Joyce

Is Renault Duster really a capable offroad car?

16 posts in this topic

For off-road capability you need to check the specs to understand the engine, horsepower and torque figures.

Renault Duster has 2.0 liter engine, producing 135 horsepower and 195 Nm of Torque.

Generally speaking these numbers are really a peanut for a good capable off-road 4x4, and I am sure it does not comes with LSD or diff lock that is must-have for off-road drives.

It seems like a marketing stunt to me to fake it as a go anywhere car: http://takeme-anywhere.com/home probably for the sand or loose gravel tracks only, and not sand desert and never for dune climbing.

Btw, you can also take honda civic, toyota corolla for same sand or loose gravel tracks, it's no biggy.

I am following this thread to see the real owner "go anywhere" experience.....!

fine and Rahimdad like this

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This is what I mean at 02:08 and then again 02:24 in below video:

 

 

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The exact video to post Danny, I just hope his radiator didn't blast or something, this car is capable only for the city, definitely not an Offroader !

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I did some research about this car earlier & I disagree with some opinions here..

This car can go offroad, in terms of taking you to mountains, hiking places, deserts for easy cruising & camping.. Etc

It is not suitable for serious off-roading, in terms of climbing big dunes or going rock crawling..

It was designed to do that, this is basically a Dacia duster, built for the rough roads of Eastern Europe & mild adventures off the Tarmac, the manual gearbox have a very low 1st gear ratio, to help in crawling off the road, and engine power is low but acceptable for the weight of the car..

if you want to simply take it to the beach, go camping in the desert, wadis, mountains... Etc, it is definitely capable..

if you want to go serious dune bashing, following an offroad club track for example, it will be fine for the first level only, easy drives.. After that it will struggle with power, clearance & front/rear bumpers... It will be around its limits in stock form..

all in all, it is a very nice small package, but for an active offroad life style, I would go bigger and avoid the risks

Rahimdad, manums and Saleem like this

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Hi

I agree with Ayman ....... Its a crossover type do you think any other crossover like toyota Rav4, Honda CRV, Nissan Qushqai & Xtrail, Mazda CX5, Mitsubishi outlander, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Captiva, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA & GLK , Audi Q1&Q3, Skoda Yeti or vw tiguan or Land Rover new Discovery & Evoque  would offer better performance with stock wheels & tires and suspension ?

I'm sure they would not and may scream louder than the video!

Even mighty Porsche cayenne, BMW X3&X5&X6, Audi Q7, Rang Rover Vogue & sport and Mercedes M & ML and all European would not offer toyota land cruiser/Prado/FJ Cruiser and Nissan Patrol/ Xterra performance on sand dune (Except Mercedes G class as it's basically a military vehicle not a commercial passenger car as it's panned from sale in most of European countries for safety reasons) 

The only 3 cars would give you a better performance is Suzuki Jimny, Daihatsu terios with smaller engines 1.3L & 1.5L respectively and Subaru Forester with 2.0L-2.5L engine since they was built basically as a rear wheel drive and all time all wheel drive (longitude engines) with short wheel base (tiny for Suzuki) and over all light weight.

The Duster is a very challenging package including (space, specs, running cost & price)

manums likes this

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I still have only one thing to say that not any other compact SUV advertise and brand their vehicle with misleading information of go anywhere SUV for such dinky sized SUV.

Secondly what Ayman mentioned that you can take it to beginners drives, then surely it's a wrong understanding as the person who go on beginner drive will be a beginner in off-road and such vehicle will kill all it's morale and spirit of off-roading as the engine power is not designed for such level of off-road experience even. Off course we all know that driver skills play an utmost importance in off-roading and we all have seen such people driving two wheel sedans in dune driving. So if super expert driver drives duster, then I can agree with Ayman statement, but not for beginner level driver.

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17 hours ago, sidhan said:

 

Secondly what Ayman mentioned that you can take it to beginners drives, then surely it's a wrong understanding as the person who go on beginner drive will be a beginner in off-road and such vehicle will kill all it's morale and spirit of off-roading as the engine power is not designed for such level of off-road experience even. Off course we all know that driver skills play an utmost importance in off-roading and we all have seen such people driving two wheel sedans in dune driving. So if super expert driver drives duster, then I can agree with Ayman statement, but not for beginner level driver.

I'm afraid I have to disagree here, I'll talk about my own experience marshalling in the desert.

In beginner drives (especially first timers) we teach people about operating their 4WD vehicles (most don't know how to properly engage 4WD), the different options, the equipment they need, and how to start cruising in the sand easily, which actually can be done in virtually any 4WD/AWD cars there (provided the leader is aware of the car's limitation in his convoy), even KIA sportage should be able to navigate in and out without any drama. truck power is completely irrelevant there.

We don't push anything beyond that as desert driving requires practice.

Duster has enough grunt to cruise in the desert, actually more than enough with it's 2.0L 133hp engine (3.0L Pajero weights more than 2300Kg and barely makes 175hp, the duster 2.0L weighs around 1200Kg and makes around 133hp and 195Nm of torque.. one of my friends drove his 3.0L LWB Gen3 Pajero from complete newbie up to fast advanced drives.. the duster specs are on a real advantage here)

Engine power is not the problem as much as the  front approach angle, which is no bad btw.. however it shouldn't be seriously challenged in beginner drives anyways.

so, a first timer in the desert should be comfortable to join my beginner level drive, have fun, and leave with his duster with no damage, and appreciate what this little 4WD car can do, and where it falls short.

an expert driver will be able to take the duster to much higher levels, while still respecting its physical limitations and avoid serious damage. that's why it would actually be still ok to take it to intermediate levels, once the driver gets better understanding of his duster, and how to navigate in the sand.

that's said, anyone who wants to take desert offroading seriously and to relatively high levels should choose something with more power and low gear for sure, duster would be fine for people who want to cruise in the desert/mountains/wadies, have relaxed fun, and reach a nice camp site, rather than drive in the big dunes and challenge other SUVs. basically what a beginner drive should be.

Rahimdad likes this

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I would not consider horsepower and torque on their own as a measure if the vehicle has adequate power. The horsepower and torque along with weight is key. Or what is known as power to weight ratio. An old wrangler 1999 to 2005 is around 17 power to weight ratio, which are very agile in the dunes and any idiot can look expert driving them I am sure the new wranglers surpass them as does the FJ in terms of power to weight ratio. I would like to know if the duster has low ratio transfer box, if the traction control can be switched off completely s these can stop the vehicle in loose sand at the side of the highway to al Quadra lakes.

Others to consider are ground clearance, suspension articulartion,  departure and approach angles, placement of radiator to front cross memeber and factory tow points. I doubt that any US, Australian and South Africans are going to make suspension lifts, tow points and any other basic mods for the duster unless it starts eating into LC, wrangler and FJ sales as a capable offroader.

1 overlooked 4x4 here is the fortuner, good power to weight ratio, diff lock and carry 7 passengers and great on fuel....not a monetary concern but when on remote trips your distances are more flexible.

wildcat and Rahimdad like this

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You hit the nail right on the head with your comment. Check out the Off Road Advice section for more on this debate.

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