Model: Renault Duster Intens 4×2
Engine: 1.5L 4-Cylinder Turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed (Dual Clutch Transmission DCT)
Power: 80 kW & 250 Nm
Fuel consumption: 5.1 L/100 km (claimed)
Top Speed: 169 km/h
0-100 km/h: 11.9 sec
Luggage Capacity: 478L
Price: R384,900 (Tested)
Despite retaining its original body shape for over a decade since its introduction in 2013, the Duster has undergone notable styling upgrades that breathe new life into its aging appearance. Through the years, it has proven to be a solid contender in its segment and has gained a positive reputation in the market, with over 20,000 units sold locally.
On the outside, the front end now boasts a slimmer and more stylish grille than its predecessor, kitted with new LED headlights and C-Shaped DRLs (Daytime Running Lights), along with sharper bonnet lines and a front skid plate that gives the facelift a rugged look.
The Duster Inens also gets silver roof rails as well as new 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, as part of its facelift package.
When it comes to Duster paint colors, buyers have an abundance of options to choose from. These include Highland Grey, Iron Blue, Brown Vision, Fusion Red, Comet Grey, Ice White, and Arizona Orange. Note that metallic paint is available for an additional R2522.
The cabin feels well-appointed, spacious, comfortable, and well-built with strong materials that do not squeak or rattle whatsoever. Although the overall design hasn’t changed much, it gives a very minimal vibe with its new user-friendly 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display that boasts a built-in navigation system and supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay via USB. Speaking of USB, the cabin only features 2 USB Type-A ports in the front.
The cloth upholstery seats felt a bit stiff for my liking but also at the same time comfortable to sit in, even for longer journeys. Optional leather upholstery seats are also available at R10,088.
Practicality, Tech, and Safety
As far as practicality goes, the Renault Duster fares well compared to its rivals in the segment. With adequate rear passenger space, which can accommodate 3 adults of approximately 190 cm in height.
And its boot space is claimed at 478L, which can be extended further by folding the rear seats to a 60/40 split configuration, making it one of the biggest in its segment.
In terms of safety, the new Duster is generously equipped with features from the standard ABS, EBD, and EBA to the Blindspot monitor, hill start assist, and hill descent control. It also comes equipped with rear parking sensors with a reverse view camera, whose quality could be improved.
The new Duster is equipped with a range of safety features, including standard ABS, EBD, and EBA. Additionally, it offers a Blindspot monitor, hill start assist, and hill descent control. It also includes 6 airbags, rear parking sensors, and a reverse-view camera. Speaking of which, the quality of the camera could definitely be better.
Powertrain and Performance
In terms of power, the Duster is powered by a frugal 1.5L Turbo diesel engine with 80 kW & 250 Nm, mated to a 6-speed DCT transmission. This is probably one of the slickest combinations when it comes to engine and transmission pairing in this segment. The pair offered a smooth and quick power delivery during slow in-town drives, as well as long highway trips.
During my test drive with the Renault Duster 1.5 dCi, an impressive highlight was my ability to drive over 400 km while still having +720 km of range remaining, showcasing the exceptional fuel efficiency of its 1.5L turbo engine.
This particular engine stands out among other compact SUV/crossovers I have experienced, delivering optimal fuel economy. Despite my heavy foot, the worst fuel consumption I encountered was 5.2 L/100 km, while achieving a best of 3.9 L over the 5.1 L/100 km Renault claims.
In light of the current increase in fuel prices, owning a fuel-efficient vehicle is becoming a highly desirable attribute for many car buyers.
In conclusion, the Renault Duster is a tough and rugged crossover that has received notable improvements over the years, making it a formidable competitor in its segment. Its efficient engine, smooth transmission, and impressive off-road capabilities are the standout features of this vehicle.
so, would I recommend it?
Yes, absolutely! I believe that for what it offers in terms of driving experience and efficiency, it’s definitely well worth its price, and deserves to be on anyone’s shortlist if they are shopping in the compact SUV segment.
Pricing and Aftersales
Offered in 3 different trims for buyers to choose from LIFE, ZEN, and INTENS, the Renault duster is priced as follows
- Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Zen 4×2 R337 900
- Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Zen EDC 4×2 R376 900
- Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Intens EDC 4×2 R384 900 (Tested)
- Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Zen 4×4 R376 900
All prices include a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty, along with 15 000km service intervals and a standard 3-year/45000km service plan