SUVs are nice. Everybody wants an SUV. Everybody buys an SUV. But jeez, they are expensive! Okay, some are cheaper, but with cheap, nasty is usually not far behind. Jumped up hatchbacks with a couple of decals. You also get the OTT models with a million bits and bobs that cost the same as a farm in Clifton. There are some SUVs that are proper SUVs, drives like an SUV should, full of luxury and safety features, but at a decent price. The leader of this group, the best value for money, is the Renault Duster. Twenty-one thousand buyers cannot all be wrong.
The Renault Duster came to South Africa in 2013 and it was an immediate hit. The combination of looks, flair, ride, price and features immediately appealed to the South African driver. Good design does not age, and the current body shape is still very much the same as the launch model.
Details like the grille and mags and taillights have been updated, while interior features have incrementally increased and improved over time, quick evolution rather than revolution. For example, the Duster was the first vehicle in its class to have a multimedia system that featured Bluetooth, USB, and AUX capability and satellite navigation. This has now been updated with a full-colour display that runs Apple or Android and you can access it via your phone.
Other significant features in the latest model include the automatically-adjustable climate control, cruise control and a speed limiter, as well as a rear-view camera with rear park distance control, and hill start assist. The list of features varies according to trim level.
The 2021 Duster comes in five variants, with one petrol and four diesel options. Note: the 80kW diesels are turbodiesel engines:
|Expression 1.6 petrol 4×2||84kW||156 Nm||5-speed manual|
|TechRoad 1.5 dCi 4×2||66kW||210 Nm||5-speed manual|
|TechRoad 1.5 dCi 4×2 EDC||80kW||250 Nm||6-speed auto|
|Prestige 1.5 dCi 4×2 EDC||80kW||250 Nm||6-speed auto|
|Dynamique 1.5 dCi 4×4||80kW||250 Nm||6-speed manual|
There are quite a number of differences between the trim levels of the new Renault Duster, but let’s look at one of them. The Renault Duster has always been comfortable going off the tar roads. The new Dynamique 4×4 takes this to a new level.
Although the Dynamique does not have a low range gear, the first gear range is short with loads of low-down torque to use when you need grunt. So low is this gear that under normal conditions you would most likely pull away in 2nd gear.
There are three driving modes that can be selected from inside the car. 2WD is what it says and gives you fuel consumption of 5L/100km in mixed driving. Automatic mode is for gravel and dirt, and handy on wet and slippery roads. It automatically distributes the torque over the four wheels, depending on grip conditions. Lock mode distributes the torque equally to all four wheels and you will use it when you go off the gravel. When this non-gravel starts getting seriously uneven, you can use the 4×4 Monitor to tell you things like the pitch and roll angles of your Duster.
The Expression has the lowest price in the range, while the Prestige has the highest. The 2021 Renault Duster offers a range of fantastic features and attributes, all within the successful and appealing motoring package that Duster drivers love. Why not look at the range, pick the one you like and arrange a test drive?