Steering Wheel Wonderings

Steering Wheel Wonderings

Renault Captur Review

by Craig Duff · CarsGuide

What we like

  • Good value

  • Secure roadholding and one of the better steering feels in the class

  • Looks will grab attention

What we don't

  • No rear side airbags

  • Two-tone paintjob is significantly more expensive on the Expression

It's all about the look with the Renault Captur, from the optional two-tone exterior styling to the dimpled surfaces, coloured zippers and bright plastic highlights in the cabin.

But there's a method behind the interior-designer madness.

The surfaces will be easy to wipe down, which will endear them to parents with young kids and 20-somethings who tend to live in their vehicles on weekends away. The same applies to the zip-off cushion covers standard in the top-end Dynamique and a $600 option for the Expression.

While the looks will grab the most attention, it's the underpinnings of the Renault that will appeal to diehards used to the brand's hot hatches.

The stiffened suspension definitely puts it at the sporty end of the light SUV brigade. The occasionally jumpy ride is compensated for by secure roadholding and one of the better steering feels in the class. Unfortunately the pace, in either 900cc turbo three-cylinder manual guise or 1.2L turbo four-cylinder auto guise, is at the more moderate end of the scale.

The Captur is destined to be a hit in the same way as the Clio light car it is based on. This baby SUV is a smart mix of stylish looks and decent standard features that justify adding it to the list when shopping for a high-riding crossover.


The pricing lands the Captur in the heart of an increasingly competitive segment.

Standard gear includes a seven-inch touchscreen with satnav and a reversing camera, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry and a sliding rear bench seat that can mix and match rear legroom with cargo capacity. With the seats in their most forward position, cargo space is a very impressive 445 litres.

The next step up gets the same interior features but with a six-speed twin-clutch automatic matched to a 1.2-litre four-cylinder.

The Dynamique tops the rangewith a standard two-tone paintjob that's aoption on the Expression, along with fog lights with a cornering function, 17-inch alloy rims and the washable zip-off seat covers.

There are, however, two notable omissions: the Captur doesn't have rear side airbags. Altough, it still gets five stars from the official ANCAP testing regime.


The Captur rides 163mm off the ground and its hip point — the level of the seat squab — is 100mm higher than in a Clio. That makes it easier to get in and out and the doors open wide enough to allow that.

The in-car entertainment is handled by a seven-inch touchscreen with satnav. The graphics are functional if not first rate.There's an enhanced R-Link infotainment system with upgraded sound system for a bit extra, a choice of wheel colours, orange/green/blue interior trim accents and a range of decals. Personalisation is a trend brands are looking to leverage.

Carsguide's first experience is in the triple-cylinder with a five-speed manual box. The sliding rear bench seat means four adults can squeeze into the Renault without needing to dislocate limbs. The back seat position is upright and the pews are flat but the essentials, head, leg and shoulder room, are all catered for.

The ride itself is choppy at urban pace over sharp-ridged bumps and expansion joints, especially in the back where the torsion beam rear end can crash over hits. It handles faster, open roads with shallower ruts with far more decorum.

Momentum has to be maintained on the 0.9L model by regular applications of the gearshift. It's a light throw and the five forward ratios are well spaced to match the rorty, snarly nature of the engine, which effectively winds out of puff at 5000rpm.

Acceleration is acceptable and it rolls easily along the freeway at 110km/h, though overtaking moves would need to be well planned.

The 1.2L is just on a second quicker to 100km/h and feels it both off the mark and during in-gear acceleration. The six-speed dual-clutch auto hesitates off the mark and isn't as crisp on the changes as more advanced models.

It does help keep fuel use down to 5.4L/100km, though on a hard test we saw mid-sevens on both engines.


Differences in design and layout should capture fans for this mini SUV. It has the price, packaging and high-riding position to earn a slice of the fastest growing segment in town.

2015 Renault Captur

Engines: 0.9L turbo three-cylinder, 66kW/135Nm; 1.2L turbo four-cylinder, 88kW/190Nm

Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 6-speed twin-clutch auto

Thirst: 4.9L/100km; 5.4L/100km

Dimensions: 4122mm (L), 1778mm (W) 1566mm (H)

Weight: 1100-1180kg

Spare: Spacesaver

Convinced to get your own? Contact Group 1 Renault and ask about the Renault Captur Price today.

Renault Captur Review

One of the best (and most distinctive) SUVs for the price.

Wowscore: 7.2

This is the average score given by leading car publications from 10 reviews.


  • Funky styling

  • Neat, spacious interior

  • Economical engines


  • Jiggly ride

  • Some hard cabin plastics

  • Could be more fun to drive


The Renault Captur is a small SUV that competes with the Ford EcoSport, Vauxhall Mokka and Nissan Juke.

Although it’s very similar to the Renault Clio under the skin, the Captur’s tall body means it has a lot more space. There’s plenty of room up front for adults and the rear seats can slide backwards to give rear passengers more legroom. The Captur’s 450-litre boot is also significantly bigger than the Clio’s. Plastic quality isn’t great, but reflects the Captur’s relatively cheap price.

Aside from its raised driving position, which gives the driver an excellent view of the road ahead, the Captur feels much like the Clio to drive. Its light steering means it is easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, but makes it feel a little nervous in corners – it leans more than the Clio when cornering too.

Petrol engines come in 0.9 and 1.2-litre forms, but the latter’s fitted as standard with an automatic gearbox, which restricts performance and lowers fuel economy. Instead go for the 1.5-litre diesel that can return more than 75mpg and is free to tax.

Kit includes air conditioning, cruise control and a Bluetooth phone connection. Keyless entry is also standard – rare for a car in this price bracket.

Cheapest to buy: 0.9-litre 90 Expression Plus petrol

Cheapest to run: 1.5-litre 90 Dynamique S diesel

Fastest model: 1.2-litre 120 Dynamique S petrol

Most popular: 1.5-litre 110 Dynamique MediaNav


Roomy and contemporary, but a few last-decade plastics.

Reviewers say the interior is fresh-looking, modern and neat, marred a little by some harder plastics that testers do suggest should be easy to keep clean. Higher-spec models get useful zip-off seat covers (making it ideal if you work outdoors) and generally snazzier cabins. It’s comfortable though, and has a good driving position.

Renault Captur passenger space

A priority for cars like the Captur is space and it does fairly well here. It’s 60mm longer than the Renault Clio that it is based upon so there is space for adults in the back as well as in the front, and rear-seat passenger space can be increased by sliding the seats back on their runners.

Renault Captur boot Space

Those sliding rear seats mean boot space can be increased from 377 to 455 litres as long as you don’t mind sacrificing some legroom. Total boot capacity, with the back seats folded down, peaks at 1,235 litres – 89 litres more than you get in the Clio.


Like Renaults of old, the Captur is more comfort oriented than it is sporty, but the supermini underpinnings make it an easy car to drive. Light and quick steering makes the Captur feel at home in town, as does its raised ride height that gives the driver a better view of the road ahead.

Out of town the steering’s too light, though, so the Captur seems a little nervous in corners and there’s precious little feel to tell you when it is losing grip. Its soft suspension and tall body sees to it that there’s also quite a lot of body lean, which makes the car feel like it could tip over, although the stability control system will stop this from ever happening.

The Captur usually rides well and feels secure enough on the road, but can be easily unsettled by big bumps and its tyres transmit a lot of noise into the cabin. Trim levels with larger wheels can make the car decidedly jiggly on bumpy roads.


There are four engine options in the 2016 Renault Captur. Two are dinky petrol units – a three-cylinder 0.9-litre TCe and a 1.2-litre four-cylinder TCe – while the third is the 89hp 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel that you’ll find in just about any of Renault and Nissan’s smaller offerings. From mid-2015 the Captur was available with a 110hp version of the 1.5-litre diesel too.

Renault Captur diesel engines

Of these, the diesels are best-suited to carting people and stuff around, with a good chunk of low-down torque, a slick gearbox and enough smoothness at cruising speeds. It can get a little noisy though, making the more refined petrols a better choice for a quieter life.

Renault Captur petrol engines

Unfortunately the 118hp 1.2 TCe engine, is combined with a dim-witted dual-clutch auto box that isn’t quite as quick as the best units. It’ll reach 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds though and fuel economy is decent, at 52.3 mpg.

The 89hp 0.9 TCe doesn’t really offer anything to compete with either of the other engines, not matching the diesel’s in-gear performance or 76mpg fuel economy. It’s a lovely little engine, but perhaps not best suited to cars bigger than the Clio.


An easy five stars, with all the expected gear.

There are six airbags, stability control, hill hold control and emergency brake assist as standard, with three Isofix mountings and anti-whiplash headrests thrown in too. That lot helped the Captur secure a five-star safety rating when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP, although rivals tested after 2013 (when the Renault was evaluated) have been exposed to even tougher testing.

Renault Captur motability

Because of its raised suspension the Renault Captur is easier to get in and out of than a normal car – you don’t have to lower yourself into the driver’s seat and you simply slide off when getting out. The driver’s door is also large and opens wide to give excellent access.

Value for money

Cheap to buy, cheap to run and a good warranty too

Air-con, cruise control and hill-start assist are standard on all Capturs, but Renault’s four-year servicing, warranty and roadside cover package is better than some others offer. It suggests Renault is more confident about its reliability these days, too.

As well as the main trim lines – Expression, Dynamique etc. – Renault also offers a series of American-themed styling packages which lend the Captur much of its character. Called Arizona, Manhattan, Miami and New York, they offer different combinations of exterior colour and gloss and interior features. Your best bet is to raid the Renault website to see which styles you prefer! To help you choose the right shade for your new Captur we have prepared a guide that examines each colour in detail.


The Captur is a talented crossover that’s worthy of its impressive sales figures. It’s a little more carefree and spacious than the Juke or 2008, and cheaper than rivals like the Skoda Yeti, Vauxhall Mokka or MINI Countryman. Slightly bumpy ride aside it drives reasonably too and it’s one of the more stylish options in the class.

Throw in economical engines and a dash of extra practicality compared to the Clio and it comes recommended.

Renault Clio Review


Ever since the late 1940s, Renault’s range has featured an unbroken line of interesting small cars, of which the Clio has been one of the most successful.

More than 12 million have found homes and, along the way, the Clio has found and enjoyed a youthful, vibrant image.

Earlier variants of the Clio deserved that rep, too: being agile, neatly designed, compact, engineered for some dynamism and intelligently marketed.

But – and Renault wasn’t alone in this – during the mid 2000s, when the Clio III arrived, some of that purity was lost. The Clio became bigger and heavier, and went searching – with honourable intent – for more refinement and class, growing up with its customers.

With the extra refinement it found, however, it lost something, as did several of its peers during the past decade. Out went a bit of what Renault used to dub the ‘va-va-voom’.

Which brings us to Clio IV: it’s notably leaner and cleaner than its predecessor. It is also offered with a range of engines, including a frugal 0.9-litre three-cylinder TCe petrol engine and a 1.5-litre dCi diesel, and a decent range of kit.

Question is, has all of that reintroduced some of the joie de vivre? Let’s find out.

First impression? The new Clio is bold, make no mistake. Even though it is sculpted to appear much more lithe than its immediate ancestor, it still looks like a Clio to us. Even, we suspect, were it not wearing a Renault diamond the size of a dinner plate on its nose.

There are differences in proportion, though. Renault has made quite a big play of the fact that the wheelbase is longer than on Clio III (by 14mm, up to 2589mm) but while this is likely to have an effect on handling, it doesn’t help place the wheels closer to each corner, because overall length is up by 30mm.

With that too, though, has come an increase in track, a more steeply raked windscreen and a much lower height: at 1448mm, the latest Clio’s roof sits some 45mm closer to the ground than a Clio III’s.

All of which leaves it looking more dynamic. Renault also reckons that, model for model, the new car is some 100kg lighter than the old one. The Clio III did, in fairness, carry easy pounds to lose, but even so, at this level 100kg is not an amount to be sniffed at.

The range of new engines in the Clio reflects that of its rivals, catering for most tastes and requirements. The entry-level engine is a basic 1.2-litre 16V petrol unit. A modern turbocharged 0.9-litre three-pot TCe petrol is also offered, as well as an 89bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel.

All versions claim admirable levels of economy and efficiency, particularly if you choose the optional ECO derivatives of the diesel and TCe engines. These emit and consume less than the standard ones, although only by negligible amounts.


Inside the Clio there's a generous amount of space and the cabin is of a particularly good size. It offers 10 per cent, or a couple of inches, more legroom than you’ll find in the average small hatch, and an inch or so of ‘extra value’ headroom for back seat travellers.

For relatively large adult passengers, in the context of this class, that could make an important difference. We can get on fine with a digital speedo, and appreciate the good-sized indicators and fuel gauge.

There’s the usual quantity of cabin storage but no especially neat or clever packaging solutions. Having added interior space to the Clio with its basic proportions, Renault’s focus was clearly on injecting colour and life into the cabin, and successfully so.

The most conservative choice is a black fascia with black cloth seats, but its attractive sculptural instruments, complemented by lots of gloss black and chrome accenting, lends it an air of technical style and sophistication.

Consumer electronics are an obvious inspiration here, just as they were for the Ford Fiesta. The difference is that, while the Ford’s cabin could have been penned by graduates from Nokia and Motorola, the Renault’s is one of the converged touchscreen design generation, with clearer nods to the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC.

In terms of function, however, Renault’s R-link system needs some refinement. Postcode entry is still woefully limited, while map graphics on the satellite-navigation system look like they’re from a 1990’s games console, not a contemporary mass-market hatchback.

Material quality levels are fine, but again they don’t quite match that level of ambition. Most of the Clio’s background cabin plastics are ordinary in their look and feel. One or two loose, creaky trims even serve to remind us of Renault’s chequered track record on fit and finish.

There’s also a certain lack of attention to ergonomic detail. The engine start-stop button’s on the wrong side of the centre stack for right-hand drive, for example, and the cruise control button is in an unintuitive position by the handbrake.

Both peculiarities will be familiar to Renault owners, but on such an important car where progress has been made in other directions, this feels like a missed opportunity to remedy them.

There are three engine choices for the Clio. Buyers can pick from a basic 74bhp 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, a more powerful turbocharged three-cylinder TCe petrol or an 89bhp 1.5-litre turbodiesel.

The mid-range engine option is a TCe unit, the conceit being that you’re getting 1.4-litre performance with greatly reduced fuel consumption, but that’s potentially a little misleading. We have, after all, tested other superminis of a similar displacement that are both faster and more efficient.

Nevertheless, it’s a good engine. Quiet, refined and responsive, its light-pressure delivery suits the Renault right down to the ground. The engine only really feels turbocharged at very low revs, otherwise it pulls cleanly and with stoutness through the mid-range while holding onto its power at high revs. it's also particularly smooth throughout. Ford’s EcoBoost triple may be more powerful, but it can’t match this Clio’s lack of noise and vibration.

The diesel engine is the more mature choice. It feels quicker than the figures suggest and it’s so quiet and refined that you’d struggle to tell it’s a diesel. Pleasantly, it’s also a tractable engine with a wide torque band, so you don’t have to work the gearbox as hard as you would in the petrol versions.

Admittedly the diesel does add 62kg to the kerb weight of the petrol model, leading to it feeling slightly less agile as a result. Those interested in maximum enjoyment should, consequently, stick to the zesty TCe option. There’s also a 1.2-litre engine carried over from the old model, producing 74bhp and 79lb ft of torque.

In all versions, the shift quality is light but well defined, and brake pedal feel is good. Overall, the Clio is an entirely pleasant device, peppy at times and quite suave at others, with the flexibility and polish to take mixed daily motoring duties in its stride, from motorway miles to cross-country backroads and the urban sprawl.


The Clio habitually ranks at the sharp end of the class in this regard. It has never been short on verve, even at the cheaper end of the model scale. But for the Ford Fiesta, you’d probably call it the finest example of the zesty, engaging European small hatch – the sort that the Japanese, Koreans and now the Chinese have been seeking to reproduce for the past 30 years.

But the new one sets higher standards than its immediate forebear right across the board, from compliance to high-speed stability to ultimate grip and amusement value. As a driving machine it’s the most multi-talented and complete supermini to come out of France in a long time: certainly since the Citroën DS3 in 2009, and probably for a lot longer.

The way the Clio segues from remarkable rolling comfort at one moment to slick and engaging handling accuracy the next, marks it out as a work of real class. It’s a calmer customer than the Fiesta; slightly softer of spring and less tautly damped, its low speed ride is very quiet but also more absorptive than the Ford’s.

This means that, at higher speeds, there’s a little more body movement in the Clio. But when that does materialise, and the road surface conspires to test the Renault’s mettle, excellent damper tuning and first-rate bump isolation combine to produce fluent body control and an unusually silken ride in one so small.

Indeed, on an urban test route the Renault feels well refined and able to glide over road defects in a manner more normally suited to a much larger car.

The steering wheel is quite large and it feels a little over-assisted at low speeds. But as you accelerate, so that power assistance ramps down. Ultimately, it allows a well paced, well weighted system to present that, although it isn’t very informative, does feel natural, if a little light in places.

Lean on the suspension and it firms up in trustworthy proportion, keeping control of the body and working the tyres just hard enough to produce plenty of grip and a consistent steering response.

An effective balance of dynamic virtues is what we look for in a good-handling hatchback, and the Clio’s balance of comfort and sporting brio is every bit as striking as its chic new clothes.

Renault has taken a deliberate step forwards with the new Clio; one that the car-buying public and rest of the car industry can’t fail to notice.

This pretty five-door is a statement of intent from a company keen to inject much-needed style, personality, usability and dynamism into its showrooms; it’s a blow landed on behalf of beleaguered Europe in a market where the far eastern powers have been making most of the gains of late. And it’s a resounding piece of work.

The Verdict:


  • Distinctive styling
  • Sophisticated ride and handling
  • Good-sized, attractive cabin


  • Undistinguished performance
  • Average interior finish
  • Unremarkable economy from petrol models

Renault Captur review


Renault calls the Captur ‘an urban crossover’, though in industry parlance it’s a ‘B-segment crossover’.

The manufacturer’s planners are predicting that EU sales of such crossovers will leap from 257,000 units in 2012 to just short of 500,000 in 2013, taking a healthy 14 per cent slice of the supermini market. They also expect the Captur to become the brand’s second best-seller in UK.

In the flesh, the Captur is certainly an eye-catching car. Go for the duo-tone roof and body option and the car stands out even more, partly because the contrasting colour extends to the A-pillars. It’s all the more striking with the exterior trim Gloss Pack fitted around the fog lights and to the sills and grille.

There are 24 exterior colour combinations along with three matching interior and exterior trim packs, called ‘Arizona’, ‘Miami’ and ‘Manhattan’. There also also three different roof decals.

The Captur is based on the same new-generation platform as the Clio estate, although it has been modified with a wider track. It is quite compact, measuring just 4.1m in length and 1.53m high, including a useful 200mm of ground clearance. The decent 2.6m-long wheelbase works with a 60/40 split rear bench seat that also slides to allow up to 215mm of kneeroom.

Inside, the fresh-looking dash plastics are finished in a modern dimple pattern and there are some usefully deep cubby holes in the centre console. Renault has also patented the removable seat covers.

With the sliding rear seat set right back, you get a reasonable 377-litre boot, extending to a healthy 455 litres with the bench slid fully forward. There’s also a double-sided (carpet and rubber) hard boot floor that splits the rear luggage space and creates a substantial – and hidden – storage space.

Renault offers the Captur with its new, sweet and punchy small petrol turbo engine, which drives through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The 120bhp unit has the legs for twisting hill roads while proving to be very smooth on the motorways. The engine is a good match for the company’s new dual-clutch ’box, which was almost complete viceless unless you stamped on the accelerator.

The 90bhp dCI diesel engine is impressively refined, although it becomes vocal in town on a trailing throttle and on long uphill roads, the driver needs to stay on the ball and drop down a ratio to keep the car’s speed up. It can manage a relaxed relaxed 12.6sec 0-62mph time but the upside is a claimed combined economy of 76.4mpg, which should mean nearly 60mpg in the real world.

Certainly, the Captur isn’t going to whet the appetite of the keen driver. It has lightly weighted controls and is easy to punt around. That said, it could be made to flow along rather nicely on French A-roads.

However, the big flaw facing this car’s translation to the UK is the ride on very poor surfaces. While it would glide along on smooth roads, on patches of typical French A-road, where it encountered broken surfaces, the wheels crashed and pattered to a surprising degree.

The Captur is very much a style and lifestyle statement. You’ll find similar interior versatility in an MPV, but the Captur is much more about showmanship and the ability to completely customise the car inside.

Buyers are also given some strong practical reasons to buy the car. Renault offers a comprehensive ownership package including a four-year warranty, four years’ servicing and four years’ roadside cover.

Overall, the Renault Captur is not a captivating driving experience, but that’s not the point. Its style, freshness, value (compared to, say, Mini’s line-up) and overall buying package should ensure that it is a success.

If you are looking for your own Renault Captur and you are situated in South Africa – be sure to contact Group 1 Renault today!


Looking good from every angle: The All New Renault Kadjar - Full Review

Renault's new Renault KADJAR crossover SUV meets the increasing demand from customers for an SUV that isn't out of place in the city. The vehicle meets the brief completely as it has rugged yet modern styling and is compact enough to navigate tight streets with ease.

The new Kadjar is launching in South Africa right now. Swing by a reputable dealer such as Group 1 Renault and Test Drive the Renault Kadjar.


2016 Renault Duster Launched with New Look


The Duster was invented with the European market in mind, but it's played a crucial role in developing markets like Russia, India or Brazil. The Clio-based crossover is probably the most popular and profitable car Renault has got, so it's not surprising updates are frequent.

Renault Brazil has just revealed its 2016 Duster model, which appears to have a new set of cosmetic touches. From the front, we notice a new silver bumper insert at the bottom, a different grille to the 2014 Duster facelift and tinted headlights with LED accents.

At the back, the 2016 Duster has similar changes, so we quickly move our attention to the interior. There, the door panels are said to have been revised with much better materials. The instrument cluster has new lighting, and the Media NAV Evolution brings upscale touches by integrating GPS navigation and real-time traffic information for major Brazilian cities.

The 2016 updates were brought about as an answer to the launch of the Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade in Brazil. Renault engineers have worked with both engines available on the Duster to increase power output slightly while reducing fuel consumption.

The base unit is a 115 hp 1.6-liter petrol available only with a 5-speed manual on the Dynamique and Expression trim levels. Renault follows this up with a 2-liter 16-valve unit which is mated to either a 6-speed manual or an optional 4-speed automatic. The unit delivers 148 hp and 18.1 kilogram-force meter (177.5 Nm) of torque on ethanol, or 142 hp and 17.1 kgfm (168 Nm) on gasoline.

Editor's note: our sources within the French automaker say a new Duster will come out by 2017 and will be visibly larger, but the Brazilians will keep this one for the foreseeable future.

New international models always take some time to reach other countries, so if you are looking for a 2016 Renault Duster in South Africa, contact a reputable dealer, such as Group 1 Renault.

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New Renault Duster: Revamped, revitalised

WINNING FORMULA: Renault builds on the local success of it Duster with design and interior tweaks as well as revised diesel engine. Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids ~ Wheels24

• More than 8000 units sold in SA

• New production factory in Romania

• Revised diesel engine

• Revised exterior and interior

Revamped and revitalised, Renault's facelifted Duster has arrived in South Africa. Enhanced inside and out, Renault builds on the local success of its Duster with refreshed styling, new features and improved turbo diesel.


Since its launch in 2013, Renault has sold more than 1.3-million globally and 8000 units locally.

According to Renault: "The first Renault model designed to meet stringent European standards - yet be capable of conquering international markets where usage and road conditions are considerably more rugged - two years down the track, Duster continues to be a formidable contender in South Africa’s B-SUV segment."

The Renault Duster line-up remains unchanged; two specification levels (expression and dynamique), two engine options (petrol and diesel) and two variants (4x2 and 4x4)

The 1.6 normally aspirated petrol (Expression and Dynamique 4x2) is capable of 75kW/148Nm and is mated to a five-speed manual. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.6 litres/100km with emissions of 181g/km.

The 1.5 dCi turbo diesel engine (Dynamique 4x2 and 4x4 models) is capable of 80kW/240Nm. The revised diesel outperforms its predecessor in terms in terms of fuel efficiency, with a claimed consumption of 4.8 litres/100km (down from 5.5 litres/100km) with emissions of 127g/km (4x2) and 135g/km in 4x4 guise.

What's new

• Two chromed horizontal grille strips (instead of three) and re-designed Renault diamond logo

• Less chromed trim at the front

• New roof bars with Duster moniker etched into the aluminium insets.

• Body coloured side-mirrors

• New alloy rims.

• Parking distance control (standard)

• Patterned fabric replaces plain seat and door panel design.

• 7" touchscreen satnav (Dynamique variants only)

• Cruise control now standard

• Leather trim and seat optional on all three derivatives


Sure the new diesel is refined with, Renault says, reduced consumption but can it walk the talk? Renault SA pitted journalists against each other in its Duster eco challenge (part time-trial, part economy run). In reality, it was more akin to a 300km off-road rally as we took on tar and dirt roads throughout Parys.

During the run I kept an eye on the fuel gauge throughout, while my navigator observed a stopwatch to make sure we reached our check points on time.

I achieved 4.8 litres/100km but due to time penalties was relegated to second place. The winner achieved 5.03 litres/100km without receiving a single penalty.

Overall, an impressive improvement by Renault.


Only 4x4s are equipped with traction control, a feature desperately needed in 4x2 variants, especially for those hoping to tackle mild off-road terrain.

The Duster is unsettled by poor terrain with plenty of driver input needed at moderate speed. It's a pity since the 4x4 is very capable and Renault has identified its 4x2 as its most popular derivative. Perhaps Renault can include traction control as a future upgrade.

Other faults include a lack of refinement at high speeds.


Production of the 2015 Duster has been moved from Chennai, India to Pitesti in Romania and is now manufactured at the same factory as its Sandero sibling.

Product manager at Renault SA Jeffrey Allison said: “Moving production to Pitesti provides us with the opportunity to refresh Duster within a sharper turnaround time - good for the brand and good for our customers here in SA."


The Duster is a bargain compared to other SUVs with similar talents. It’s not perfect but if you’re looking for space and practicality, the Duster could be the car for you. If you're in need of a something more upmarket you could consider the Renault Captur.

The Renault Duster takes on the likes of Nissan Juke and Ford EcoSport in South Africa.

The Duster is sold with a five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty, a three-year or 45 000km service plan (service intervals at 15 000km) and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Pop into a reputable Renault approved dealer, such as the new Group 1 Renault dealership in Stellenbosch and take this baby for a test drive!

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