Renault Duster 1,5 dCi Dynamique

The Renault Duster has finally been launched in South Africa and expectations are high for this compact SUV. With engine sizes shrinking and fuel prices growing it is no wonder people have their eyes on this fast-growing segment. The Duster is a first for Renault and it’s not a bad start.

The styling is chunky yet simple. The rear arches, high ride height and wide front with oversized headlamps give the Duster a robust look. This simple styling carries through in to the cabin; some might even refer to it as rugged. The build quality does not feel great due to the hard plastics used and appears a bit bland but Renault has opted to use a touchscreen interface, which includes sat-nav as standard. Also included on this model are air-conditioning and electric windows. The height adjustable seat and steering wheel fared well with me as I can struggle to find a suitable driving position with my short-ish legs. Speaking of legs, the legroom in the Duster is impressive, even for the rear passengers. There is more than enough luggage space with 296 dm3.

The 1,5-litre dCi engine is powerful enough and overtaking acceleration is strong in all six gears. This small-capacity, four-cylinder, turbocharged unit puts out 80 kW and 240 N.m of torque. The sixth gear makes for less engine strain and therefore more relaxed driving, even if engine and road noise can be intrusive. The fuel consumption is claimed at 5,6 litres/100 km.

The Duster’s ride quality is smooth and it handles well owing to the tall tyre sidewalls and sophisticated rear suspension. Take the Duster off-road and it is more than capable. The part-time four-wheel-drive system ensures enough torque to get you out of some tricky situations – not too tricky of course – but traversing gravel roads or steep slopes is no problem for the Duster. When it comes to safety, this model has six airbags, ABS, and ESP.

Renault has tapped in to this market with a great product and I foresee a number of Dusters on our roads. People with an active lifestyle who need the space but who are not only conscious about fuel consumption but also price will find the perfect fit with the Duster. Like a few of the CAR team have noted, the Duster does not pretend to be anything other than what it is: practical, spacious, capable and reasonably priced.

Look out for a full road test in the October issue of CAR, on sale 23 September.

Renault Duster 1,5 dCi Dynamique
 R239 900
Engine: 1,5-litre, 4-cyl, turbodiesel
Power: 80 kW/4 000 r/min
Torque: 240 N.m/2 550 r/min
0-100 km/h: 14,9 secs
Top speed: 158 km/h
Fuel consumption: 5,6 L/100 km
CO2137 g/km
Service plan: 3 years/45 000 km

All manufacturer’s claimed figures

  • Knormoer

    Yes it is a little smaller (and cheaper) but if I had to choose I would rather take the cute little Ford Ecosport. This is a Dacia with a Renault badge slapped on the grille for the SA market.

    • Tertius Thiart

      I agree with Knormoer – rather the Ford Ecosport than the Renault Duster. I am the owner of a 2009 Renault Logan, and after nearly 5 years no problem.
      i am sure the Duster is not bad at all, but the big problem with Renault, and all other French cars are very bad re-sale value, expensive parts and the non-availability of parts, or a very long wait to get parts from France.

  • sacarfanatic

    I believe Renault has a winner here! If you do your homework you will see that Dacia is used in some parts of Europe, and if you REALLY did your homework, you will see that 75% of all Dusters sold globally are under the #Renault brand. That said, Dacia have just introduced a facelift at Frankfurt Motorshow, all these new features are already in the current Renault Duster. So definitely NOT just a badge on an existing car!

    Duster has sold more units globally this year than New Clio, so it must say something about the Renault Brand.

    Thanks for breaking into this market Renault….
    Your cars are well worth considering in the buying process.

    • Confido

      Wikipedia on the Duster “The Dacia Duster is a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) developed by the Romanian manufacturer Dacia since 2010. It is also marketed as the Renault Duster in certain markets”

      So it seems that it really is a Dacia with a Renault badge. Whether more Renault badges are sold globally than Dacia still doesn’t matter.

      I agree with the post below. Ford Ecosport for me is the better choice. Better looking and it is not saddled with the terrible reputation for bad reliability and even worse after sales service that Renault established here with the Megane II. Resale value should also be better. And in India where both these two are represented the conclusion of a comparative test by Motorbash :

      “Like India, Duster was a runaway success in Brazil as well. But with
      the launch of EcoSport, at a higher price tag than Duster (read again,
      EcoSport is priced higher than Duster in Brazil), it (EcoSport) has left
      the Duster to a minority!

      Frankly speaking, it’s not a question of which is a better car between EcoSport and Duster but a more sensible choice between these two compact SUVs. If we have to speak it in loud and clear words, EcoSport it has to be.”

      Take a look at the full test at

  • Jan Benjamin Minnie

    It looks great BUT! I can tell you right now the fuel consumptuion
    figures are pie in the sky. I own a brand new Renault Megan coupe
    1,4Turbo with consumption figures of 6,5L per KM advertised on the
    brochure. I have taken the car for long stints to JHB and CT with one
    duffle bag of luggage and myself 90kg and not exceeded 100km/hour and
    the best consumption I got was 9L/100km. Thats way out from their
    advertised claims. So dont hold your breath on the 5L/100km claims.

  • Werner Botha

    Yes, all well, & a nice car, but try to go get one. I went to Renault East Rand to trade in my 2011 Nissan Livina X-gear in on the 4×4 1.5dci. Took the Duster for a test drive. Renault took my Nissan for a test drive & offered me R115 000 as a trade in. All well. They took my details & promised to email me all relevant info & bank application. That never happened. I tried to phone the sales person, to ask what is happening. She didn’t answer her phone. I definitely don’t have a financial problem, so the only thing i can think of is either they don’t like my face or they actually don’t want to sell the Dusters, in which case they should rename them to the Renault Phantom. Btw. trying to phone Renault customer care should also be renamed to Renault customer care less.

    • Quinn JustQuinn

      Hi Werner, did anyone eventually come back to you? Quinn bbm 2783ABF4 or 0817684027

      • Werner Botha

        Hi Quinn,
        Nope, i even went to Renault Alberton. They told me they have no stock, but took my details & would notify me as soon as they got stock. This was supposed to happen around the 15th Dec. Not surprisingly, they never contacted me. I have basically written them (Renault) off. Can you imagine the customer service if you have problems, if this is the way they treat ‘potential’ customers? And, although the vehicle might be a good one, and the price not too bad, unfortunately, it’s only part of the picture. So i think i must thank them for preventing me from getting my fingers badly burnt!

  • Giles

    I’m afraid I can only confirm that Renault’s pre-sales service is as bad as the comments below describe. Couldn’t be less interested in selling the car… remarkable lack of customer service, though suspect it may be linked to them not having product either. Still, they could answer their phones and emails to say so…

  • Thabiso Moshoeshoe

    How is your Experience on this car anyone? I am interested in this model and I would like anyone out there having it to share their experiences, be it fuel consumption, maintenance, parts replacements and other maintenance issues