Ahead of the launch (16 September 2013) of the anticipated budget-SUV, Renault has released pricing and model information about their incoming Duster. Similar to Ford’s compact SUV, the EcoSport, their entry model comes in just under the R200k mark. Unlike the American competitor, however, this base model is quite highly specced and comes with a fair bit of kit.
Branded globally as a “Dacia”, the budget brand will be sold under the Renault marque in SA and plays to the booming market that is the compact SUV segment, albeit at a lower end than the likes of Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz. The brand has done well for Renault in India, Russia and Brazil, where it was first introduced, and brought the company record sales.
The line-up, so far, includes three derivatives – at least one of which is to be a 4×4 version. The French company has also said that a diesel engine will be available to the South African public, as will the affordable 1.6 Expression 4×2 – to be sold locally at R194 900 at launch. This model is said to have air-con, ABD, EBD, power-assisted steering, a trip computer, front and side airbags, electric windows all round as well as electric mirrors, remote central locking and 16 inch wheels as standard. More surprising, however, is that the standard spec list also includes reverse park sensors, front fog lamps, roof rails, a CD player/radio with MP3 and Bluetooth, and audio controls on the steering – all of which are usually reserved for mid-level models. Other figures released are a boot capacity of 475 litres (which is very generous for the segment), and power figures of 75kW from the naturally aspirated engine, with 145Nm of torque produced.
No further info has been released, but internationally the Romanian built SUV has 200mm ground clearance (to match the Ford EcoSport again), a 30 degree approach angle, 35 degree departure angle, and a six-speed manual gearbox. The 4×4 has an all-wheel drive system similar to that of the Nissan X-Trail, with an “Auto” mode, “Lock” mode and “4×2” mode. The diesel engine comes in two specifications – one producing 63kW (which matches the Suzuki Jimny) and another 78kW of power. The 4×4 weighs just 1277kg (heavier than a Jimny, lighter than an EcoSport).
Locally, the Duster will come standard with a service plan, a five-year/150 000km warranty and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.