The history of half tonners in SA is a long one as the selling points were always convenience and nimbleness. Remember the Ford Bantam and Nissan 140? Now, there could be a new kid on the block in the shape of a Renault Duster bakkie.
The Renault Duster has the most powerful petrol engine in its class but is it enough to instil confidence since replacing the old diesel powertrain? Considering the international-spec Renault Duster borrowed some technology from the beloved Nissan GT-R, what do you think?
The Renault Duster has been a popular choice in South Africa since its launch in 2013 selling more than 21 000 cars. It’s come a long way since then as the local line-up now consists of several variants, including the 1.6-litre petrol Renault Duster Expression 4×2, Dynamic 1.5dCI 4×4, Prestige 1.5dCi EDC and the latest addition, the Renault Duster TechRoad spec.
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Put the larger split rear seat flat and you can load a double bass flat in the back of a Renault Duster. Put the bass on its side and you can fit in a string quartet, including the cello. This was not possible in the old shape X-Trail, then considered the king of cargo.
If the reader suspects the writer has first-hand knowledge of the Renault Duster, this is true.
The French automaker has done it again as the all-new Renault Duster TechRoad looks incredible and so does the price and all the features. It adds even further impetus to the already impressive range especially considering the successful launch of the new Renault Duster SUV in 2018 and the 4×4 version not too long ago.
South Africans seem to love SUVs more than most and with options like the new Renault Duster, this competitive segment has reached a boiling point. At first glance, the second generation Renault Duster may look similar to the current model but it has more finesse and a touch of modernity. Over and above the exterior design, performance is impressive and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the economy, especially considering the price of fuel nowadays.
If there is one thing that South African motorists are renowned for, it’s being unwilling to compromise on the tenacity of their SUVs. Yes, we realise that there’s a fine line to walk between the aesthetics of a city-roaming vehicle and the go-getter attitude of a utility vehicle that can hold its own on the varied terrain sunny South Africa will throw at it, but we tend to like our bread buttered on both sides. Fortunately, Renault has never shied away from a design challenge.
Judging from global sales reaching two million and 15 000 in South Africa, the Renault Duster has certainly made an impact since its inception seven years ago. The second generation Duster looks even more impressive and is comprehensively one of the toughest and most affordable SUVs in its class.