DRIVEN: Renault Duster 1.5 Dynamique 4WD

The Renault has always been one of my favourite compact SUV’s. In a world where looks matter so much to buyers, the Duster does not conform but rather shines in other departments where it leaves its competitors trailing in its dust. 

The Duster looks quite rugged and pretty unpretentious. Being an updated model it features a new grille, updated front bumper, tweaked headlights, and body coloured door handles. Overall the exterior of Duster is solid in my view. It might not look like the most beautiful SUV in the world but it does look purposeful. It’s like a little small Land Rover Defender. 

The interior of the Duster is pretty straightforward. It features a lot of hard plastics. Some might find that its a bit cheap but in the long run seems like a better choice of materials since it is durable. It’s It works pretty well but my only gripe is that its placed pretty low which means you getting distracting trying to look at the contents on the screen. Some creature comforts on this model were electric windows all-round, rear PDC, and cruise control. Boot space is a decent 475 litres.

The Duster is fitted with the tried and tested punchy 1.5 turbo diesel good for 80 kW and 240 N.m of torque mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. On the highway, it trundles along quite well. Renault claims 5.7 L/100km but one managed a best of 6.5 L/100 km which is pretty decent. The suspension setup forgiving offering a comfortable ride. It might go well in a straight line but I would not want to go to quick around corners as it’s not the Dusters main strength. Unfortunately one didn’t get the chance to take it off-road, but I’m sure it’s more than capable of tackling some tricky terrain thanks to its low ratio first gear and 4WD drive system. 

The Duster is no half-arsed, front-wheel-drive, pretty SUV. It looks rugged, drives well, practical and is good value for money. At R312900 its a lot of SUV for that money. Yeah, it might have a few drawbacks here and there but overall a very good everyday car, and a car that you take when adventure invites you on the beaten track. 

Specs

Engine: 1.5 litre 4 cyl diesel
Power: 80 kW @4000rpm
Torque: 250 N.m @ 1750rpm
rpmTransmission: 6-Speed Manual 
Acceleration: 0 – 100 km/h 12.8 seconds
Top Speed: 168 km/h km/h
Fuel Consumption: 5.7 L/100km (claimed)
Price: R 312, 900

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