By Clive Funizwe
Coming off a series of lockdown rules and regulations – we entered December in the Renault, to literally dust off the restrictions in movement that have been upon us. The Duster had a 1.5dCi engine and 4-wheel drive system. This meant that our appetite for adventure was going to be quenched notwithstanding our imagination.
The propensity to go even further was amplified by the sheer sight of seeing the fuel consumption sitting on 5.2l/100km. And further on, we went… covering close to 2000km’s with 2 full tanks. Before we get ahead of ourselves, allow us to delve a little bit into what you get for your R327 900.
Our test car came in Cosmos Blue and a Dynamique trim. This means the leather upholstery in our test car was an optional extra. With this trim, you get all-round electric windows, a 7-inch touch screen with a 360-degree camera system that show you the rear, the front of the car along with the front tires. A feature that is handy for off-roading or just to avoid curbing the alloys. Interior execution and ergonomics can be a little better. Practicality and storage is good, but the trend of having fewer tactile buttons makes the acquaintance process with the car that much longer and it gets worse for night time driving where you find yourself looking for switch gear that should be intuitive to find.
What we can’t fault though is the engine. 66kW/210Nm may sound like a small number – but at no point did we feel that the Duster is under powered. We also appreciated that the consumption did not require much focus to keep low. We hovered around the 5.0L/100km and 5.2L/100km mark the entire time we had the car. The engine is also not intrusive from inside the cabin.
Value for money
The overall package of the Duster does however translate to exceptional value, particularly for a young family that loves the outdoors. We would normally nit-pick with the use of plastics but in this case the execution is purposeful. When you consider the nature of outdoor equipment – you want materials that are less susceptible to wear from a small scratch or bump – and the Duster is reassuringly robust here.
In one of our adventures a camping trip was on the cards. Amongst other items, a 27-inch bicycle, some crates, gas stove all fitted nicely without a need to be an expert at Tetris. Loading up the Duster did not come with interior damaging anxiety.
All this meant that we had a blast with the Duster. Fuel consumption was excellent, space was very good and there were very few places you couldn’t go to. Ride height plus the 4-wheel drive system worked well in the sandy areas of some hidden Limpopo bushes.
The Renault Duster offers awesome utility value!
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