Juliet McGuire interviews Renault’s Wayne van der Merwe

What day of lockdown is it? Day 8 982? That means there are till no cars being launched or driven, I’m afraid. But I am still harassing the top dogs at manufacturers to reveal what cars they drive and what makes them special. This week I chatted to Wayne Van Der Merwe, the general manager of product for Renault South Africa about his Renault Duster.

The Renault Duster was first introduced in 2014 and was designed and engineered to adeptly master tough road conditions, but in a more modest form. The Duster has proved to be extremely popular in the SA market and reinforces Duster’s strengths and renowned DNA at the core; that is being an extremely capable SUV, which is tough, simple and reliable, yet accessible based on its exceptional value proposition.

I drive the TechRoad derivative and particularly appreciate the distinct trim and details of it. I love the specific seat design with its touches of red detailing throughout the cabin. The Duster boasts an exterior styling delivering a distinctly assertive and robust look, highlighting its SUV pedigree. Visually more muscular, the design tone is set by an expressive front and rear, heightening the impression of stability. To top it all, the Duster now has even greater off-road capabilities evident by the class-leading ground clearance of 210mm, with approach and departure angles suited for all terrain driving. Even if you don’t do a lot of off-roading or wish you could do more, just knowing that whenever the urge overtakes you, you have the car that is more than capable of taking you off the beaten track.

I truly enjoy the comfort, space and ride height/ground clearance of this car. Perfectly suited for tough South African roads. Space is exceptional with a boot of 475-litres, we travel very comfortably (when we could still travel) as a family with ALL our luggage. Me in the driver seat, wife in the passenger seat, 16-year-old in the backseat with a 3-year-old strapped in to the baby seat. Most impressive for me and probably one of the most important deciding factors is the exceptional fuel consumption. Even with a full load the 1.5dCi engine is just phenomenal. It offers great response and torque from low in the rev range and it is very, VERY frugal on fuel consumption. When I really drive well I can easily exceed 1000 km on a full tank of fuel (tank capacity = 50-litres). And it is worth noting, the Duster 1.5 dCi EDC 4×2 TechRoad won its Category (Diesel Turbo 1300cc-2000cc) in the Wesbank Fuel Eco Tour 2019.

The Duster range comes standard with Renault’s comprehensive 5-year/150 000 km warranty and 3-year/45 000km service.

Range Pricing:

1.6 Expression 4X2 – R268 900

1.5 dCI TechRoad 4X2 – R306 900

1.5 dCI TechRoad EDC 4X2 – R340 900

1.5 dCI Dynamique 4X4 – R340 900

1.5 dCI Prestige EDC 4X2 – R348 900

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