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"We're absolutely full-on on that": 2025 Renault Duster on track for Australia, with third-gen, rebadged version of Dacia's small SUV offering rugged design and new hybrid powertrains to compete with MG ZS, Hyundai Kona and Haval Jolion

The new Duster is underpinned by the Renault-Nissan ‘CMF-B’ platform.

Renault Australia’s General Manager, Glen Sealey, is bullish about the prospects for the much-anticipated local introduction of a Renault-badged version of the latest, third-generation Dacia Duster small SUV, telling CarsGuide, “we’re absolutely full-on on that”.

“We always said our aim was to bring in a version of the all-new Duster. And once that gets into production you’ll hear a lot more about that,” he said.

Worth noting CarsGuide saw an internal memo in late 2023 pointing to the order books opening locally in the final quarter of this year.

The Romanian Renault Group brand is well-known in Europe, but its products are typically rebadged as Renault for global (usually right-hand-drive) export consumption.

As Mr Sealey told CarsGuide, “Australia doesn't need another brand, right? Duster in India is a Renault. Duster in South Africa is a Renault, so it’s not a deviation from policy.”

Unveiled late last year and set to be shown publicly for the first time at this month's Geneva motor show, the new Duster is underpinned by the Renault-Nissan ‘CMF-B’ platform shared with the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, with production coming from Dacia’s main plant in Pitesti, Romania.

Measuring just over 4.3m long, a fraction over 1.8m wide and close to 1.7m tall, it’s offered with two petrol powertrains and 4x4 availability.

In the Duster Hybrid 140, a 1.6-litre four-cylinder is matched with twin electric motors (a 37kW powerplant and a high-voltage starter generator) for a total output of 104kW.

The Duster TCe 130 is powered by a 1.2-litre ‘Miller Cycle’ turbo three-cylinder with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance in 4x2 and 4x4 versions.

The latest Duster is built upon the Renault-Nissan 'CMF-B' platform, which it shares with the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke.

In Europe the Dacia Duster is to be offered in four grades - Essential, Expression, Extreme and Journey - and a keenly priced Duster could offer Renault Australia a strong rival to the category-leading MG ZS, which starts from $23,990 drive-away, with more premium variants potentially lining up against the GWM Haval Jolion (from $28,490), Hyundai Kona (from $32,000) and Mazda CX-30 (from $32,990).

As Mr Sealey said: “The car will be at Geneva. That’s the unveiling. Once it gets into production we begin our hard work. But I can tell you we’re well and truly down the path on that car.”

James Cleary
Deputy Editor
As a small boy James often sat on a lounge with three shoes in front of him, a ruler between the cushions, and a circular drinks tray in his hands....
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