Duster keeps lower prices

The re­vamped model boasts some very ex­cit­ing tweaks, with petrol and diesel of­fer­ings

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

THE new Re­nault Duster will be avail­able from Oc­to­ber 1, fully re­vamped seven years and over two mil­lion happy own­ers af­ter its orig­i­nal in­tro­duc­tion.

The Duster has new curves to give it a more as­sertive and ro­bust look, but with the same com­pact di­men­sions. It also passes the Wheels de­mand for a full-size spare wheel, be it the 16inch­ers on the en­try level or the 17-inch, five-spoke al­loy wheels on the flag­ship 4x4.

Fru­gal power

Buy­ers can choose be­tween Re­nault’s proven petrol or diesel en­gines, which are both truly fru­gal.

Re­nault got 7,6 l/100 km on a com­bined cy­cle. The diesel 1,5-litre com­mon rail turbo diesel makes 80 kW and 240 Nm and the 4x2 can sip as lit­tle as 4,8 l/100km over city and longdis­tance roads.

Even the heav­ier 4x4 gets 5l /100 km, which is 20 km for ev­ery litre of diesel. The 4x4 comes with a trans­mis­sion se­lec­tor that sends power to the front wheels in 2WD, dis­trib­utes the en­gine torque to any of the wheels de­pend­ing on grip, and locks the power to all four wheel in lock mode.

The en­try level 1,6-litre petrol en­gine is paired only to a fivespeed man­ual trans­mis­sion, which ra­tio makes the most of the en­gine’s 77 kW and 148 Nm.

The diesel is paired to ei­ther a six-speed Ef­fi­cient Dual Clutch (EDC) au­to­matic gear­box or a six-speed man­ual box.

The flag­ship Duster, the 1,5 dCI Dy­namique with all-wheel drive, makes short work of rough farm roads on its 210 mm ride height, and in the veld the ap­proach, break-over and de­par­ture an­gles (30, 23 and 35 de­grees, re­spec­tively) al­low the Duster to get al­most any­where.

In­te­rior

Inside is a new dash­board, more en­velop­ing cloth seats, and all the usual stor­age spa­ces Re­nault is fa­mous for.

The list of stan­dard fea­tures in­cludes 16-inch steel wheels on the petrol and black al­loy wheels on the diesel, ABS with EBD, power-as­sisted steer­ing, on­board com­puter, two front and two side airbags, elec­tric win­dows front and rear, elec­tric mir­rors, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, re­verse park­ing sen­sors, front fog lamps, roof rails, Cruise Con­trol, and fin­ger­tip au­dio con­trols.

Op­tions are leather seats, 17inch al­loy wheels, re­verse cam­era, seven-inch touch­screen with Me-di­aNav en­ter­tain­ment and builtin sat-nav.

Pric­ing

Re­nault has kept the agres­sive pric­ing that made the Duster so pop­u­lar, leav­ing in the, well, dust com­peti­tors like the slightly smaller Hyundai Creta, Ford Ecosport and Nis­san Juke, as well as the slightly big­ger Toy­ota RAV4 and VW Ti­quan.

For my money, the Duster’s only se­ri­ous com­peti­tors come from the for­mi­da­ble Haval H6, which still sells at a dis­count be­cause it has not yet proven it­self, and Mahin­dra’s TUV300 1,5 diesel, a much un­der­rated SUV.

The Duster’s prices in­clude a five-year or 150 000 km me­chan­i­cal war­ranty, a three-year or 45 000 km ser­vice plan, with ser­vice in­ter­vals at 15 000 km.

Prices for the five mod­els on of­fer start at R246 900 for the en­try level 1,6 16v 4x2 Ex­pres­sion, and top out at R312 900 for the 1,5 dCi 4x4.

Re­nault deal­ers are of­fer­ing a chance to win R10 000 to peo­ple who test drive the Duster. Terms and con­di­tions apply.

PHOTO: RE­NAULT

Mak­ing dust to ex­plore in­ter­est­ing places is what the Re­nault Duster is all about.

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