French manufacturer Renault has a penchant for beautiful cars with powerful engines. However, until recently, the more masculine vehicles were not really focussed on or given much exposure, though with the release of the Renault Duster, this has been forever changed. Designed as an affordable SUV that will provide exciting outdoor adventures and smooth, urban charm at the same time, the Duster is the most masculine vehicle produced thus far by this leading brand. Available in both 4×4 and 4×2 derivatives, the Duster also has an affordable price tag to add to its superb capabilities.
Group 1 Renault the Glen has a Dealer Principal who has shown ultimate dedication to the Nissan and Renault brands (which he now serves) for the last twenty-five years. Seen as the personification of what the Renault brand represents – loyalty, quality and innovation – George Stegmann prioritises loyalty to customer satisfaction and strives to provide access to quality vehicles that remain the most reliable and durable vehicles on the road, while seeking to introduce new and innovative products that are designed to enrich lives. With these as the core philosophies behind the Renault the Glen dealership, the products on offer here are both thrilling and beautiful.
Sales Manager for Group 1 Renault the Glen is Trevor, who I have found to be probably the most knowledgeable sales manager in the industry. He has been in the motoring industry for so long that whatever question I spring on him, he has an immediate answer that is accompanied by a confidant smile. With extensive product knowledge and great pride in his work, Trevor gave me the opportunity to review the Renault Duster. At Renault the Glen I always feel at home, as the general belief here is also to empower the female journalists that are up and coming in the motoring industry. Group 1 Renault the Glen has become a well of wisdom and hands-on experience for me, for which I am truly grateful.
In learning more about the Duster, I speak to Corne Gunther. Having been with Renault as a brand for the past four years, Corne has a passion for life and working in this dynamic industry that always keeps you on your toes. When working with people, Corne believes it is important to do things right the first time, and that implies always keeping up to date with the latest information and trends, as well as being one step ahead in terms of product knowledge. Having a deep love for the Renault brand, Corne is excited about what the future holds for the Renault The Glen dealership.
The confident and stocky look of the Renault Duster is a testimony to the design that is meant to fare as well on urban roads, as it should on the off-roading scene. With suave elements of modernity, the vehicle might have masculine and tough DNA, but there is a definite flair around the powerful body that resonates with the lady driver too. On the inside, the Duster looks elegant and well finished with care. 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. Ample head and leg room in the cabin makes it feel spacious, with beautifully upholstered seating that is both comfortable and raised for better visibility. The dashboard layout emphasises modern and technological elements, highlighted in the six-function on-board computer.
The take-off and drive in the Duster is, as expected with Renault, smooth and silky, bordering on sublime. Tackling the hectically congested city traffic conditions was easy and precise, and even rough jarring dirt roads were tackled without hesitation. I felt confident in the abilities of the vehicle, whilst remaining comfortable at all times on the inside. With ABS and Emergency Brake Assist as standard features on the Duster, there was little doubt in my mind of what the vehicle was capable of. Driver and passenger airbags are also included on all variants, and with class-leading safety ratings, I would be happy to have my family and children in the Duster too. With great pull at initial acceleration, thanks to the new generation 1.5 dCi engine, there is ample power to play with whilst maximising fuel efficiency. The engine is said to benefit from a low inertia variable geometry turbo which provides a great combination between power output and petrol consumption.
Available 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 dCi 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. This level of fuel efficiency is quite remarkable for the SUV segment, and in this regard, has already won me over.
Driving the Duster gives me a feeling of consistency and reliability. Naturally when a good product such as this is supported by the superb after-sales care packages offered by Group 1 Renault The Glen, the Duster makes a valuable (and clever) 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 Glen 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 Glen, you will most certainly get the most out of life when buying a vehicle there. Acknowledging their drive for superior mechanics and promoting excellence in design and quality, Renault the Glen is also dedicated to the concept of being a “people’s company” where your needs come first.
Contact Group 1 Renault for more information on the following: 011 210 7600 or https://www.group1renault.co.za.
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson