Could the Renault Duster be the best crossover?
In our pursuit for a vehicle that can do it all without breaking the bank, manufacturers seem to be answering the call. We have seen a host of compact crossovers. There is one launched just about weekly into our market. The Renault Duster is by far one of the most popular compact SUV’s on our roads today. We sampled the latest model to understand why.
The Duster is Renault's global car which means that it is available in a variety of countries. This means that the car needs to function well in those countries and in various conditions. It’s come a long way, getting more and more stylish and tech-savvy with each incarnation.
The updated Duster looks a bit more rough and ready when compared to others within the segment. It offers a muscular design that is also relatively modern and we also like the fact that the Duster offers a class-leading ground clearance of 210mm. Even the non 4×4 model features noteworthy approach and departure angles of 30° degrees approach and 34° departure angles respectively.
The TechRoad, as seen here features some niceties such as new 17” Diamond Cut wheels ensuring a more assertive profile, new prominent silver roof rails, and front and rear skid plates that support its adventurer credentials. The chrome trim of the grille, alongside a raised waistline and the powerful C-shaped DRL LED light signature with the somewhat flared wheel arches complete the powerful stance of the New Duster.
The interior is also a pleasant place to be. We like the material seats which allude to a more user-friendly durability. They have been designed for quick drying for those who enjoy water sports. The Duster also features a touchscreen infotainment system that offers standard navigation as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which is a huge plus.
The TechRoad also features contrasting blue stitching throughout the cabin as well as blue patterns on the seats. The Duster also features a modular interior layout to easily adapt to your needs, with the rear bench seat featuring split-fold function, while the boot boasts a best-in-class loading capacity of up to 478-litres. Fold the rear seats down and that space increases to around 1 636 litres which makes this a very practical vehicle.
The Duster is also able to tow around 638kg of unbraked capacity. Braked capacity is rated at around 1200kgs. This means that if more luggage capacity is needed, a trailer or small caravan can be hitched.
The Duster is powered by a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel motor which is able to glide along for hundreds of kilometers before its fuel gauge starts to move. The motor develops 80kW and 250Nm (260Nm for the 4x4) and power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed EDC automatic gearbox. Renault claims an average fuel consumption of around 4.8L/100km and that is entirely achievable.
Out on the road, the Duster offers a fuss-free driving experience. It is able to handle uneven road surfaces with ease, gravel roads are its forte and even long road trips are dealt with effortlessly. All of this while it sips on fuel. The Duster is so light on fuel that it is capable of achieving around 1000km out of the tank. This makes it great for everyday life in a country where we need to fork out more for fuel on a monthly basis.
As is standard across Renault’s entire product range, the New 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.