RENAULT has experienced steady growth this year recording 1114 sales in August alone, of which 499 units were Clios.
The good news is that this positive trend is likely to continue with the launch of Renault’s newest offering – the Duster, which, like the Clio, has been aggressively priced.
After its SA launch in the Western Cape, the Duster has not disappointed in
its performance on tar and gravel. The first thing you’ll notice when
driving the Duster is its compliant ride quality.
Fitted with a MacPherson strut front/multi-link rear suspension arrangement and boasting a ground clearance of 210mmm there isn’t a surface that doesn’t suit the Duster. In fact it’s pretty proficient off the beaten track with approach, departure and break over angles measuring in at 30, 36 and 23 degrees respectively. While lacking dedicated low range function the first gear ratio is short enough (5.79kph at 1000rpm) to hold the vehicle back
when going downhill and help traverse challenging terrain without the worry of damaging the clutch. There’s also a rotary 4WD switch which lets the driver choose between 2WD, lock (permanent AWD) and auto, which distributes torque across all four wheels depending on grip.
Two engine choices are available: a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre good for 75kW and 145Nm of torque and a 1.5-litre turbodiesel rated at 80kW and 240Nm. We evaluated the top-of-the-range version 4×4 Dynamique turbodiesel.
The K9K turbodiesel lump delivers a progressive mix of performance and economy and if driven diligently you’ll see fuel consumption figures of around 5.3lk/100km – I managed 6.7 over the challenging launch route. On the practicality front the Duster also offers a huge amount of space inside –the boot is rated at 472l (more than your average c-segment sedan) and easily seats five adults. The interior trim isn’t what you’d call premium but it’s functional and hard-wearing to cope with the rigours of everyday life not to mention a troop of toddlers.
Specification-wise the Renault Duster is well equipped regardless of trim level. Standard on Expression models are 16-inch wheels, roof bars, colour-coded mirrors and fog lights to go with comprehensive safety programs such as ABS, with EBD, EBA and several airbags. Mod-cons include air-con, radio with Bluetooth and USB, power windows, park distance control, electric mirrors and central locking. That’s unbelievable value for money! Dynamique
trim adds alloys wheels, satin-chrome bars, mirrors and front and rear scuff plates as well as a touchscreen satnav system and a host of interior trim additions.
Priced from below the psychological R200k threshold the Duster should attract a huge audience, especially considering the functionality and value for money it brings to the equation. Included in the asking price is a 3-year/45 000km service plan and a 5-year/150 000km warranty.
1.6 Expression 4×2 R194 900
1.6 Dynamique 4×2 R204 900
1.5 dCi Dynamique 4×2 R219 900
1.5 dCi Dynamique 4×4 R239 900