Renault Duster 1.5dCi Automatic Road test
Last week the Duster EDC arrived on test and although no serious road trips were taken this week the main aim of the week was to see what the dependable Dusters new gearbox was like to live with.
EDC Automatic gearbox
The 6 speed EDC gearbox, sporting dual clutches does the job of scooting around town without interruption very very well. Don’t expect Golf GTI levels of refinement and response time isn’t blistering, but the 250Nm torquey diesel engine more than makes up for what the EDC gearbox lacks in speed. Duster does well to position itself in a way that no matter what quirks one finds with this car, one can simply say, “for this price, there is nothing like it” and this is true.
Inside Duster is much the same and the bare bone interior looks sparse but well specced. Dynamique has satellite navigation, touch screen, rear camera and a decent audio system, which weirdly, goes up to a maximum setting of 31. Other oddities include a speedo that reads in increments that run 30, 50 and 70km/h etc… The ergonomics in the car are unusual and a few details are hidden from view and touch. One has to factor in for cost savings, as for example, the dash is completely flat so none of the centre controls are sloped towards the driver like almost any other production car today. These details take some getting used to but again, for this price, it literally is a small price to pay for the space, practically and ruggedness of the Renault Duster. The other bugbear I picked up was the brake pedal pressure progression was different, and applying constant pressure when in traffic took some practice. I didn’t notice this on the launch vehicle so this could be isolated to just this car.
Fuel economy on the Duster is just incredible. I’m certain 1000km could be reached on a tank at a push, and after 200km of travel the fuel gauge hadn’t even flinched yet. The claimed figure of 4.8l/100 was easily achieved and even at a push the car still comfortably managed under 7l/100.
The budget option in a bustling segment, with the new updates it looks smarter and more modern. If your budget is around R300 000 this automatic fuel saver is a great option.