Test drive: Renault Oroch, a more than welcome renewal

The Renault Duster Oroch inaugurated a segment in our country that had been neglected for a long time, that of compact double-cab vans. In fact, it was the one that opened the door for other models to follow (Fiat Toro and Ford Maverick) and to encourage other companies to join the proposal (the Chevrolet Montana is expected for next year and there are others in the pipeline). . And it went very well: since it was launched in 2016 it has sold more than 57,000 units.

The Duster Oroch had a peculiarity: it was a pickup derived from an SUVhence it shared the name with the sport utility. But that is already in the past, since the day before yesterday the rhombus presented the evolution of this vehicle in a bet with which it intends to establish itself in that portion of the local market with increasing demand. That’s why, from now on it is simply called Oroch and launch one range made up of three variants: Emotion 1.6 SCe 114 2WD ($5,814,600), Iconic 1.3 TCe 163 2WD CVT ($7,310,200) and the top of the range Outsider 1.3 TCe 163 4WD ($7,476,800). This time, we tested the intermediate version.

The aesthetics of the Oroch was always strikingwith generous measurements, well-defined volumes and robust and muscular lines. There are no changes in that aspect, but it does look renewed. This because incorporates a taller grill and in which the chrome grille stands out -it follows the identity of the brand for its utility portfolio-, slightly finer headlights and a bumper that is now integrated into the whole. This led to an improvement in the angle of entry (it is now 27.6° now). From the side, redesigned two-tone 16″ diamond-cut wheels with black over fenders can be seen; opaque metal roof bars (support up to 80 kg), and an exclusive San Antonio bar. At the rear, new darkened headlights appear while the Oroch logo occupies the entire cargo box lid with a very good load capacity (650 kg and 683 L) and covered by a plastic protector to prevent damage (it has 8 hooks to secure objects).

The interior was completely redesigned and it has a new dashboard, upholstery and door panels that give it a more modern look. There launches the Easy Link system, the new multimedia center compatible with Android Auto and Apple Carplay via Bluetooth which is controlled from an 8″ floating position touch screen with good definition and interface. Other highlighted comfort elements are the speed limiter, cruise control, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, lights with twilight sensor, rain sensor, climate control and several more.

More technology. It is the one that adds the Renault Oroch inside

And speaking of equipment, the security aspect is taken care ofsince it offers a package that includes stability controls (ESP) and traction (TCS), hill start assist, anti-roll systems (ROM and RMI, help detect body roll tendencies and work as prevention in conjunction with the ESP and TCS), brakes with ABS and EBD and emergency brake assistance, among others. In fact, it brakes from 100 km/h to 0 in 39 metres.

Of course, the change could not be complete but it was also reflected in the mechanics. That’s why, this Oroch replaced the previous gasoline engines (1.6 L of 115 hp and 15.1 kgm and 2.0 L of 143 and 20.2 kgm) by modern TCe impeller (Turbo Control Efficiency) of 4 cylinders in line and 1.3 L of displacement with turbocharger electronically controlled and direct injection, which generates 163 CV at 4500 rpm and 27.5 kgm of torque from 1800 and up to 4250 rpm, associated with a X-Tronic CVT-type automatic gearbox (continuous variator) with 8 pre-programmed gears; traction in this case is simple (lead).

The propellant is the same one that equips the Duster, but for this Oroch it was improved so that it has a greater power delivery (8 CV more) and also more torque (+2.5 kgm) in a wider range of revolutions, which results in better performance both when it is driven without a load and when it is loaded; hence the response is really very good and far exceeds the previous generation. The very well-connected and progressive transmission also collaborates in this, and it shifts gears smoothly and without jerking (against the tendency of CVTs to stay coiled).

For that reason, it is that It has certainly remarkable features for a vehicle of this type: accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8 seconds, covers 0 to 400 m in 15 seconds and recovers from 80 to 120 km/h in just under 6 seconds.

Likewise, consumption is containedsince it demands about 10 L/100 km in the city and 8.7 L/100 km on the highway at 130 km/h). This is favored because it has the Eco-Mode and low rolling resistance tires that help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

In addition to this, it is noted greatly improved ride comfortsince the new suspension sets (McPherson at the front and Multilink at the rear) added to the very good soundproofing mean that neither the imperfections of the road nor the sounds or vibrations of the engine reach the cabin.

The new Renault Oroch also has a new aesthetic at the rear
The new Renault Oroch also has a new aesthetic at the rear

Another strong point is the dynamic behaviorwhere it shows a very agile and smooth ride in traffic and with a lot of poise and grip at speed.

In short, this renewal of the Oroch, which has a price in line with the market, is very welcome and clearly aims to catch up with an increasingly wide and competitive offer.

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