Slow, hard-plastic cabin, drivetrain combinations, no low-range
The Renault Duster, a rebadged Dacia, has been designed to suit all types of roads across the world's less-developed countries. This new sub-compact SUV is based on a stretched Nissan Tiida platform, and comes with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, available in either a two-wheel-drive 4-speed automatic form or in an all-wheel-drive 6-speed manual form, the latter capable of locking the diff for a 50:50 front/rear torque split. Interestingly, the 2WD model comes with a torsion-beam rear suspension, while the 4WD model gives up some boot space to make way for an independent rear suspension. The rear seats fold down as standard, and split-folding on all but the base model, while you can transport longer items if the front passenger seat is folded down as well. The basic PE version comes with two-wheel-drive, 4-speed automatic, cloth upholstery, CD/MP3 stereo with USB port and Bluetooth with buttons behind steering wheel, unpainted bumpers, 16-inch steel wheels, front power windows, keyless entry, folding rear bench seat, power steering and manual a/c. Early models came with one airbag, but by mid-2012, all models had two standard airbags. The higher-spec SE can be had in 2WD automatic or special-order 4WD manual drivetrains, and adds standard fog lamps, trip computer, ABS with Emergency Brake Assist, extra front-passenger airbag, rear power windows, electric mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, painted bumpers, leatherette steering wheel and extra chrome trim. The SE version can be further upgraded with leather seats with additional pyrotechnic pre-tensioners on the front seatbelts as well as side airbags. The exterior package on the SE version also adds standard chrome door mirrors, longitudinal roof rails, front/rear skid plates and side-skirt covers. Extra tinted rear windows, rear quarter glass and rear windscreen round up the list, as is a split-folding rear seat, height adjustable driver's seat and height-adjustable steering wheel. A comprehensive range of accessories,including wind reflectors, side steps, wheel arch mouldings, chrome exhaust trim and mudflaps, is also available.