Nelspruit, Mpumalanga - Renault’s second-generation Duster SUV has landed in South Africa with a comprehensive five-strong line-up that includes petrol and diesel engines, manual and auto transmissions, front-wheel and all-wheel drive, and no less than three trim levels.
But all of them share the new Duster’s chunky looks, thanks to a raised waistline, new front and rear bash-plates, 210mm of ground clearance, more prominent aluminium roof rails and distinctive chrome trim, as well as a more spacious interior created by moving the base of the windscreen 100mm further forward
Which is where you’ll find new, more supportive seats, lots of places to lose things, a revised flight-deck layout, a 66/33 split rear seat back and a 478 litre cargo bay. Keyless entry and button start are standard across the range, as are blind spot warning, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control and rear parking sensor, while all-wheel drive models also have a multiview all-round camera, hill descent control and a 4x4 monitor that shows you the Duster’s pitch and roll angles.
And a simple rotary switch lets you shift from 2WD (front-wheel drive) to Auto (drive is varied automatically between front and rear axles) or Lock mode (drive is split 50:50 front to rear).
That drive comes from either a 1.6-litre petrol four rated for 77kW at 5750 revs and 148Nm at 3750rpm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, or one of two versions of a 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel four. The front-wheel drive Dynamique variant with six-speed manual cogset is tuned for 66kW and 210Nm, while the dual-clutch auto and all-wheel drive derivatives have 80kW and 250Nm on tap.