2016 Renault Duster in Mexico
Text and photos by Gabriela Gorvena Galvan
Cor always wanted to feature Renault vehicles on his sites, but since they are no longer sold in the US, that was impossible. His attempt to get loans while on his European trip last summer failed. Renault did not respond. So when I was making my plans for a short visit home to my native Mexico, he suggested trying to contact Renault in Mexico to see if I could try one out while there, so here we are.
The Renault Duster originates in Romania, originally conceived and still sold in Europe as the Dacia Duster. In Mexico it is sold under the Renault badge, since Dacia is part of the bigger Renault organization, and has been for a long time.
I was traveling to Hermosillo Sonora, and by chance Renault has quite a upscale and big dealership in the affluent part of town there, so it was really convenient for me to pick up the car from there. My initial impression was that the Duster is big, huge in fact, and maybe too big to drive through the small streets in Hermosillo Sonora, especially in the old town parts. Thankfully that was not the case. In fact, the car was the perfect size for doing this, and it was very responsive with the brakes as well, thankfully, since people did seem to cross the streets out of nowhere. The Duster never failed me!
Since I had left Hermosillo as a child, and therefore had never driven around the town, I was really happy that the Duster was equipped with a GPS system. It did save me a lot of time searching and guessing. Driving somewhere, especially somewhere you haven’t been in a very long time, and somewhere you never drove, can be stressful to say the least, thanks to the equipment in the Duster and its ease of control I never had any issues.
I also spend time outside of Hermosillo, over the Highway 15 towards Guaymas. It is an area where the streets are not paved, so the high ground clearance and the excellent suspension on this Renault Duster were put to good use. The car was very confidence inspiring. I knew I would not get stuck anywhere and did not hesitate going places I would not dare go to with my own Honda Civic.
Of course I took family and friends on board as well, since the Renault Duster is a very spacious vehicle. The luggage area was very capable of holding everything we wanted to take on our trips, and the creature comfort inside when packed with all of use, still was very good. I was thoroughly impressed. Of course, in Cor speak, it does not have the fit and finish of a Hyundai in the US, but it was not far off. It was a very nice, good quality, and very usable vehicle in all of the conditions I decided to put it through. Impressive!