All-new Duster ‘The Unstoppable SUV’
Gulf Insider was invited to Jordan to test drive the all-new Renault Duster in a location that is hard to beat when it comes to stunning backdrops, scenery and off-roading. Of course, when you’re given an SUV to test drive, you want to test it to its limits and take it off the beaten track. I can safely say we did exactly that.
It was my first time visiting Jordan and thankfully, Renault Middle East made a solid effort in making the trip special with us seeing the best and most beautiful parts of the country throughout the test drive. Upon arrival at the Kempinski Hotel at the Dead Sea, it didn’t take long after checking in to head to my room and change into a pair of swimmers and head down to the Dead Sea. I’ve watched and read countless documentaries and stories about this iconic ‘wonder of the world’ and I was about to cross it off my bucket list! A truly incredible and surreal experience it was.
Later that evening we were wined and dined at one of the Kempinski restaurants whilst watching the sunset over the mountains in the distance and it didn’t take long for the discussions to begin on the Duster and questions on what we had in store for the following day.
The day of the Test Drive
After a big breakfast, we kicked the day off with good coffee and a morning briefing from the Renault Middle East team led by Mr Marwan Haidamous, Managing Director. It was interesting to learn some facts as to how well Renault had been performing in a tough market and had incremental increases in sales despite an overall market decrease.
We ventured out and paired up with fellow journalists/influencers to take the Dusters for a spin – little did I know quite how adventurous the drive was going to be. Outside the hotel was a whole fleet of Dusters in various colours and my first impression of the new duster was that it had more modern and robust style with more muscular look – it gives the impression that it’s capable of some tough off-roading whilst having the style and capability for it to be an everyday city car and the new 17 inch wheels ensure an even more assertive profile.
was impressed with the new interior – it’s user friendly and has a range of new equipment to facilitate travelling comfort including a multi-view camera, blind spot warning, a 4×4 monitor, hill descent control, remote engine start (GCC only) and Media Nav 3.0. There’s also smart new storage spaces which came in handy in the modern world we live in and the various accessories we carry! We were told that the designers worked from a blank canvas to design this completely new interior… the seats were especially noticeable which offered more comfort and support; considering the rough terrain we were driving on, I noticed how I lost myself in the comfort of the car.
The drive started from The Kempinski hotel and headed towards the mountains with what are some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever witnessed. We drove through windy narrow roads in the mountains (for those who have watched Indiana Jones – it’s all very familiar!) where we could test its steering ability which was good overall. The Duster did struggle with some of the steep hill climbs, however I found by slipping it into the manual gears and knocking it down into first or second, it made the hill climbing easier. As we climbed the mountains we made stops at check points which gave all us journalists the chance to really take in the beautiful scenery of Jordan.
Overall I was impressed with the cars capability off-road and comfort as an everyday SUV with its make-life-easier features.
The convoy of Dusters was then then taken off the roads and way out into the desert to what I’d call the ‘middle of nowhere’. This is where I had a lot of fun. I was surprised at how well the Duster handled when taken off road… there were numerous times where tricky obstacles were ahead yet the Duster faced no issues overcoming them in 4WD whilst remaining high level of comfort and felt like it was no stress to the car.
Overall I was impressed with the cars capability off-road and comfort as an everyday SUV with its make-life-easier features. Renault themselves call this ‘a genuine SUV for everyday driving’ and the Duster lives up to this statement. Whilst there are many SUV’s on the market, the Renault Duster has a starting price of USD 15,000 – for this price you are getting a LOT of car for your money! The all new Renault Duster will be available in the GCC in September 2018.
To arrange a test drive in Bahrain call the Renault showroom; Tel. +973 1770 5705