We have always had a soft spot for the Renault Duster. Its versatility, practicality and amazing fuel economy make it a recipe for what most families are looking to get out of an SUV at this price point. To say that we were excited to be handed the keys to the Duster would be an understatement.
The Renault Duster boasts a muscular appearance, with aggressive lines setting the design tone. Up front we find a smart-looking chrome grille which is flanked by newly updated C-shaped LED daytime-running lights. The headlights however were halogen units, something which we felt was a let down for an SUV at this price point.
Front and rear silver skid plates are present along with matching roof rails and 17-inch Diamond cut alloy wheels. The off-road capabilities of the Duster are made possible thanks to a ground clearance of 210mm, an approach angle of 30-degrees, a departure angle of 34-degrees and a 4x4 monitor.
Inside, the Renault Duster boasts an 8.0-inch Multimedia touchscreen which houses GPS Navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The system works without any hassles and is quite responsive to touch inputs.
The cabin itself is quite spacious, with sufficient storage areas available right throughout the cabin. Head, leg and knee room for rear seat occupants is impressive, with tall adults being seated quite comfortably. Boot capacity is also quite impressive, measuring at 478L .
Safety in the Duster is made up of ABS with EBD, EBA, rear park distance control and hill start assist.
Engine and Power
Perhaps our favorite aspect of the Duster was its turbodiesel motor. The 1.5-litre dCi motor churns out 80kW and 250Nm of torque, via a 6-speed dual-clutch EDC automatic gearbox. The torquey oil-burner boasts more than sufficient power for everyday use, whether driving in urban areas or out on the highways.
During our testing, the Duster felt at home out on the open road. The 6-speed auto box' settled quite well and the overall comfort was relaxing on a long drive. NVH levels were quite low, which we enjoyed. The fuel economy was unbelievable too, in a good way. Renault claims a fuel consumption figure of 4.8L/100km however we achieved a return of 5.5L/100km, which we found to be absolutely commendable. The turbocharged diesel motor is able to travel beyond 1000km on a single tank of fuel without even breaking a sweat, something which we suspect consumers will be most appreciative of, considering the ever-high costs of fuel currently.
As mentioned, the overall comfort on the open road was relaxing however this was also the case in urban areas on roads which weren't too well maintained. Road imperfections were handled with ease by the Duster. We were thoroughly impressed with the Duster's on and off-road comfort.
The Renault Duster Intens EDC 4x2 is priced at R404 999 and we found the pricing to be quite reasonable considering the amount of car one would be getting. We couldn't find many faults with the Duster, and as such it goes down as one of our favorite SUVs thanks to how well-packaged it is.