Sam says it’s a step up
Renault Duster has improved considerably. My first experience with the Duster, was satisfactory but not quite exciting. The latest version takes the car to a new level, so much so it is like I was driving a completely different car all together.
The Duster provides a comfortable and stable drive. Minor potholes or indents in the roads are basically non-existent in the car. The 1.5 turbodiesel engine offers 66 kW of power and 210 Nm of torque. Upshifting of the 6-speed Dual-Clutch EDC automatic gearbox was smooth and you barely felt the change which is not something I often feel with similar vehicles.
The tested vehicle, the EDC, was a diesel which may be part of the reason that I was able to get such great fuel economy from a car of that size. I was able to get 6L/100km with a variation of city and highway driving. The claimed consumption is set at 4.8L/100km and I believe it would be possible to get very close to this with a long-trip of highway driving.
I mentioned this recently, in another car that did the same thing, that I can’t quite get my head around the armrest that you need to lift to use the handbrake. I like an armrest but one like this is uncomfortable and finicky to use.
Another aspect that seemed odd, was there was a fair amount of tech and safety features, yet there was no reverse camera. While I am of the belief that these should be a nice-to-have for competent drivers, and not a necessity, I admit that when I was in a particularly tiny parking area and even smaller parking space, it would not have gone amiss at all. There were sensors but there was once or twice that a camera would have been appreciated.
Hovering around the R334 900 mark (for top of the range), the Duster offers serious value for money. It gives you the comfort of a larger car, great fuel efficiency for city driving, a comfortable interior and good looks from the exterior at the same price that many crossovers go for. Perhaps though, this is why something as simple as the reverse camera was neglected.
There is a modern infotainment system which is easy to use, including connecting to Bluetooth. I particularly enjoyed where it monitors your eco-driving and kept me acutely aware of my driving habits and, more importantly, avoiding the fuel-heavy ones. Admittedly I was not happy with my final score but it did drop steadily and with more time I could have been #winning.
The interior has seen quite an improvement. Better materials and a leather trim option, definitely make it feel as more luxurious and comfortable. The interior of the previous model was one of the areas that was quite disappointing for me. The interior is also quite spacious and the Duster has one of the biggest boots in the segment.
While, some feel the new model’s improvements focuses greatly on the exterior, I believe the Renault Duster presents improvements all round. At its price, it offers families looking for the slightly larger and more solid car, a fantastic option.
Good to know
Engine: 1.5 turbodiesel
Power: 66 kW
Torque: 210 Nm
Claimed fuel efficiency: 4.8L/100km
Price: from R249 900
Warranties: 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
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