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Renault Duster


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Jan 2, 2007
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Cali, Colombia
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This is a car I had in 2014 assemled at the SOFASA plant in Colombia. It is badged Dacia in England, India and some other courts. It benifits from the relation between Renault and Nissan by having Nissan's three mode drive system: front wheel drive, auto four wheel drive or AWD which can be used on paved roads and locked four wheel drive. It doesn't have a transfer case with low range but has a six speed manual transmission in which first is very low like the old "granny gear" of yore not used in normal start up on level roads. They are pretty capable off road when shod with the right tires. The Duster arrives at SOFASA to be assembled from a CKD (complete knock down kit) shipped from the Dacia plant in Romania. Colombia assembled versions are exported to Mexico and some South American countries. It is the police car of choice.

I have heard good things and not so good things about the Duster.

For instance, the ones destined for the UK (right hand drive) are/were manufactured in India and were nicknamed "Rusty Dusters" as the steel was not treated properly to resist corrosion / the salt put on the roads of northern Europe. That changed a few years ago (production moved to Romania).

Other than that, the ones made in Romania have a good reputation. The engines / engineering come out of previous generation Renault production (read 10 to 15 years ago) so may not be the most recent in terms of efficiency and the interiors are "rough" compared to more expensive modern European cars (even a VW product from 20 years ago).

That being said, having sat in one, I see nothing wrong with them and would happily own one especially for their low price, but I would not buy a used one with 150'000km as Renault engines (petrol or diesel) are not known for their longevity past that point.
We have lots of these cars here in the UK.....
FBPB yes I have read about the issues with the Indian manufactured ones. The only issue with ones here that I know of is rear shocks leaking early.
Jef15 yes you have lots of the Dacia badged ones. The car would only be unknown to American posters.

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