Renault finally released the long-anticipated Renault Duster 4X4 model and it just works. Not only does It uniquely look good in the city but sure does show off, off-road. I was highly impressed by its capability.
The Renault Duster reinforces its existing strengths making the 4X4 SUV look authentic, muscular and have a robust off-roader look but still appealing to the eye. Not much has changed from the 4X2 Renault Duster launched last year October. It still maintains the same exterior with headlamps that include the C shaped LED day time running lights, chrome trim of the grille, neatly packed fog lights and redesigned front bumper with skid plates (front and rear) giving that robust look.
From the side, we notice the 4WD badge on the fenders that have been added. Aluminium roof rails, an increased ground clearance, 16inch alloy wheels complete the athletic look. The back looks stylish with the square rear lamp, redesigned rear bumper and spoiler. Two new colours have been added to the 4X4 models: beige and shocking orange (which was my favourite look at the launch)
The interior is as per the 4×2 meaning a stylish, comfortable and user-friendly layout. Hard wearing materials are used for the interior with round air vents, an 8inch infotainment touchscreen with Android auto and Car play, Navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and displays a Multiview camera (which works exceptionally well with hill descend).
The steering has controls for the cruise/limiter control whilst the instrument cluster is easy to view. The latest addition to the Renault Duster range has features such as 4X4 Monitor display, hill decent, 4X4 Transmission, 4X4 Campus for better performance, X4 cameras for visibility of the vehicle surroundings. There is a Driving mode Button added in the 4X4 model that has a front wheel drive mode, Auto for slippery roads and Lock mode for serious off-road and this mode works wonders off-roader. There is more than enough space in the Duster with fairly good leg room for passengers at the back and generous boot space of 478l. Practicality is aided by the 1/3 -2/3 split-fold function (who wouldn’t want to spoil the family with a good holiday in the wild in this beast)
Renault always puts safety first and the Renault Duster 4X4 has a multitude of safety features that come standard across the range such as ABS with Electronic Brake-force distribution (EBS), Emergency brake assist, rear park distance control, Hill descent control (which worked wonders off road, letting the car take complete control – flowing down really steep slopes at 10km/h- trust issues kicked in but the Duster handled it fully without the driver engaging with the vehicle) and Blindspot warnings.
The Renault Duster 4×4 only comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox linked to a 1.5l diesel engine producing 180Kw and 260Nm with a crazy Reno claim of fuel efficiency of 5.8l/100km (I wouldn’t disagree, those fuel bars didn’t even flinch at the launch)
The Ride was my favourite at the launch, The Renault Duster 4X4 is comfortable when driving in the city and still maintains the comfort when showing its off-road prowess. The 4X4 is completely capable on road and handles pretty well. You can’t resist a beast from the wild and the 4×4 Duster is where it belongs -its completely comfortable and at home when off-road. We did a few 4X4 off-road activities and I tell, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it handles off-road. The only thing about it is the diesel engine can be quite loud especially off-roader (sounds like a tractor but handles as good as a tractor would, I’d say)
The Renault Duster comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at 15 000km intervals, and a standard 3-year/45000km service plan applies.
The Renault Duster 4X4 is priced at R327 000 giving its segment tough competitive pricing for great money for value
Renault DUSTER 1.6 Expression 4X2 R255 900
Renault DUSTER 1.5 dCi Dynamique 4×2 R288 900
Renault DUSTER 1.5 dCi Dynamique EDC 4×2 R322 900
Renault DUSTER 1.5 dCi Dynamique 4×4 R327 900
Renault DUSTER 1.5dCi Prestige EDC 4×2 R340 900