• Renault's Romanian arm, Dacia, revealed a bakkie based on the Duster SUV.
• Wheels24 readers share their positive response to the bakkie.
• The bakkie features several upgrades and updates over the Duster SUV.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
In the closing stages of October 2020, Wheels24 ran a story on the Dacia Duster, known in South Africa as the Renault Duster. However, the vehicle is not an SUV, but a rather a single cab bakkie based on the Duster.
Called the Dacia Duster pick-up, the bakkie is manufactured in Romania where several Dacia products are produced. While based on the SUV, the bakkie has several updates and upgrades to differentiate it from its SUV sibling.
For starters, the rear doors and seats have been removed to convert it into a bakkie, while the loading area has been redesigned to fit the purposes of a bakkie. In addition, ground clearance has been raised from 177mm to 224mm. The bakkie is 19mm shorter than the SUV. Engine-wise, it is said that the Duster bakkie is powered by Renault's 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine that produces 80kW and 260Nm, with fuel consumption rated in the region of 5.0-litres/100km. And yes, the Duster's 4x4 system has been carried over.
Unfortunately, Renault South Africa says that it has "received no notification on the bakkie's local launch."
We asked readers for their opinion on the Dacia bakkie, with every reply being in the bakkie's favour.
Dacia Duster bakkie (Dacia Media)
Pieter du Plessis: What a great bakkie this could be for the South African market! I think the market has a big demand for it. All-wheel traction will be a great advantage for off-road use, although not considered an off-road vehicle. That combined with a good enough ground clearance, sufficient load box capability and payload of 500kg.
This is not a workhorse, but I don't suppose it's the intention, either. I will definitely trade our little car for such a bakkie because of its versatility, and it's just my wife and I. Come on guys, get that little Duster Bakkie here! Soon, please. For now, I can't even visit my farming friends or go hunting or visit certain private nature reserves with our little car because it is just not off-road capable in any way. I also do not require a large bakkie.
Similo Dingaan: Duster bakkie would be the fastest-selling bakkie in the country and how sad it would be if it were not to come to our shores. The history of the half tonner bakkies in SA goes way back. The convenience and nimbleness would be a good selling point. I recall the Ford Bantam, Datsun and& Nissan 140 (Botsotso) as some of the brands that distinguished themselves in all market segments: suburban, rural, private and most commercial delivery markets. The appeal this bakkie has is so cool and could be a hit with the country's young entrepreneurs.
I will personally procure a Duster bakkie for personal use because I think it is far superior to all of the brands mentioned above. It featuring a 4x4 system will be one of the attributes that will make it suitable for SA's conditions and roads.
Brian Classens: I would definitely prefer the Renault's new 4x4 bakkie over the NP200! I predict that it will outsell the Nissan by 50 to 60% every month. Everyone is waiting for Ford or Toyota to bring a half-tonne bakkie, but the fact that Renault is going taking this step will be a massive boost for their sales.
Pravin Jugwanth: I currently drive a 2019 Nissan NP200 1.6. It is a huge adjustment from my previous bakkie, a Mitsubishi Colt 3000 V6. Clearly, there is an incomparable drivetrain difference, and that is not what I am in the market for. My Nissan NP200 is front-wheel-drive, and when fully laden with a trailer hitched on, there is a noticeable difference between it and rear-wheel-drive offerings. Admittedly it is better on tarred roads as opposed to gravel. In South Africa, we are not spoilt for choice when it comes to purchasing a half-tonne bakkie. So yes, it will be awesome if the Duster 4x4 is brought to our shores. I will get one; it's the perfect compromise: 4x4 traction and four-cylinder economy.
Tristan Spiess: This would be a great idea! I feel there needs to be competition to the smaller NP200; especially if it is priced correctly. I would seriously consider this as a buying option over the larger single cabs as it is more compact and should be a better alternative for most people. The interior is usually better than the Nissan's, and the ability with the 4x4 option is a huge selling point considering the current dusters ability. Even though they are essentially the same company, we do need more options.
Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24.
Dacia Duster bakkie (Dacia Media)