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Is Renault Duster really a capable offroad car?

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I agree with @ayman_khateeb and @vanhack, a lot of experience there, I would just like to add that another thing to be considered in an off-road vehicle is the transmission cooler, the normal SUVs and AWDs will not have one and you don't want to loose your transmission in the middle of the desert.

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On 3/5/2016 at 9:21 AM, vanhack said:

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.

I'm sure you remember Idriss, he had a 4 pot Forturner and he went everywhere with it, I believe he is still driving it in Sudan. 

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I also remember that idriss other off-roader was a Jeep Wrangler, I he did not take the Fortuner everywhere, just in places where he knew he could manage it, that comes with experience. With all his experience, a simple loss of concentration and he rolled over his Fortuner in Marquab area in some very small dunes. Still does not answer the question whether a Duster is a real off-roader. We as experienced people know that Fortuner although is a little under-powered in capable hands can do a good job in most parts as it has low gearing, but Duster is an AWD. What do you say @desertdude

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On 1/15/2017 at 11:35 AM, Rahimdad said:

I also remember that idriss other off-roader was a Jeep Wrangler, I he did not take the Fortuner everywhere, just in places where he knew he could manage it, that comes with experience. With all his experience, a simple loss of concentration and he rolled over his Fortuner in Marquab area in some very small dunes. Still does not answer the question whether a Duster is a real off-roader. We as experienced people know that Fortuner although is a little under-powered in capable hands can do a good job in most parts as it has low gearing, but Duster is an AWD. What do you say @desertdude

Well, I strongly believe yes, it is.

the Renault is NOT an AWD, it is a proper 4WD, it has a selector for 2WD, Auto (AWD), and Locked, which is a proper 4Hi with locked center differential, but doesn't have low range...

in the manual edition, it compensates for the lack of low range with a super short 1st gear, it is a crawl gear! (around 5.79kph per 1,000 rpm according to online brochures), which means maxing up at around 35 kph in 1st gear, that's even lower than my 1st gear in low in my R50 pathfinder.. while it won't make for a dune climber, but you can still manage to cruise around in the desert and climb easy tracks..

The local version seems Auto tranny only, and it clocks 0-100 in 11 second, which is better than 3.8 Pajero, it really has a nice power to weight ratio..

again, I wouldn't recommend it for an offroad hobby, but it can handle itself in the desert far better than a KIA sportage, a CRV, or even RAV4.

Duster is an adventure oriented small SUV, it takes you to desert, wadis, mountains and beaches with no problem, but not necessarily on the same track that more offroad ready SUVs.. but pretty close..

here is the local version brochure:

http://www.renault-me.com//CountriesData/GCC/images/pdf/BROCHURE_RENAULT_DUSTER_4X4_ENGLISH.pdf

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