I have spent a lot of time with the Duster EDC in recent months, and now the 4×4 version has been launched in SA. We spent a hot day driving on-road, and on a relatively challenging 4×4 track in the Magaliesburg, and I came away impressed again, which reinforces my strong liking for this rugged compact Crossover. With more than two million cars sold globally, the Renault Duster has been completely revamped six years after its original release. The All-New Renault Duster boasts all-new exterior styling delivering a distinctly assertive and robust look.
The car offers a high-quality, totally redesigned interior for a comfortable and user-friendly cabin experience. I spent three weeks with this suv in Dec, and pretty much tested everything about it, and also tested the 4×2 version at the Car of the Year 2019 judging days. It’s a segment leader in my humble opinion.
The All-New Renault Duster 4×4’s robust and particularly assertive styling highlights its SUV pedigree. Visually more muscular, the design tone is set by the more aggressive lines, and a more expressive front and wider rear, heightening the impression of stability. The Duster’s tough stance is emphasized by its bold, more horizontal lines, new 16” wheels ensuring a more assertive profile, new more prominent aluminium roof bars, 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 light signature complete the powerful stance of the New Duster.
Its muscular exterior is matched by its relentless 4×4 capability. The New Renault Duster now has even greater off-road capabilities evident by the class-leading ground clearance of 210mm, with noteworthy approach and departure angles of 30° high approach and 34° departure angles respectively, deeming it suited for all terrain driving. This helped the Duster 4×4 negotiate a few tricky obstacles on the launch, and even though it has not got 4 low, it gets the job done.
The interior of the All-New Renault Duster has been completely re-designed, marked by a spacious and passenger friendly cabin. The upholstery features a high-quality finish, as does the dashboard, where particular emphasis has been placed on ergonomic design.
Numerous clever stowage spaces are easily accessible with improved accessibility of controls, and amongst others, an enhanced Multimedia experience. It has good space in the rear and front, and the boot(478L) carries a good amount of luggage.
Engine & Transmission.
Powered by a 1.5 dCi engine mated with a 6-speed manual gearbox, for greater driving comfort and pleasure. Upshifting is fast and smooth, with no jerking or loss in acceleration. The Duster 4×4 Model boasts phenomenal fuel consumption from only 5.2L/100km, and yields outputs of 80kW with 260Nm of torque and contained CO2 emissions of 138g/km. I thought that I would miss the EDC gearbox, and I did, but the manual is good, and it’s unlikely that Renault will bring a auto version, due to price.
With the Transmission Mode Selector available on the 4×4 Model, the driver is able to switch between 3 driving modes: 2WD Mode where the engine torque is distributed to the front wheels, Automatic Mode allowing distribution of engine torque over the 4 wheels or Lock Mode for engine torque distribution to all four wheels.
The All-New Renault Duster 4×4 offers a host of state of the art equipment to facilitate stress-free everyday driving, including on-board GPS Navigation. Now with Smartphone mirror compatibility, today’s top contenders are Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto. Blind Spot warning detects any obscured vehicles and convenient automatic headlights activate automatically without the driver needing to press a manual switch.
The Renault Duster 4×4 is distinguished through its range of high-class equipment to enhance the vehicle’s off-road prowess, such as Hill Descent Control, enabling smooth descent of hills without use of the brake. A MultiView Camera allows for easy visibility of the front, rear or side terrain, triggered by the reverse gear or by a simple touch of the dedicated button, while the innovative 4×4 monitor allows one to even check the pitch and roll angles of the Duster at any given time.
The All-New Duster offers a multitude of advanced active and passive safety technology as standard across the range, such as ABS [Anti-Lock Braking System] with EBD [Electronic Brake Force Distribution] in conjunction with EBA [Emergency Brake Assist], making it possible to maintain control over the trajectory in the event of heavy braking.
Rear Park Distance Control enables easier parking manoeuvres by warning the driver of obstacles situated behind the vehicle by a sequence of beeps which speed up the closer you are to them. In the 4×4 model, Hill Descent Control facilitates a controlled hill descent in rough terrain, without brake input from the driver.
As is standard across Renault’s entire product range, the All-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.
As I said, I am a fan of the Duster 4×2 EDC, which would be my choice, however if I had the need to do some more hard core off-road travel, the Duster 4×4 would certainly be in my basket of possibles. The 4×4 derivative is available now from only R327 900.