BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL - Renault Duster 1.5DCi TechRoad
New name, same great value
Renault’s Duster has been a sales revelation for the brand. Since its local debut late last year, the second-generation of the boxy-crossover has found its way into over 2,000 South Africans driveways. Auto Advisor even road tested one earlier this year, and we loved it.
Now the French automaker is jazzing up the range with a new derivative. While the range previously consisted of Expression, Dynamique and Prestige; it will now include Techroad, which effectively replaces the 1.5dCi Dynamique 4X2 variants. There is a R5 000-odd increase in price, but the minute revisions appear worth it.
This second-generation Duster boasts a muscular new exterior and a far more modernized interior, which is itself a significant improvement over its predecessor, with the new interior feeling far more ‘premium’. The front now sports Renault’s familiar family face, with it gaining a new grill, DRL-equipped headlights, a sharper belt line, and a larger skidplates up front and at the rear.
It isn’t easy to spot, but a very subtle update has been integrated into the TechRoad’s brawny exterior. It is merely the addition of TechRoad badging, red centre caps fitted to the 17-inch diamond cut wheels, a rear-mounted reverse camera, and red strips across the side mirrors. The interior has benefited from a more obvious update, and features a colour scheme known as “Red Fusion”. There is new upholstery (complete with red detailing on the seats), red accents on the air-vents (repeated around the gear-lever gaiter) and red elements on the interior door trim.
The front-wheel driven Duster TechRoad is available with a single engine choice but two transmission options – a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel mill, available in two levels of tune and is mated either to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. Expect fuel economy to hover around 5 litres per 100kms. The manual variant produces 66kw and 210nm, whilst the EDC-paired variant makes 80kw and 250nm.
Considering the Duster range kicks off at R255 900, you will be hard pressed to find another vehicle at this price point that is as spacious as the Duster. Practicality has always been the Dusters middle name, and the Renault delivers in spades. The Duster boasts a modular interior layout will easily adapt to your needs, with the rear bench seat featuring a 1/3 - 2/3 split-fold function; while the boot records a loading capacity of up to 478 litres, and expands to over 1600 litres with the rear seats dropped down.
The Duster features a multitude of active and passive safety features, such as ABS, EBD, EBA, Hill Start Assist and Rear Park Distance control. In terms of airbags, sadly those are reserved only for the driver and front passenger. That aside, the Duster is still generously specced.
As is standard across Renault's entire product range, the Renault Duster Model range comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at 15 000km intervals, and a standard 3-year/45000km service plan applies.
Renault Duster 1.6 Expression 4x2 R255 900
Renault Duster 1.5 dCi TechRoad 4x2 R293 900
Renault Duster 1.5 dCi TechRoad EDC 4x2 R327 900
Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Dynamique 4x4 R327 900
Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Prestige EDC 4x2 R340 900