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.
For those who follow motoring news from abroad, Romania is a hot topic at the moment with talks of a possible Renault Duster bakkie. Indeed, they call it the Dacia Duster as they manufacture many other cars under that label but in South Africa, we know it as the Renault Duster.
However, this is not an SUV but rather a single-cab bakkie which could be a serious rival to the Nissan NP200, Fiat Strada and Opel Corsa bakkies among others. Continue reading to find out more and you may want to sit down for this.
How Will The Renault Duster Bakkie Be Different From The Rest?
While the Dacia Duster pick-up is based on the SUV, several upgrades set it apart from the Renault Duster SUV. As it’s a single-cab bakkie, the rear doors and seats have been removed to accommodate the redesigned loading area for a payload of 500 kg.
Unlike other bakkies in the segment, ground clearance is rather impressive which has been increased from 177 mm to 224 mm. The Renault Duster bakkie is 19 mm shorter than the SUV and packs a serious punch in terms of powertrain.
According to reports, the Renault Duster bakkie gets the automaker’s signature 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine which produces 80kW and 260Nm of torque. As you’d expect from a smaller bakkie, fuel consumption is rated at around 5.0-litres/100km so that’s another win for Renault.
But here’s the kicker; the 4×4 system from the SUV sibling has been added to the Renault Duster bakkie and that makes all the difference. Not that all roads in South Africa require a car with off-road ability but it will certainly help. And, given the option, most small bakkie owners would give anything to change their current loadout to a 4×4 without paying the hefty price of the bigger counterparts.
Could The Renault Duster Bakkie Be A Top Seller?
Considering the success of other brands in this segment, and what the Renault Duster bakkie could offer, the answer is a resounding yes. It could be a great addition to the South African market as there is a big demand for all-wheel traction on smaller cars. It may not be classed as a 4×4 but being able to go off-road is a great advantage.
Combine that with the better ground clearance, sufficient load box and payload, the Renault Duster bakkie would be a market leader for sure. It may not be a workhorse in the same way you see the others but it offers so much more in versatility and capability. If you compare it to the traditional front-wheel-drive offerings, being able to tow a trailer or caravan with a 4×4 drivetrain, you’d be silly not to consider it.
This type of nimbler, more fuel-efficient 4×4 could be ideal for hunting trips, weekend getaways, game drives and camping in the ‘bundus’. The Renault Duster bakkie can get you there in style and without a hitch.
Unfortunately, even though the Renault Duster bakkie does seem to check all the boxes, there is no confirmation yet whether it will come to South Africa. Based on the features, specs and capability, we should all cross our fingers and hope the powers-that-be can bring it to our shores rather sooner than later.
To keep updated on this story and many other interesting topics, follow our blog and join us on Facebook. Until then, take a look at our virtual showroom filled with many new and quality pre-owned vehicles.