The Renault Duster offers offroad ability due to hill descent control and higher ground clearance.
The Renault Duster offers offroad ability due to hill descent control and higher ground clearance.

Renault’s well-priced Duster has served as a popular SUV for those on a budget, selling more than 2-million units since its launch seven years ago.

The second-generation version, which had its global reveal at the Frankfurt motor show last September, was shown here in the metal for the first time at the weekend’s Festival of Motoring at Kyalami before its local sales debut on October 1.

Renault says the new Duster remains at its core a tough, simple and reliable, yet accessible, SUV based on a value proposition, but boasts all-new exterior styling with a distinctly assertive and robust look.

The rugged stance is emphasised by its bold, more horizontal lines, new 17-inch wheels, more prominent aluminium roof bars and front and rear skid plates. Although it appears visually more muscular, the five-seater SUV has the same compact dimensions as before.

The quality of the previously plasticky interior has been improved.
The quality of the previously plasticky interior has been improved.

The French-Romanian vehicle (which wears a Dacia badge in Romania) now has greater offroad capabilities, thanks to an enhanced ground clearance of 210mm, higher approach and departure angles, and the introduction of hill descent control in the 4x4 model.

Previously criticised for its plasticky interior, the newcomer has an upgraded cabin with an improvement to perceived quality and user-friendliness. The dashboard has been redesigned with enhanced ergonomics. Travelling comfort for driver and passengers is upgraded with more comfortable seats, accessible stowage spaces, improved accessibility of controls and an enhanced multimedia experience.

Equipment levels have been tweaked with features such as a multiview camera, blind-spot warning, automatic climate control, hill descent control and keyless entry.

As before, petrol and diesel engines will be offered in manual, automatic and 4x4 guises, but Renault SA isn’t revealing which of the available engines will be sold locally.

It’s likely the normally-aspirated 1.6l petrol with slightly enhanced outputs of 84kW and 156Nm will remain, but it’s not known whether the 93kW/ 205Nm 1.2 turbo petrol will make it to our shores.

Overseas there is also a choice of two 1.5l turbo diesels in two output grades: 67kW/ 220Nm and 82kW/260Nm.

Full details will be revealed when the Duster goes on sale in SA in October.

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