Renault has become an increasingly popular option (bar one or two models) across their range in South Africa and the Duster certainly stands tall even among its competitors.
Two million of them have been sold around the globe; South Africans are behind the wheel of more than 15 000 of them.
Now, though, after the launch of the original Renault Duster seven years ago, the French have decided to completely revamp its popular B-segment SUV to maintain its relevance and continue on an upward trajectory of sales.
The original brief for the Duster was that it should be a solid, reliable, attractive, affordable vehicle that should not only be good enough for Europe but must also be able to drive on roads less travelled outside of Europe.
That standing order remains with the New Duster and the designers tackled it with some enthusiasm.
The exterior looks bolder and more aggressive than its predecessor, it’s been given new wheels (16 or 17 inch), more prominent aluminium roof bars as well as front and rear skid plates that give it it’s go-anywhere looks.
With 210mm ground clearance an approach angle of 30 degrees and departure angle of 34 degrees the Duster remains a very under-rated and probably under-used bush vehicle. The 4×4 version arrives on our shores at the beginning of the year, but the rest of the range is already in showrooms.
Inside too there is a marked improvement with the cabin, having lost a lot of the plastic-to-the-touch feel associated with the previous model.
It’s still hard plastic inside, but the quality is definitely much better, and the overall look and feel of the cabin is almost premium. The seats too have been redesigned offering more support and the optional leather fitted to the cars we drove at the launch in Mpumalanga last week rounded off a neat and functional cabin. Renault has also added more storage space such as below the passenger seat but I would still have liked a centre console storage space to keep odds and ends.
The back seat is a 1/3-2/3 split with a class-leading boot capacity of up to 478 litres. Find a used Renault Duster on Drive360
Also new is the keyless entry with a hands-free card that unlocks the car when you’re a metre within range of the vehicle and locks itself when you walk away; nice in parts of the world where remote jamming hasn’t caught on yet, but locally you’ll have to actually push the lock or unlock button.
Speed limiter and cruise control buttons are easy to access while all models have climate control and blind spot warning, too.
Source: IOL News