Dealer Principal at Group 1 Renault the Glen, George Stegmann, has been with the Nissan and Renault brands for 25 years, and is the epitome of what these brands stand for; noting that loyalty to customer satisfaction, providing access to quality vehicles that remain the most reliable and durable vehicles on the road, coupled with new innovative products and services that are designed to enrich lives, are what this Dealership stands for, George believes that Renault has truly hit one out of the ballpark with the new Renault Duster.
Designed to be an affordable SUV that will allow the driver to experience the joys of exciting outdoor life, the Duster is noted to be the most “masculine” vehicle every produced by French manufacturer Renault. Available in both 4×4 and 4×2 variants, the Duster is tipped to be as good off-road as it is on-road, and I am excited to learn more about what it has to offer.
Meeting up with Sales Manager Trevor, I learn that he has been in the motoring industry for so long that whatever question springs to mind, and answer is immediate (and accompanied by a smile). With impeccable knowledge and great pride in his work, Trevor gave me the opportunity to review the Renault Duster recently. I feel particularly at home in a dealership that also emphatically believes in the empowerment of the female journalist in the motoring industry; Group 1 Renault the Glen has become a well of wisdom and hands-on experience for me.
Designed to perform as well on urban roads as on the off-road scene, the Duster has a confident, stocky look that still maintains suave elements of the modern vehicle which is pleasing to the lady driver like me. I love the way the lines flow together around a powerful body-shape, that seems to draw you into the driver’s seat. Inside, the Duster has a great raised seating position for the driver, with comfortable supportive seats all round. There is superb leg room and head room, and the cabin in general feels spacious and lends itself to incorporating all the modern technology needed, which includes a six-function on-board computer. With a wheelbase of 2.673 mm and an overall length of 4.315 mm, it is easy to see why comfort is a given in this vehicle.
Driving is – as always with this brand – sublime, with a smooth take-off and gear-transitions. The Duster is able to tackle the highly-congested traffic on my routes with ease and precision (whilst still maintaining my comfort inside), as well as rough, jarring dirt roads without hesitation when I took it for a brief off-road spin. With standard ABS, Emergency brake Assist, Driver and Passenger airbags, passenger safety remains prioritised at all times, and I am happy to have my family sitting comfortably in the back. The Duster provides great pull initial acceleration and, with its new generation 1.5 dCi engine that benefits from a low inertia variable geometry turbo to provide you with impressively good power and torque, gives ample power whilst still having superb fuel efficiency.
Released in three variants, the entry level 1.6 Duster Expression 4×2 costs R246 900 and has standard features that include ABS, Emergency Brake Assist, Driver and Passenger Airbags (including Front Head/Thorax Side Airbags), Radio/CD/MP3/USB audio system with Bluetooth and Satellite Music Controls, as well as Rear Park sensors and cruise control. Releasing 77 kW of power and 148 Nm of torque, this variant is light on fuel whilst still giving ample drive to crunch over rocks. The same engine is on-board the mid-spec Duster Dynamique 1.6 4×2 which starts pricing options from R266 900 and has touchscreen navigation with Bluetooth, reverse camera, satin chrome roof bars, front/rear skid-plate and side-skirt covers as well as a black split leather steering wheel.
The top of the range Dynamique 1.5 cDi has the now-popular diesel engine to boot, and comes in at around R287 900, which is really well priced for a vehicle in this segment, with these capabilities. It is also available in 4×2 and 4×4 options, both producing around 80 KW of power and 240 Nm of torque, yet still delivering fuel consumption of between 4.8 and 5 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, according to my host.
The Duster provides me with the sensation of steady reliability, and supported by the superb after-sales care packages offered by Group 1 Renault the Glenn, the Duster is a smart acquisition to the modern family, as well as the adventurer who likes to kick up dust in their spare time. Available with various gorgeous trim and accessory packs, the Duster can also be customised to suit your individual needs.
Group 1 Renault the Glenn continues to showcase this brilliant, popular vehicle with pride and integrity, and promotes the Renault quality. The term used to describe the Duster, joie de vivre, translates to “exuberant enjoyment of life” and I feel confident that with the client-centred team at Group 1 Renault the Glenn, you will most certainly get the most out of life when buying a vehicle there. Contact Group 1 Renault for more information on the following: 011 210 7600 or Group 1 Renault the Glen
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson