Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 10 March 2017
Sometimes the simpler things in life are the most fun. That simple bar of chocolate, that simple pair of denim’s, that simple hike up the mountain. This same sense of simple enjoyment is offered up when you drive a Renault Duster with 4 wheel drive.
On The Road
The Duster offers an uncomplicated and comfortable driving experience. It’s designed around comfort rather than driver dynamics. The larger “nobly” tyres that come on the 4WD Duster, make it planted and stable no matter the road surface. The 1.5-litre dCI turbo diesel motor is incredibly good at achieving great fuel economy figures ( Renault claim 4.8-litres/100km), and the engine produces 240 Nm of torque. I averaged 7.2-litres/100km around city conditions and found overall power delivery to be smooth and easily accessible throughout the whole rev-range.
This being the Duster 4WD model, it has the ability to lock the centre differential. Power can either be sent to the front wheels, as it is during normal driving conditions, or the system can be set to stay in an auto mode for four-wheel drive on rougher terrain. Whether you drive over rough gravel roads or take the Duster into the sand, the Renault doesn’t mind the rough stuff, and the vehicle performs impressively well.
Renault offers their R-Link multimedia entertainment system on Dynamique models throughout their line-up. The system combines 7-inches of colour screen realty and offers everything from Bluetooth mobility to built-in mapping and navigation as standard. The R-Link system also has a USB port for delivery of your media content. With this latest generation Duster, Renault has also added a reversing camera with audible warning and cruise control as standard.
Overall interior space is more than ample for a compact family SUV, with the back seats being able to offer up space for smaller occupants in terms of overall legroom, but having a large amount of headroom.
The Duster manages to pack a spacious interior, impressive cabin tech, an economic ride with rugged appeal. With its simple get out there and just get the job done mindset, driving the Duster is refreshingly simple and enjoyable. Priced at R304,900 this vehicle provides an affordable family entry into the SUV market. The addition of the 16-inch blackened alloys and re-designed front lights and rear tail lights makes a welcome addition and sharpens Duster’s appearance.
Full Renault Duster SA Pricing
Pricing includes 5-year/150 000 km warranty and 2-year/30 000 km service plan. Service intervals are at 15 000 km.