By now it should be a well-known fact that the Renault Duster was actually born as a Romanian Dacia budget SUV. This second generation is more polished as I found out during my time with a Techroad model.
You need to know: Techroad is a trim level, above Expression and Dynamique but just below Prestige. The Duster line-up stays to true to its hardy and affordable roots by starting with steel wheels and an old-school radio for R270,000. That (Expression) FWD manual derivative is powered by a 1.6L petrol four-cylinder.
All other Dusters are powered by a 1.5L in-line four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine worth 80kW or 260Nm. The R341,000 Dynamique is the only all-wheel drive variant and gets 16-inch alloys, side airbags and a touch-screen media system while this Techroad (FWD) tops that with snazzy 17-inch alloys, funky seat fabrics, red pin-striping and a bit of shiny trim for R307,000.
More info: Add R34,000 for the Automatic Techroad (FWD) or splash out for the posh Prestige model with leather seats, Renault key card, multi-view camera, blind spot warning and other goodies around R350,000. Renault claims 0-100km/h in 14.8 seconds, 155km/h top speed and 5.1L/100km for this model.
Other vital dimensions include a 50L fuel tank, 478L boot space, 10.1m turning radius, 215/60R17 tyres, 1,205kg tare weight and towing capacity of 640kg (unbraked) to 1,500kg (braked). Every Duster has air-con, central locking, power steering, at least two airbags and power windows, cruise control, ABS, traction- and stability-control.
Watch out for: The airbag, powered luxuries and driver aid count rises with trim and asking price so you’ll have to splash out for a bigger model if you want rear electric windows or park sensors. The only options are leather trim (except Expression) and metallic paint from a choice of eight body colours.
Why you want one: Mostly, for its great value proposition. The Duster offers good space and comfort with decent features in an easy-to-handle budget SUV package. Each model carries a 5-year/150,000km mechanical warranty with a 3-year/45,000km service plan.
|Engine:||1.5 i-4 turbo-diesel|
|Transmission:||5-sp Manual, FWD|
|Avg. cons.:||5.1L/100km (claimed)|
|0-100km/h:||14.8 seconds (claimed)|
|Top Speed:||155km/h (claimed)|