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Car Review: New Renault Duster

Redefining (and refining) toughness…

The new Renault Duster (which was revealed at the SA Festival of Motoring in August) is here and we headed to Nelspruit to see what this ‘unstoppable SUV’ has to offer…

Even before the launch of the new Duster, a number of my contemporaries have been including the Duster on their list of potential compact SUV off roaders. They’re looking for something that’s unpretentious, yet suitably refined, capable and affordable. If they felt that the outgoing model wasn’t ticking as many boxes as they’d like, the new Duster just might!

The Duster has always been an easy one to suggest, and the new one adds even more appeal with an all-new exterior design, new interior styling, upgraded features and even better off road capabilities.

On the outside…

I’ve always loved the look of the Duster. As someone who enjoys exploring SA’s roads and destinations on a regular basis, its robust and adventurous-looking exterior is perfectly suited. On the Dynamique model, black roof rails, black skid plates, black mirrors and colour coded door handles give the Duster that sporty feel. But its interior and driving enhancements are what really stick out for me. The previous Duster’s interior was just a tad too bland and not as ergonomically-friendly as I hoped it would one day be. Enter the new Duster, and you’re met with a far more refined and comfortable cabin to keep you satisfied on long roads or in traffic in the city. New seats embellished with the Duster logo, new door panel inserts and a revised instrument cluster have also been added. I’m particularly pleased about the positioning of the Duster’s infotainment system which now angles itself towards the driver, while aircon functions have been raised so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.

At launch we drove the range-topping 1.5 DCi Prestige model, which offers a power output of 66kW and 210 N.m of torque. Its six-speed EDC automatic gearbox is fast and responsive, and a real pleasure when you need to quickly overtake a slow moving vehicle. On gravel is where the new Duster really impresses. Even the most stubborn and uneven road surfaces are hardly a challenge, thanks to its enhanced driving dynamics – so if you’re the type of driver who likes to be daring and explore further than the average person, the Duster will most certainly get you there.

If you’ve had your eye on the Duster but haven’t been quite sure if it was up to spec, the new Duster will surprise you with all its enhancements. The introduction of a diverse range with an extremely competitive price point ranging from only R249 900, is going to be a strong selling-point for many, and we suspect we’ll be seeing even more Duster’s on the road soon.

Pricing details

As is standard across Renault’s entire product range, the new Renault Duster Model ranges comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at 15 000km intervals, and a standard 3year/45000km service plan applies.

RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICING

  • NEW Renault DUSTER 1.6 Expression 4X2                R249 900
  • NEW Renault DUSTER 1.5 dCi Dynamique 4×2            R282 900
  • NEW Renault DUSTER 1.5 dCi Dynamique  EDC 4×2      R316 900
  • NEW Renault DUSTER 1.5 dCi Dynamique  4×4            R321 900
  • NEW Renault DUSTER 1.5 dCi Prestige EDC 4×2            R334 900

 

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