The Renault Duster has just been upgraded in both exterior and interior departments. While the old car never really looked dull, Renault took it upon themselves to make the new car look fresher and certainly sleeker.
The overall car still looks like a duster. There is no denying that you will still be able to identify it passing one on the street, so although it’s not a complete change, it does feature a new front grill, headlights with black inserts and a new silver-like skid plate on the front. On the sides there are new side sills with more pronounced roof rack bars, featuring a rather large DUSTER logo. The rear boot lid sees a slight change with a colour trim plate and a new Duster logo. The Duster also features a new set of funky 16” alloy wheels fitted with all terrain-type tires.
Another one of the changes has been the interior. The Duster is now available with an optional leather interior, which does make it feel more premium and a little more luxurious. The Medianav touch screen unit is still the same as the one we sampled in the previous model and still features Bluetooth, Navigation, USB and Telephony services. The new model also sees cruise control with a speed limiter (across the range) added, as well as a completely new gauge cluster lifted right from the Clio, Megane and Captur. In addition, there is rear park distance control, which is also standard across the range. Overall, the interior has definitely taken a step up.
A rather big change in the engine compartment is the new Euro5 compliant engine (up from a Euro4) and the change is very noticeable. While the new engine is shared with a host of other models from rival manufacturers, it suits the little Duster to the ‘T’. I found that not only is it smoother, but its feels less buzzy and is definitely more fuel efficient. We had a little Economy run on the local launch and the lightest vehicle used an astonishing 5.07l/100kph, with the least economical vehicle (driven by yours truly) 6.7l/100km. These were real world figures and I can assure you they are accurate. It goes to show that you don’t need a big, heavy SUV to have an adventure on the weekends.
For now the new Euro5 1.5DCI engine is only available in the 4×2 version with it being introduced in the 4×4 model a little later this year. The 1.6 is also still present and only available in a 4×2 model. The 1.5DCI is available in both 4×2 and 4×4, but for now the 4×4 will still utilise the older engine. Both engines make the same power (80kw – 240nm)
– Duster 1.6 EXPRESSION 4×2 75kW petrol R215 900
– Duster 1.6 DYNAMIQUE 4×2 75kW petrol R233 900
– Duster 1.5 DCI DYNAMIQUE 4×2 80kW diesel R254 900
– Duster 1.5 DCI DYNAMIQUE 4×4 80kW diesel R269 900
The new Duster sits in this segment nearly unchallenged at its price and it’s going to be hard to find a honest B Segment SUV that can hold its own against it. The little Duster surprises me every time with its willingness to go nearly anywhere.