2014 Duster review – My next major purchase will be an updated Renault Duster – TopAuto
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2014 Duster review – My next major purchase will be an updated Renault Duster

TopAuto reader Lisa has been driving her Renault Duster for around four years, and she loves it.

“Jeep used to say ‘Go Anywhere. Do Anything.’ – but there’s something about that sentiment that equally applies to the Renault Duster, with a little French chic on top of it,” said Lisa.

According to her, the Duster is an undercover star.

Lisa tells us more about her Renault in the review below.

Which model do you own?

I own a 2014 Renault Duster Dynamique, the 1.5 diesel model.

I bought the Duster from a close friend in 2017, as a “proper” upgrade to my well-worn Opel Corsa.

What are your three favourite things about the car?

The ground clearance is my number one favourite thing. I sit tall enough to be above the traffic, but still below any Toyota ‘trucks’ that drive past.

It’s also sufficient enough that a little off-roading isn’t out of the question.

Second to this has to be the fuel efficiency. The Duster has gotten us from Johannesburg to East London on around a tank and a half.

And lastly, it has power and is very responsive. Fitted with a 1.5-litre diesel engine and a 6-speed manual transmission makes long distance driving a pleasure.

I love this car so much, I’ll add a fourth.

The Duster is spacious. Many times we’ve left the bike rack behind and had to squeeze in both my son and the bike into the backseat. They both fit comfortably.

Which three things do you like least about the car?

If I’m honest, the plastic nature of the panels gets to me.

I understand it’s one of the ways they cut costs, but it could be much nicer with just a little more smoothness.

There’s also this quirky thing it has where you have to remove the keys from the ignition to fill up the car, or the fuel gauge doesn’t register. Don’t love that.

Only once have I forgotten, and then had to drive back to Renault Bryanston to get them to reset the thing. Once and never again.

Other than that, there’s nothing else to moan about.

What is it like to drive your car every day?

This may sound overly enthusiastic, but I look forward to driving.

The Duster is smooth, comfortable, fun, and as long as I have a cup of coffee with me and my phone connected to the entertainment system, jumping in the car in the mornings has lost the “mission” factor.

What is the hardest journey you have ever taken with your car?

The hardest journey, from Johannesburg to East London, was meant to be simple.

However, we had a hiccup just outside of Bloemfontein when the turbo came loose and all of a sudden there was no power.

Stuck on the side of the highway at sunset wasn’t fun, but the service we received from my insurance and Renault Bloemfontein was above and beyond.

They were proper helpful, fixed the problem, and soothed the pain of the breakdown.

In the process I left the car to be repaired there and got the chance to drive a Hyundai Venue the remainder of the way to the coast.

It was an awesome car, too.

On the way back to Bloemfontein, I was provided a Suzuki Vitara – which was not as great – and I then picked up my vehicle of choice, my Duster.

Would you recommend your car to friends and family?

I often recommend the Duster to people, and almost as often get giggled at.

It’s ok, since I know what I know. At least a few times I’ll mention it to people who’ve driven one, and they know, too. It’s sort of a best-kept secret.

The turbo episode inspired much window shopping – with favourites like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, and Mazda CX-5 all considered and compared.

A conclusion was reached.

For the price, nobody else can offer the experience, power, space, service, and pleasure of a Renault Duster.

My next major purchase will be an updated Renault Duster.

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

Buying the Renault Duster was a no-brainer.

It would let me join the suburban-mom-wagon club, let me do the requisite mild off-roading on weekends, and load the whole family and bikes for holidays – and do it all on about 6.5l/100kms.

She’s done all that, plus a house move, and now has 87,000km on the clock.

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