to a point by connecting the buckles together before lowering the seat base back into position so I could pull the buckles through.

    Brilliant car and as you can read I’m a Dacia fan.

  • avatar

    Sorry should have read my own story better THROUGH not THREW.

  • avatar

    I wonder if Dacia Duster will ever become available in USA and Canada.

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