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2011 Renault Duster Review


Today’s all-terrain vehicles are often synonymous with bulk, but Renault Duster is an antidote to that idea.
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
With a length of 4.31 metres and a width of 1.82 metres, Renault Duster is very compact. Its Megane-size proportions ensure that it is as at home in built-up areas as it is off the beaten track. While it clearly belongs to the world of all-terrain vehicles, Renault Duster’s lines are not ostentatious.
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
Renault Duster is unmistakably a 4x4. From the front, it exudes an impression of toughness: the wide wheelarches, the imposing lines of the chrome grille and the sump guard clearly emphasise the 4x4 DNA of Renault Duster. Seen from the side, the high ground clearance, clearly defined wheelarches and protective mouldings encourage the driver to tackle even the toughest roads and tracks.
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
With the Look Pack, owners of Renault Duster can enhance the vehicle’s good looks. This pack includes 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels, roof bars, extra-tinted rear glass, and satin-finish chrome exterior mirrors, front and rear skid plates, and sills. A comprehensive range of accessories (including wing extenders, broad side protectors for doors, lateral bars…) will complete this unique look.
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
Inside, the dashboard is modern, uncluttered and functional. Its design varies according to version, and several areas can be modified with different colours or surface finishes. Renault Duster introduces a new Brown trim, while a Leather Pack (seats, steering wheel, gear lever knob) is also available. Particular attention has been paid to its ergonomics to ensure that the controls are conveniently positioned and that driving data is easy to read: the well-placed, intuitive 4x4 control button is a perfect example of this.
Renault Duster was designed to cope with all types of road and track, all over the world. In order to meet these wide-ranging needs, Renault Duster will be available in both 4x4 and 4x2 form. The 4x2 version has been designed for customers who want good ground clearance and a reassuring elevated driving position, as well as loose-surface ability, but who don't have a real need for all-wheel drive.
The strengthened underside of Renault Duster is suitable for loose-surfaces and all-terrain use thanks to: -high ground clearance of 210mm, -short overhangs (822mm at the front, 820mm at the rear), -big clearance angles (30 degrees for approach angle; 23 degrees for ramp breakover angle 36 degrees for departure angle).
Renault Duster is a vehicle that is easy to use. It is lightweight for its size: 1,160kg for the 4x2 version and 1,250kg for the 4x4 version1. Combined with compact dimensions, this ensures Renault Duster is particularly agile.
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
Renault Duster is built on the B0/Logan platform which is widely acclaimed for its strength, reliability and durability. At the front, the pseudo MacPherson-type suspension with wishbones is identical to the layout employed by Logan and Sandero, although strengthened for off-road use. At the rear, the 4x4 version's rear multi-arm arrangement was specifically developed for Renault Duster, while the programmed-deflection flexible H-beam favoured for the 4x2 versions is strong and permits a large boot, which is a key consideration for our customers. Both solutions deliver a comfortable ride and allow high ground clearance. To confirm Renault Duster's strength and reliability, Renault Duster covered the equivalent of four million kilometres in a wide range of climates and in particularly punishing conditions.
Renault Duster 4x4 is equipped with a new six-speed gearbox with a short first ratio (5.79kph per 1,000 rpm) which allows the vehicle to travel at very slow speed on uneven terrain, and improves performance as you pull away from standstill with heavy loads or on steep slopes. This simple, efficient and economical solution was favoured in order to meet the needs of Renault Duster customers. The TL8 gearbox offers: -optimized output thanks to a single gearbox and module architecture which limits the number of gears engaged, and thanks to the use of a low-viscosity lubricant; -compactness: gearbox and gearshift module are positioned alongside each other with a view to freeing up cabin space and keeping interior roominess. -controlled mass: on the TL8 gearbox, the short first gear, instead of a transfer box, optimizes the number of gears engaged (and thus the mass) for a maximum level of performance; -a solution to keep the cost down : the TL8 gearbox is derived from the TL4 gearbox which is a high production volume organ within the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
1 average unladen weight in running order, all versions (without options and without driver).
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
The 4x4 control located on the lower part of the centre console allows drivers of Renault Duster 4x4 to easily adapt the vehicle’s configuration to their needs. This control permits three modes: -In AUTO mode, the front/rear torque split is calculated automatically as a function of available grip. This mode has been developed to provide the best compromise between road holding and traction, no matter what the level of grip may be. In normal conditions, the torque is transmitted through the front wheels only. If traction is lost, or when grip is at a premium, some of the torque is transferred to the rear wheels. This split is performed by an electromagnetic torque converter supplied by Nissan. -In LOCK mode, the driver electronically locks the transmission in 4x4 mode. In this mode, throttle control and braking are also adapted for 4x4 use. This mode is recommended when grip is low (snow, mud, dirt, sand) and at low speed. -In 2WD mode, the transmission is locked into two-wheel drive. This mode is suited to driving on good roads and reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Renault Duster was designed to be as versatile as possible and to provide the driver and occupants with the same reassuring ride when it is driven in and about town, on trunk roads and motorways, or when taken off-road. Renault Duster also boasts a spacious, comfortable interior and a high standard of safety.
Cabin space worthy of a family saloon
Despite its compact footprint, Renault Duster is a very spacious car, with five people able to travel in total comfort. Rear passenger headroom (seat cushion to roof) is 895mm, kneeroom is 183mm and elbow room amounts to 1,438mm, enabling it to comfortably seat three adults at the rear, where there is also ample space to fit child seats. Renault Duster's front and rear passengers benefit from the same amount of space as they do onboard Renault Logan. Depending on version, Renault Duster benefits from up to 475dm³ VDA of boot space, which is also very competitive. The practical, modular interior includes a folding rear benchseat, with a 60/40-split function available on certain versions. With the rear benchseat fully folded, carrying capacity is extended to up to 1,636dm³ VDA (depending on version).
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
Renault Duster's occupants will appreciate the high standard of travelling comfort it provides, whatever the type of road or terrain, thanks to its high ride-height (205mm in 4x2 version and 210mm in 4x’ version) and specific work on its suspension (damper travel, springs and calibration). Comfort is further enhanced by Duster's long wheelbase (2.67m) and big 16-inch wheels.
Drivers enjoy a reassuring, high-up seating position which gives them better visibility of potential hazard situations, while most versions are equipped with safe, precise power steering that delivers a good standard of driving pleasure. Depending on version, the driver's seat comes with height adjustability to help find the ideal position. Drivers are also pampered by the height-adjustable steering wheel (depending on version) and user-friendly steering wheel-mounted controls.
Thermal comfort has been engineered to meet the challenge of the world's most punishing climates. Particular care has been taken with the routing of ducts to ensure fast warm-up after starting in both extreme heat and extreme cold.
Safety, an essential priority
Renault Duster benefits from Renault’s acclaimed expertise in the area of safety. -On the active safety front, Renault Duster features, depending on versions, Bosch 8.1 ABS, as well as EBV electronic brakeforce distribution and EBA emergency brake assist. -On the passive safety front, Renault Duster is fitted, as standard, with two front airbags (depending on market) and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats, to which pyrotechnic pretensioners can be added. Depending on the version, two lateral head/thorax airbags are fitted in addition to the driver and passenger front airbags.
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
Reliable, fuel-efficient engines
The 4x2 and 4x4 versions of Renault Duster can be ordered with either the dCi 85 diesel engine or the 1.6 16V 105 petrol engine, both of which have already proven themselves under the bonnet of numerous other models produced by the Renault group. The two engines deliver the low running costs, strength and easy maintenance our customers seek.
-dCi 85 diesel engine: the combined cycle fuel consumption of the 4x2 version of Renault Duster dCi 85 is a low 5.1 litres/100km, equivalent to just 135g of CO2/km. With 4x4 transmission, Renault Duster dCi 85 represents a particularly attractive ecological and economical package for an off-road vehicle, with combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.3 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 140g/km.
The 1.5 dCi block develops maximum power of 63kW (85hp) at 4,000rpm and is equipped with second-generation direct common-rail fuel injection to ensure that only the minimum amount of fuel
is injected into the cylinders for optimized fuel consumption. Ninety per cent of Renault Duster dCi 85 4x2's peak torque (200Nm at 1,900rpm) is available from as low as 1,500rpm. -1.6 16V 105 petrol engine: the power output of Renault Duster's 1.6 16V 105 engine is 75kW (102hp) at 5,750rpm, while maximum torque stands at 145Nm at 3,750rpm. The combined cycle fuel consumption of Renault Duster 1.6 16V 105 is 7.5 litres/100km in the case of the 4x2 version, and 7.9 litres/100km with 4x4 transmission.
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
Like all the vehicles based on the B0/Logan platform, Duster has been engineered to deliver the Renault brand's hallmark strength and reliability.
Particular attention has been paid to anti-corrosion protection thanks to several measures:
-wax-injected underbody and opening panel hollow sections,
-mastic sealing of exterior joints,
-additional wax treatment of underbody mechanical components,
-stone chip protection for underbody, sills and wheel arches.
The 4x4 running gear uses tried and tested components, sourced from the Alliance (Nissan rear axle and coupling, new six-speed TL8 gearbox derived from the TL4 gearbox that has been well-proven in the Renault and Nissan ranges).
In order to underline its high build quality, Renault Duster is backed up by a warranty of up to three years or 100,000km in many of its markets.
Duster is a vehicle with global ambitions, both in terms of its markets and production. Renault Duster is being rolled out progressively in different global regions in the same way as Logan and Sandero.
Since April 2010, Duster has been launched with Dacia badging in Europe, Turkey and the Maghreb region (Algeria, Morocco.) It completes the Dacia range, which is enjoying growth in the majority of these markets. Apart from the three vehicles aimed at the private sector – namely Logan, Logan MCV and Sandero – Dacia has also staked its claim in the light-commercial sector with Logan van and Logan pick-up.
From June 2010, Duster – badged as a Renault – will also be available in Ukraine, the Middle East (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt) and other African countries.
The Pitesti factory (Romania) supplies all these markets, whether Renault-or Dacia-badged. The Romanian plant has an annual production capacity of 350,000 vehicles and will continue to produce Dacia’s other models.
In 2011, Renault Duster will be launched in Brazil, Russia and the Gulf states. It will be built alongside Logan, Sandero and Sandero Stepway in Curitiba, Brazil, for distribution in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile. Duster will later be manufactured at the Avtoframos plant in Moscow, Russia and at the Sofasa plant in Envigado (Colombia). It will be distributed in the Gulf States, supplied from the Pitesti factory.
The Duster project began with a simple premise: there is a genuine need around the world for a comfortable, robust and affordable 4x4. However, this demand is not currently being met.
Aware of this, Renault developed an all-terrain vehicle aimed primarily at emerging markets. The needs of European customers were also taken into account from the start of the project. -In emerging markets (Russia, Brazil, etc.), the middle classes aspire to own a modern car that reflects their social status. At the same time, they want a strong car which is both reliable and versatile, capable of withstanding extreme climatic demands and conditions that can be tough and varied (long distances, mountainous terrain, rough tracks, urban driving, often within large conurbations, etc.). The current offer is largely dominated by imported SUVs, which are frequently beyond the means of these middle classes. -In Europe, the success of Dacia has demonstrated that a market exists for modern, reliable and affordable cars. While the existing range of 4x4s and SUVs is very large, it neglects the market for functional and affordable all-terrain vehicles, favouring instead showy SUVs, which are expensive and often poorly adapted to all-terrain use.
Collaborative design between France and Romania
The Duster project marks another milestone in collaborative engineering between Renault Technologie Romania (RTR) and Le Losange (new name of Renault’s Technocentre site near Versailles) in France. The design process began at Le Losange, but Renault Technologie Romania engineering resources were devoted to the Duster project from the beginning. Le Losange and Renault Technologie Romania collaborated closely to make the vehicle production-ready. From the stage of the second fleet of prototypes (roughly one year before the launch of Duster), the nerve centre of the project moved to Romania to be closer to the factory. Vehicle design was conducted at Le Losange, in cooperation with Renault Design Central Europe (RDCE, the satellite design facility in Bucharest).
2011 Renault Duster photo2011 Renault Duster photo
Manufactured at the primary factory in Romania
Duster arrived at the Pitesti factory in April 2009. This process was facilitated by a new production line for prototypes which is managed directly by Renault Technologie Romania. This production line is located within the factory, making it easier to train the assembly staff. Duster necessitated several modifications to the production lines in Pitesti: a new body shop was built specifically for this model; the assembly line was modified for the new powertrains and 4x4 transmission, while revisions were made to the supply logistics and storage of raw materials in the metal stamping process, in line with the overall factory management scheme. In all, six different body styles are now produced on the same assembly line.

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