Renault recently updated its Duster SUV, with the range-topping trim coming in at R384,900.
This price puts the most-expensive Duster up against VW’s second-cheapest crossover, the T-Cross Comfortline R-Line.
Beating the T-Cross is no easy task, however, as it’s currently the fourth best-selling SUV in South Africa.
The Renault Duster received an inter-generational update in November, with the range-topping Intens trim offering more features than before.
Standard equipment now includes automatic LED daytime running lights, cruise control, fabric seats, a leather multifunction steering wheel with backlit buttons, climate control, keyless entry and start, and an 8-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay support, as well as integrated navigation.
In the VW, you will also find a leather multifunction steering wheel, climate control, cruise control, and LED daytime running lights.
Apart from these shared features, the T-Cross offers rain-sensing wipers, “Triangle” fabric seats, and a 6.5-inch infotainment display with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
While there is no clear winner when it comes to comfort and convenience features, the Duster does pull slightly ahead in the driver assistance and safety category.
The top-of-the-line Duster Intens brings with it rear parking sensors, a 360-degree “Multiview” camera system, blind-spot warnings, hill-start assist, ABS with emergency brake assist, and four airbags.
The T-Cross Comfortline makes do with a driver fatigue warning, all-round parking sensors, hill-hold assist, ABS with brake assist, and six airbags.
Thanks to its larger dimensions, the Renault is also the more practical option between the two crossovers – offering a maximum luggage capacity of 478 litres compared to the VW’s 377 litres.
The entire updated Renault Duster range is driven by a 1.5-litre, turbo-diesel engine that pairs to a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Intens specification.
The setup produces 80kW and 250Nm, directed to the front wheels, allowing the crossover to sprint to 100km/h in 11.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 169km/h.
The T-Cross sees the fitment of a 1.0-litre, turbo-petrol engine connected to a five-speed manual gearbox in this Comfortline trim.
It sends 70kW and 175Nm to the front wheels, which lets the VW reach 100km/h in a quicker 10.8 seconds, as well as achieve a higher top speed of 180km/h.
Despite the much smaller engine of the VW, both vehicles’ combined fuel consumption is rated at 4.8l/100km.
Not only does the Duster provide more power than the T-Cross, but it’s also a bit more rugged.
It comes with front and rear skid plates, roof rails, and 17-inch alloy wheels – and boasts a ground clearance of 210mm.
While this particular VW also has 17-inch wheels and roof rails, thanks to the R-Line package, it remains more of a city-bound crossover with sporty bumpers and 180mm of ground clearance.
VW has also not revealed the maximum angles of the T-Cross crossover range, but it is unlikely that it will beat the Duster’s class-leading 30-degree approach and 34-degree departure angles.
Additionally, the Renault’s maximum braked towing capacity comes in at 1,200kg.
The T-Cross 70kW Comfortline, as well as those with the R-Line kit fitted, do not offer an optional tow hook for installation.
The new Renault Duster 1.5dCi Intens has a South African starting price of R384,900.
Each purchase includes a 5-year/150,000km warranty and a 3-year/45,000km service plan.
The VW T-Cross 70kW Comfortline R-Line has a South African starting price of R378,000.
Along with this, you get a 3-year/120,000km warranty and a 3-year/45,000km service plan.
Keyword: New Renault Duster vs VW T-Cross – R380,000 SUV comparison