Steering Wheel Wonderings

Steering Wheel Wonderings

New Renault Duster is still a great small SUV


Over two million sold since this vehicle was first introduced seven years ago.

I always marvel at how many bull celebrities can talk when interviewed during lifestyle programmes on television.
Whether singers, writers, clothes designers or actors, they often make their successes seem like a given, carefully not mentioning years of unrewarded struggle, many fruitless disappointments, plus multiple unsuccessful auditions and interviews.
They also generally omit the fact that blind luck, and being at the right place at the right time, often heralded their big break.
Fair enough, but here is the bit that gets my goat.
Always, always, the interviewer will ask: "What advice do you have for youngsters watching you right now, who wish to follow in your footsteps?"
Always, the celebrity answers: "Follow your dream, and most importantly, just be yourself."
This is problematic – 99.999% of would-be actors whose dream it is to emulate Johnny Depp will end up as unemployed waiters.
As for just being yourself – what if you are a scumbag and the ANC still does not want to employ you? All of which brings us to the new Renault Duster.
It is unapologetically itself as one of the world’s best small Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) and more than two million have been sold globally since its launch seven years ago.
It has just been revamped.
Renault’s press release mentions stuff like "distinctly assertive", "more expressive front and rear", "rugged stance" and "adventurer credentials".
We – unable to match such prose – are going to cop out and simply invite you to look at the photographs alongside.
We did notice the vehicle has ground clearance of 210mm, steep approach and departure angles, skid plates front and rear, plus 17- inch alloy wheels in 215/60R17 rubber ware – suggesting off-road capabilities, even in the test vehicle’s front-wheel-drive configuration.
The test vehicle came with a turbocharged, four-cylinder, eight-valve, 1 461cc diesel engine, that produces 80kW of power at 4 000rpm and 250Nm of torque at 1 750rpm.
It relays the grunt and twist to the front wheels via a six-speed EDC automatic gearbox. It will seat five adults, has a large boot, which can be increased via rear seat split folds, plus numerous stowage spaces.
Making life easier are keyless entry, blind-spot warning, automatic climate control, speed limiter and cruise control. A multiview camera allows for easy visibility of the rear and side terrain triggered by reverse gear, while rear-park distance control enables one to sneak the Duster into really tight spots.
Naturally, it boasts ABS and EBD, plus anti-lock brake assist, hill start assist and airbags front and rear.
On the move, the Duster proved reasonably sprightly during my regular commute between Alberton and Industria.
Renault claims a top speed of 169km/h and I have no reason to doubt them.
The brakes were efficient, the steering direct and nicely weighted, while spirited cornering would eventually evoke slight understeer.
The most impressive aspect was the fuel economy.
I believed the computer to be faulty when a trip between Alberton and the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria showed usage of 4.8l/100km.
Apparently not, since the overall fuel usage during the test panned out at just over 5.1l/100km. That would give the vehicle an impressive range on its 50-litre tank.
The Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Prestige EDC 4×2 is a highly efficient, economical and stylish package at an asking price of R334 900.
It comes with a five-year/ 150 000km mechanical warranty and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at 15 000km intervals, and a standard three-year/45 000km service plan applies.
Likes
  • Roomy, comfortable
  • Incredibly fuel-efficient
Dislike
  • Not sure I like all the styling changes
  • Too nice to actually use offroad
Verdict
  • A winner that should sell well

Book your Renault Duster test drive at your nearest Group 1 Renault dealership here.


Article source: https://citizen.co.za/motoring/motoring-car-road-tests/2036215/new-renault-duster-is-still-a-great-small-suv/

New Renault Duster stands its ground

On the outside, it still retains robust look and changes are easy to spot.

In all honesty, the first Renault Duster wasn’t a knockout in terms of appearances, but people still bought it.
Somehow, Renault managed to sell more than two million Duster models globally and 15 000 locally which is rather impressive in a stiff market.
I travelled to Mpumalanga last week to drive the second-generation Duster which features exterior and interior tweaks from its predecessor.
Before I give opinions, I think it is best to know that the Duster is not about looking equable, it is about function and affordability. However, Renault has addressed the aesthetical issues and seem to have solved the initial problems.
It is based on the same BO platform as the outgoing model with dimensions remaining the same.
Looking on the outside, it still retains that robust look and the changes are easy to spot.
There are new wider C-shaped headlights and the bonnet features more contours, while the enlarged eight-oblong grille predominates.
At the rear are new square light clusters in a tailgate that still looks like that of the old . On the inside, it is still the Duster we know, however, build quality has improved.
The seats are more comfortable, offering better support, extra padding and more adjustability, while boot space is measured at 478 litres.
The new dashboard is a pleasure: it incorporates a higher-mounted infotainment screen which is still easy to use.
The infotainment system incorporates navigation, music and USB. And there are easily accessible stowage spaces and improved accessibility of controls.
Depending on how you like your Duster, there are three variants – Expression, Dynamique, and Prestige. In terms of engines, it comes with two fuel options and three engine options – the 1.6 four-cylinder petrol and two versions of the diesel 1.5 dCi turbo engine.
The Expression 4×2 petrol engine produces 84kW of power and 156Nm of torque.
The Dynamique 1.5 dCi churns out 66kW of power and 210Nm of torque, whereas the same motor but paired with Renault’s familiar EDC has 80kW of power and 250Nm of torque.
I did not keep an eye on the fuel consumption figures, but Renault claims the diesel 1.5dCi uses 5.1 litres per 100km whereas the 4×2 EDC and 4×4 manual versions only use 4.8 litres per 100km which is quite a charm taking into account that I averaged 5.4 litres per 100km when I drove the previous Duster with EDC in 2017.
Renault says the 4×4 version will join the line-up next year. I will only comment on the Prestige version with EDC which is what I got to drive at the launch.
Our launch included a drive through some serious gravel routes and the Duster remained steady and composed, although the front tyres tend to fight to find grip over serious bumps.
Maybe the 4×4 version will solve that. We were able to attack serious inclines and declines, thanks to the even greater off-road capabilities such as ground clearance of 210mm, MultiView Camera that allows for easy visibility of the front, rear or side terrain.
On the road where it will mostly spend its time, the Duster delivers a quiet drive, thanks to the sound-absorbing surfaces in the cabin and engine compartment from 20% to 50%.
Wind noise and tyre roar is minimal.
The tough and reasonably frugal 1.5-litre turbo diesel pulls strongly.
Passive and active safety systems come from keyless entry, Blind Spot warning, Rear Park Distance Control, Speed Limiter plus Cruise Control functions. Active safety technology is standard across the range, including a set of airbags, ABS with EBD, EBA and Hill Start Assist.
The all-new Duster model comes standard with a five year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Services take place at 15 000km intervals, and a standard three-year/45 000km service plan applies.
To test drive the Renault Duster - simply pop in at a Group 1 Renault dealership.

Here's all you need to know about Renault's next-gen Koleos now in SA

Here's all you need to know about Renault's next-gen Koleos now in SA

Renault has launched its all-new Koloes in South Africa. Here's all you need to know about the new SUV.
Renault SA said: "The new Renault Koleos is an embodiment of Renault’s new design language with distinctive styling. It belongs to Renault’s high-end line-up, visibly apparent in its stylish yet bold exterior lines."
Eye-catching detail
The dynamic stance of Koleos is further emphasised by its large alloy wheels and low roofline (1.68-metres). The assertiveness and personality of the car is accentuated by a number of innovative design features, claims the automaker.
The front and rear lights replicate the full LED lighting signature, that is now instantly distinguishable as part of the new Renault design language.

The C-shaped Daytime Running Lights extends beyond the headlight units themselves to create an even more forceful gaze.
Dependent on the version, it is available with Pure Vision Full LED main- and dipped- beam lights.
For significantly enhanced night-time visibility, this technology provides a beam that is 20% more powerful than that of halogen headlights.
The permanently-lit tail lights feature Edge Light technology that generates a clear, bright 3D effect visible both close up and from a distance.
It is available in two trim levels – Expression and Dynamique, comprehensively spec’d from the base level upwards.
It is powered by a 2.5 Petrol Engine CVT (4x2 & 4x4), delivering 126kW/233Nm, CO2 emissions of 188g/100km and a claimed fuel consumption from 8.8litres/100km.

As is the case across Renault’s entire product range, the Koleos comes standard with a 5-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty; plus a 5-year or 90 000km service plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty, with service intervals at 15 000km.
The wide horizontal tail lights amplify the impression of width (1 840mm) and draw attention to the centrally-positioned Renault diamond.
Furthermore, the Koleos packs all the SUV styling codes associated with the segment, including taut lines that combine a rugged stance with head-turning looks.
On-board experience
Meticulous care has been taken to ensure that the interior of the Koleos ensures the well-being of passengers.

It features a stylish satin-finish chrome for the steering wheel inserts, gear lever and air vent surrounds, along with a durable and pleasant-to-the-touch finish for the centre console. It also features cushion-backed materials for the dashboard and door panels.
Comfort is further enhanced through customisable LED cabin lighting, with a palette of hues ranging from green and blue, to yellow, red or violet, to complement the mood of the driver and/or passengers.

Another innovative feature worthy of premium models is the front cup holder that can be chilled or heated.
Not only are the front seats extremely comfortable thanks to their enveloping design and the variable density foam, but they are deemed the very biggest in the Model’s class, says Renault.
Space aplenty
Version dependent, the front seats come with six-way power adjustment and lumbar adjustability. The centre console can slide 80mm forwards, enabling the ideal driving position to be set.
The curved form of the front seat-back’s shell frees up extra room for rear passengers and enhances the impression of open space.
It is very evident that no compromise has been made between passenger comfort and the model’s looks. Its exterior features were designed to deliver the highest standard of travelling comfort for all five occupants.

This record cabin space is further complemented by a large configurable boot and numerous practical storage solutions.
The 464-litre boot features a conveniently removable floor positioned at the same height as the sill to form a flat floor that houses a full-size spare wheel.
Handles easily located in the boot enable the Easy Break system, allowing the 60/40-split rear bench to be folded instantly to free up an impressive total carrying capacity of 1 795 litres.


It has 35 litres of additional storage around the cabin, including an 11-litre glove box and 7-litre cubby in the centre console.
It also offers eye-catching high-end equipment in the shape of an extra large capacitive touchscreen (Up to 8.7") with exclusive Renault R-Link2 functionality for an enriched driving experience.
Voice recognition for onboard GPS navigation, hands-free telephony and radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allowing compatibility for smartphone mirroring and Rear Parking Camera for ease of manoeuvrability and intuitive driving features - i.e. Cruise Control and Speed Limiter.
Uncompromised Safety
Drivers can be well assured that New Koleos offers safety of the highest level, with a 5-star Euro NCAP Safety rating.
It offers a plethora of features to ensure both Passive and Active safety for driver and passengers.
Passive Safety is provided through structure innovation for adult protection, to help limit crash energy impact on occupants.
Standard safety features include:
• ABS + EBD + EBA + ESP + ASR + HAS
• Cornering Fog Lights
• Electrochromic rear-view mirror
• Blind Spot Warning
• Park Assist
Off-road ability
In keeping with the Renault design strategy introduced by Laurens can den Acker in 2010, it is also covered by the 'Explore' design pillar, which stands for robustness and a taste for adventure.
The All-Mode 4x4-i transmission available for car features technology that has been proved on millions of Renault’s Alliance vehicles worldwide.

This all-wheel-drive system permanently monitors grip levels to guarantee optimal traction whatever the conditions.
Unlike many competitor models, the Koleos continues to feature a control switch that allows drivers to choose the transmission mode.
Very easy to use, it is situated to the right of the steering wheel and enables the driver to select one of three modes, namely 2WD, 4WD Auto or the exclusive 4WS Lock.
In addition to enhancing its off-road ability, All Mode 4x4-i transmission delivers more dynamic performance plus greater stability and enhanced safety.
Colour choice and transmission
X-Tronic automatic transmission was designed to deliver greater driving enjoyment and reduced fuel consumption compared with conventional automatic transmissions.
Its benefits range from instant response when accelerating rapidly, to a smoother, quieter ride and optimised fuel consumption at constant speeds.
The car’s natural elegance is further complemented through the sophisticated body colour selection available, i.e. Ultra Silver, Metallic Grey, Metallic Black, Mineral Beige, Cosmo Blue and Solid White, and the wheel designs available – Silver Grey Esquis 17" wheels and Silver Grey Taranis 18" wheels.
Test drive the Koleos at your nearest Group 1 Renault dealership.


Renault Duster: Attainable ability

An affordable and rugged SUV for a broad swath of car buyers, the Renault Duster is the car of the moment during chaste economic times when attainability and value becomes more important than the aspirational.
Cheeky charm
First launched in 2009, face-lifted in 2014 and set to be replaced with an improved new model — already launched in some markets — that shares the same drive-line and basic platform, the current Duster has a rugged yet inoffensively cheeky charm and design.
With chunky wheel arches, contoured body, longish bonnet, pert rear front and rear skid plates, thick roof rails and big framed headlights and grille, the Duster looks every inch the tough SUV, yet its small size, unpretentious aesthetic and details, make it a more palatable and less overbearing sight on the road.
Sharing a basic platform with other Renault and sister Dacia brand world cars to keep development, production and customer costs down, the Duster is a smaller SUV than pictures would suggest, but is even more practical. At 4,315mm long and 1,821mm wide the Duster is easily manoeuvrable and will fit in the tightest of garage spots and along the narrowest off-road trails that huge lumbering SUVs can’t. However, efficient packaging and a relatively long wheelbase ratio make it a spacious family vehicle for daily drives and long journeys.
Tried and tested
Powered by a tried and tested driveline for uncomplicated reliability and low running costs, the Duster’s 2-litre naturally-aspirated 16-valve four-cylinder engine is mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox, as tested, and is even carried over to the soon arriving new model. Developing 133BHP at 5,750rpm and 144lb/ft at 4,000rpm, the Duster provides smooth operation and progressive delivery. Capable of 0-100km/h in 11.4-seconds and a 176km/h top speed, the Duster makes perfectly confident progress in town and on highway, rather than being outright quick.
Returns a modest 8.9l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency, the Duster provided good range even with just a 50-litre fuel tank during test drive from Amman to Aqaba and back through various routes and conditions. On steep inclines and for decisive overtaking at speed, one does need to make use of the Duster’s full power and use third and second gear. All things considered, the five-speed manual version would better economy, performance and flexibility for drivers willing to self-shift, but the four-speed auto nevertheless offers a good compromise between cost, smoothness responsiveness.
Supple and capable
Driving the front wheels in normal conditions, the Duster is surprisingly capable off-road without the need to engage four-wheel-drive. On road, front-drive is all one needs for all most all conditions, owing to the Duster’s reassuring stability and high level of rear grip. However, "4WD Auto" mode is useful for very low traction surfaces, when power is sent to the rear axle as needed. At lower speeds, the Duster can lock four-wheel drive for off-road driving, where its long wheel travel, low 1,359 kg weight 210mm clearance and generous approach, break-over and departure angles make it an unexpectedly formidable performer.
Smooth and supple over heavily rutted, cracked and lumpy sections of highway currently being renovated, the Duster’s suspension well absorbed imperfections in its stride and almost glides over speed bumps. Settled and refined at speed, the Duster is, despite its small size, set up for directional stability. Through winding and sprawling lanes, the Duster is poised, comfortable, fluent, easily manoeuvrable and eager into corners. Crisp and tidy on turn-in, the Duster well manages snaking mountain routes, but through hairpins seems set-up for rear end grip and stability rather than flickable agility and hatchback-like adjustability.
Practical and predictable
Tuned for understeer when pushed too hard, rather than oversteer, the Duster is designed to be predictable and manageable at the limit. Steering initially feels slightly rubbery compared to quicker, more direct yet more artificial feeling systems elsewhere. However, one soon finds the Duster’s hydraulic assistance to be more natural. Through corners, and especially when loaded up, the Duster’s steering feels rewarding in its accuracy, textured feel, weighting and centring resistance. Brakes proved eager, capable, consistent and with good pedal feel, while 215/65R16 tyres provided good grip, durability, steering accuracy and ride compliance.
Spacious, comfortable and well-packaged inside, and especially so without a sunroof, as tested, the Duster is a practical and utilitarian car seating up to five and their week-end luggage in its roomy 475-litre boot, which can expand to 1,636-litre. Rear ingress was especially good with door length not intruding much on the rear wheel-arch and a wide swing angle allowing it to open fully in tight parking spaces. Visibility was good, and was aided by parking sensors and rear view camera.
Built to be tough, affordable and useful, the Duster features hardwearing plastics, fabric upholstery and logical layouts. Driving position is well adjustable for height and steering rake, but if one were to be picky, firmer lumbar support and steering reach adjustment would have been welcome. Otherwise, the Duster is well equipped with important features like A/C, remote central locking, Isofix childseat latches, USB port, ABS brakes and electronic stability control.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Visist Group 1 Renault’s Duster page for a specs breakdown of the various variants here.
Engine: 2-litre, transverse 4-cylinders
Bore x stroke: 82.7 x 93mm
Compression ratio: 11.05:1
Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC
Gearbox: 4-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 132.7 (135) [99] @5,750rpm
Specific power: 66.4BHP/litre
Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 143.8 (195) @4,000rpm
Specific torque: 97.6Nm/litre
0-100km/h: 11.4-seconds
Top speed: 176km/h
Fuel consumption,urban/extra-urban/combined: 11.7-/7.3-/8.9-litres/100km
CO2 emissions, combined: 206g/km
Fuel capacity: 50-litres
Length: 4,315mm
Width: 1,821mm
Height: 1,695mm
Wheelbase: 2,674mm
Track, F/R: 1,559/1,560mm
Overhang, F/R: 816/825mm
Minimum ground clearance: 210mm
Approach/break-over/departure angles: 29.3/23/34.9 degrees
Headroom, F/R: 905/894mm
Shoulder room, F/R: 1,387/1,400mm
Cargo volume, min/max: 475-/1,636-litres
Payload: 506kg Kerb weight: 1,359kg
Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts, anti-roll bar/multi-link
Steering: Power-assisted rack and pinion
Lock-to-lock: 3.3-turns
Turning circle: 10.44-metres
Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/drums
400-metre stopping distance: 33.1-seconds
Tyres: 215/65R16



A look at the new Renault Sandero Stepway


Renault South Africa has announced new details on its Sandero Stepway Plus, which is set to replace it current flagship model – the Stepway Dynamique.
"The new Renault Sandero Stepway Plus offers the appealing DNA of the Sandero model plus so much more – an even more enhanced SUV look and an even more value for money product," Renault said in a statement on Monday (21 May).
"The exterior of the Stepway Plus is distinguished through its bespoke design and badging with specific 2-tone 16" flexwheel covers, and features two exclusive new body colours: Dune Beige and Cosmos Blue.
"This limited edition offers the same level of enriched standard features as the outgoing Dynamique trim, namely: side airbags, front and rear power windows, electric side mirrors, leather steering wheel and gear knob and rear park assist.
"Cruise control and navigation are also standard (unique in this vehicle segment) while leather seats are an option," it said.
As with other Sandero models, the Stepway Plus comes standard with a three cylinder, 900cc petrol Turbo 66kW engine. With a maximum output of 66kW @ 5,250 rpm, the petrol turbo power plant delivers peak torque of 135Nm at 2,500 rpm of which 90% is available from 1,650rpm.
The engine is also relatively light on petrol with an estimated 5.2 litres/100km of usage.
For more information and detailed specs of the Renault Sandero - click through or visit your nearest Group 1 Renault dealership.





Renault Clio still has what it takes to thrive in supermini battle

The battle of the superminis has always been an intense one and perhaps one of the upshots of that is that manufacturers have strived to excel every step of the way.

In a segment where the Clio is up against the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza and Skoda Fabia it needs to be good just to survive, never mind thrive.
In truth, over its lengthy lifespan, the Renault Clio has managed to do both.
Superminis might be less fashionable than SUVs but it’s hard to imaginative an automotive world without them.
Here are cars which offer value-for-money motoring in a package that can even get away with being a family car if push comes to shove.

The latest Clio from Group 1 Renault upholds a worthy tradition and has plenty to recommend it.
For starters it looks sleek and snazzy, boasting design lines that ooze hot hatch and even elements of coupe styling.
That in part is achieved through the disguised rear door handles, which give it the look of a three-door.
Renault has even dispensed with a three-door version this time round.
The 17-inch GT alloy wheels also enhanced the sporty looks of this particular GT-Line model, as did a rear diffuser and chrome exhaust.
Step inside and the Clio has a warm cosseting kind of feel but also has a surprisingly spacious cabin.
You feel pretty low down and interestingly the current version sits a whole 45mm closer to the ground than its predecessor.
Rear seat passengers are particularly well catered for and there is a generously-sized 300-litre boot.
The instrumentation and switchgear generally are modern and decent in quality.
The dominating feature is a seven-inch tablet-style touchscreen which helps keep the button and switch count to a minimum.
Trim-wise buyers can choose from Play, Iconic and GT-Line.
Equipment levels are good across the range but this GT-Line felt noticeably plush for a supermini.
The interior had quite a dark look and feel - with black cloth upholstery and a black soft touch dashboard - but the combination actually worked rather well.

The Renault Clio standard features include cruise control and speed limiter, hill start assist, full LED front and rear headlamps, automatic locking, automatic headlights and front wipers and a MediaNav multimedia system with sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth and handsfree technology.
On the engine front there’s a choice between 75bhp and 90bhp three-cylinder TCe petrols and a 1.5-litre dCi diesel.
This car had the higher-powered 898cc petrol unit.
Like most of the modern crop of small but relatively potent petrol engines it punches well above its weight, even if it does have to be worked hard to get the most out of it.
I found overall that it made for an enjoyable enough driving experience and when you throw in the Clio’s agile handling its makes for a combination that delivers just enough of the fun factor too.

FAST FACTS

Renault Clio GT-Line TCe 90
Mechanical: 90bhp, 898cc, 3-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 110mph
0-62mph: 12.1 seconds
Combined mpg: 56.5
CO2 emissions: 114g/km




The Renault Kangoo is the best small van

It might sound like the French misspelt Kangaroo when naming its small van, and took some inspiration from Skippy when designing its front-end, but Renault's small van is a smart urban runabout.
The Renault Kangoo has been around for a while now - yet still often overlooked? It has a lot going for it as a dependable, hard-worker with some thoughtful touches and practical elements that aren't available on its rivals.
What are the standout features?
It might not have the largest payload capacity, but the grunty little motor helps it effortlessly overcome what cargo it is carrying, and the automatic transmission makes it easy to drive around town.
Elsewhere, there’s great vision through the expansive front windscreen and the cargo area has tie-down hooks in the floor and halfway up the walls, which keeps taller loads – like plants, if you’re a landscaper, for example – even more secure.
How comfortable and convenient is it?
As it is with most small vans of this type, the cabin is pretty basic with robust materials that are designed to handle a tough life on the road.
What it does have though is supportive front seats with plenty of adjustment to the driving position, making it a comfortable place to spend hours behind the wheel.
There’s a simple audio system with Bluetooth phone connectivity, air conditioning and power windows but there’s a lot of blank spaces in the dashboard that would be better used for smart small item storage.
The Maxi model we’re testing comes with rear parking sensors only, but a higher-grade infotainment system is available as an option with sat nav and a reverse camera.

How safe is it?

The Kangoo has the basics covered here with four airbags, anti-skid brakes and stability control and received a four-star ANCAP crash test rating when it was first tested back in 2011 with good occupant protection but marginal pedestrian protection.
Drivetrain and performance
The Kangoo is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces modest outputs of 81kW and 250Nm and drives the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
In spite of its outputs, the engine feels strong on the road and revs smoothly with little in the way of turbo lag to reveal a strong mid-range punch that makes it feel spritely around town.
It also helps make carrying a load almost invisible, with our 500kg test weight barely interrupting its acceleration.
The automatic transmission also plays its part, smoothly shifting gears on the move and intuitively keeping the engine in its sweet spot.
It’s a cracking little powertrain combination that makes light work of its load, while being frugal and efficient.

Space, practicality and payload

The Kangoo is offered with a choice of three body styles - Compact, Maxi and Crew – to suit a variety of roles - you can view tthe available range, from Group 1 Renault, here.
The Maxi version we’re testing rides on a longer wheelbase to create a larger load area than the smaller Compact model, while the Crew is the same length but offers an extra row of rear seats.
In our test vehicle’s configuration, the Kangoo Maxi has four cubic metres of cargo space thanks to a space that measures 1862mm in length, is 1252mm high and 1252mm across the tailgate – wide enough to fit a standard Australian pallet.
It also comes with rear barn doors than open 180 degrees for easy loading and sliding doors down each side.
The Kangoo has a total payload of 850kg and can tow a maximum 1050kg with a braked trailer.

How does it drive?

You quickly forget the Kangoo is a work van when behind the wheel, as it drives much like a small hatchback in everyday situations.

As mentioned previously, the engine is powerful enough and ultra efficient and the automatic transmission is smooth and smart – two key elements that impressed the judging panel – but that’s not the only character traits where it was praised.
The steering is light and responsive and while it doesn’t have the tightest turning circle because of its longer wheelbase it is still is agile enough for getting in and out of tight urban areas.
And the suspension settings make for an easy machine to live with, whether you’re carting a load or not. It’s compliant over the bumps even without weight over its rear axle, and even moreso when there is without ever feeling crashy or compromised.

Verdict

The Kangoo still does what it has ultimately been created for well - being a hard-working, dependable small van that is comfortable, affordable and easy to live with.
Its diesel engine and automatic transmission set the benchmark in this category, while thoughtful touches like its extra tie-down points and double-sliding doors make it an easy choice for small business operators running around inner-city areas.


Renault finds its wild side with racy Megane

Lively Renault Megane RS Lux forges its own path in a hyper-competitive hot-hatch market

Wider stance and ‘chequered flag’ fog lights identify the RS as top gun of the Megane range.

Two years after the launch of its fourth-generation Megane, Renault South Africa has introduced the big-muscle version - in fact, two of them.
In an unusual move the French car maker offers its hot hatchback in two flavours: the Lux automatic and the Cup manual. The two cars are identically priced, but the Cup is a racier version for enthusiasts, and along with requiring manual gear shifts it also has firmer suspension.
Both derivatives are fired along by a new 1.8l turbo petrol engine. It’s downsized from the previous 2.0l unit but power and torque have increased from 195kW and 360Nm to 205kW and 390Nm.
There is plenty of sporty show-and-tell to visually distinguish the RS duo from regular Meganes, the most obvious being the more aggressively-styled bumpers with fog lights that are inspired by a chequered flag. The wider stance (an extra 60mm at the front and 45mm at the rear) and bigger alloy wheels (standard 18-inch and optionally 19-inch) also imbue this racy Renault with more presence, as does our test vehicle’s "tonic orange", a new colour added to the palette of the Megane RS.
The sporty vibe continues in the cabin with its aluminium pedals, nappa-covered steering wheel, and body-hugging Alcantara sports seats. As befits its flagship status in the range, the spec sheet is fully-loaded and includes a heartbeat that plays through the speakers as a welcome when you get into the car.
Boy-racer décor: aluminium pedals and carbon fibre-look door lining.

A completely automatic key unlocks the car as you walk up to it, and locks it again when you walk away; no pressing of any buttons required. My problem with the high-tech key is its lack of a low-tech eyelet so that you can hang it on a key rack at home, which meant I was constantly misplacing it.
Along with governed top speeds of 250km/h, Renault quotes an identical 5.8 second 0-100km/h time for both Megane RS derivatives, a claim we’d be inclined to dispute given the propensity for modern automatics to outsprint their three-pedalled counterparts. Especially automatics with a launch control function, as found in this Megane RS Lux, where left-foot braking allows the driver to hike the engine revs before zooming off the line.
Apart from requiring manual gear shifts, the Cup version is designed for a more visceral experience with its 20% firmer suspension, and better traction under hard acceleration due to a front limited-slip differential.
That said, the Lux that I road tested is hardly "soft" and still occupies the wilder side of the hot-hatch kingdom, compared to the more approachable and civilised VW Golf GTI.
Its ride is still pretty firm, especially on bumps and ripples, and the RS Lux isn’t a car that doubles as a comfy commuter for school runs. Gearshift paddles allow the driver to be more involved, but unfortunately not while turning as they’re fixed in place on the steering column rather than on the wheel itself.
The Multi-Sense feature offers various drive modes that affect throttle, steering and gear shift responses, but even in the mildest of these settings it’s not a car that’s content to be ushered through slow-moving traffic. It always has the demeanour of an excited Jack Russell straining at the leash to run after a ball, and when you’re behind the wheel of this car the rest of the world seems to move in slow motion.
Rear wheel steering helps this racy Megane nip through corners quicker.
The sportier modes really bring out this Megane’s feral side with a quicker throttle and heavier steering, accompanied by loud crackles and burps from the exhaust that add vocal sizzle to the experience. In Race mode the stability control is also disabled, leaving traction duties solely in the hands of the (preferably experienced) driver.
Whereas all-wheel drive is becoming de rigueur in this league, the Megane RS still has its power fed through the front wheels and becomes a bit of a handful when driven enthusiastically. There is some wheel spin and torque steer under hard acceleration which some drivers might find disconcerting and others alluringly playful - horses for courses.
Keep a firm hand on the tiller and Renault’s racy hatch gets through corners with a firm and planted feel though. The 4Control rear-wheel steering gives it a nimble turn-in that nicely resists understeer.
I like the fact that the Megane RS doesn’t try to clone its rivals but forges its own niche in the hot hatch segment. In overall character it sits between the "softer" Golf GTI and the wilder Civic Type R. With its very firm ride and tendency to torque steer the Megane is very well priced in the hot hatch league, being notably more powerful than the similarly priced GTI but power-wise venturing right into the territory of the much more expensive Golf R.
If you’re in the market for a racer for the people - get your hands on the Renault Megane or Megane RS at a Group 1 Renault dealership today!

2019 Reanult Megane RS: What You Need To Know

Get the lowdown on the latest hot hatch from Renault Sport.



Renault has launched an all-new generation of its once-benchmark hot hatch, the Megane RS, and along with new styling, it boasts a host of new technology and upgrades designed to send straight to the top of the class.

• The third-generation Renault Megane RS comes with a 1.8-litre direct-injection turbo engine – the most powerful 1.8 on the market, making 206kW and 390Nm from 2400 to 4800rpm, one of the best torque figures in the category. It’ll hit 100km/h in 5.8 seconds, matching the previous-generation RS Trophy.

• Other upgrades to the Renault-Nissan Alliance-developed powertrain include a twin-air inlet in the turbocharger and a new cylinder head design incorporating a new cooling system, located next to the combustion chamber. The exhaust system has also been revised, offering more efficiency and more of the snap, crackle and pop we like so much.

• Where the old Megane RS was only available with a manual, the new version also offers a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The shift pattern varies depending on which drive mode is chosen – Normal, Personal, Comfort, Sport or Race.



• In Race, the ESC is completely disabled and the four-wheel steering system changes its switchover point, the point where the rear wheels switch from steering in the opposite direction to the fronts, from 60km/h to 100km/h.

• One of the car’s highlights is that segment-first four-wheel steering system. Renault’s engineers started with a clean sheet for the four-wheel steering system on the RS. At high speed the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction, limited to a 1.0 degree of rotation for the rear axle. At low speeds the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to a maximum angle of 2.7 degrees, resulting in noticeably more precise steering.

• The other new piece of dynamic tech is the hydraulic compression stops on all four shock absorbers, derived from Renault’s experience in the rally world. Essentially, it’s a ‘shock absorber within a shock absorber’ for improved ride and stability on bumpy roads. This feature was developed as a direct result of customer feedback.

• The new RS also gets a revised independent steering axis front suspension system, with a 2.0 per cent reduction in negative offset geometry – the distance between the wheel centre and the steering axis – compared with a standard Megane. The result is a more rigid front axle, reducing the effects of torque surge under acceleration



• The brakes on the latest Megane RS have been improved over its predecessor, with larger discs (up 15mm) and a more progressive brake pedal.

• In addition to the easy-to-live-with sport chassis, buyers can also option the ‘Cup’ pack alongside the manual transmission. Specific modifications include 10 per cent stiffer suspension, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and more efficient brakes with better cooling.

• There’s also a lighting system first introduced on the Clio RS. RS Vision involves three separate lighting configurations: cornering lights activated on bends up to 40km/h and fog lights, high-beam lights, or high-beam combined with fog lights. The high-beam has range of 400 metres – 17 per cent better than the previous car.

• Inside, the RS Monitor system has been redesigned. It gathers information from about 40 sensors around the vehicle and lets users view real-time data on the central touchscreen. That’s information relating to acceleration, braking, steering angle and how the four-wheel steer system is working.



• There’s also launch control and multi-change downshifts, which works by pulling the left-hand paddle and holding it under heavy braking into a corner. The system automatically shifts the correct gear for the quickest corner exit.

• Safety kit inherited from new Renault Megane includes hands-free parking, blind-spot warning, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. There’s also an optional Bose sound system, after feedback from owners of the previous Megane RS.

There's a lot to like about the new Megane RS, arsenal of go-fast tech and a brand new cockpit aside. It's a more mature car offering greater versatility and choice that should suit a wider group of buyers.

If you would like to test the Renault Megane - simply book online at Group 1 Renault.



Article source: https://www.caradvice.com.au/686391/2019-renault-megane-rs-what-you-need-to-know/



Renault Clio 2019 spied: all there is to know so far

Traditionally, the Renault Clio supermini is and has been a major player in the European market. But the current Renault Clio for sale is beginning to reveal its age and Renault would be foolish not to further build on the success of its small car. To paint a better picture, last year Renault pushed 327,395 Clio models in Europe, a 4% increase over the sales volume of 2016, when Renault delivered 315,115 Clio units.


Therefore, the French carmaker is gearing up for a new model as we speak, with test mules already using public roads as testing grounds. This suggests the main R&D work is done but the usual pre-launch tweaks are next in line.

Looks and size

The spy shots we mentioned above have a Renault Mégane vibe to themselves. Although the car is wearing heavy camouflage, you can still spot the slanted hood lines, rakish roof and brooding front end.


Voices say the wheelbase will grow for the Renault Clio Mk5 without dramatically altering overall length. Level 2 autonomous driving and a plushier interior for the supermini are also being talked about, but it’s too early to tell for sure.

Engine choice

As for what will sit under the hood, at this point the logical choice is the new 1.3-liter, four-cylinder TCe petrol engine co-developed by Renault and Daimler.



The turbocharged unit can be married to either a six-speed manual or an EDC dual-clutch transmission and is available with 115, 140 or 160 hp and up to 270 Nm of torque.



Furthermore, there’s a high chance Renault won’t drop the frugal and also popular 1.5-liter dCi power plant. Also on the engine front, a report from last year mentioned Renault would also opt for a hybrid powertrain (possibly the Hybrid Assist setup already present inside the Mégane and Scénic) that would fit inside the new Clio as well.


If you’re in the market for a great car like the Renault Clio - visit your nearest Group 1 Renault dealership to learn more about the Renault Clio for sale.