why pickup truck misses chance to take customers away from Toro

Launched in September 2015, the Renault Duster Oroch innovated as the first monoblock pickup in the Brazilian market to bring an intermediate size between compact and medium models.

Despite its pioneering spirit, it was eclipsed in sales volume by Fiat Toro, which arrived in February of the following year and soon became a success in the country, attracting SUV customers and not just corporate buyers.

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It is true that the French brand’s double-cabin utility has conquered its audience, focused precisely on corporate sales, but it never threatened the Italian manufacturer’s rival in relation to the number of license plates.

Last April, the Renault pickup underwent the biggest update since its debut and lost the Duster name, changing its name to just Oroch.

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The naming change didn’t happen by accident: while about two years ago the Duster received a deep restyling, which the respective manufacturer considers a generation switch, the Oroch underwent much lighter changes – and essentially kept the seven-year-old “face”. back.

This does not mean that it stopped in time: it is now a better product than it was and, in the most expensive version, it gained the advanced 1.3 turbo flex engine developed by Renault in partnership with Mercedes-Benz.

Even so, nothing indicates that the time has come for Oroch to win over Toro customers. He understands the reasons.

Strengths

  • 1.3 engine provides good performance
  • Independent rear suspension contributes to stability
  • Multimedia with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay and induction charging

Negative points

  • Retains look based on the old Duster
  • Turbo flex engine is restricted to the most expensive version
  • Consumption

Verdict

Renault Oroch has never been so powerful, modern and equipped, especially in the top version Outsider, which starts at R$140,900. However, the pickup truck of the French brand, which has never stood out in terms of sales volume in its category, has changed little compared to what the competition offers. Fiat Toro, its biggest rival in terms of size, distanced itself in terms of technological items and also in price. Even so, it sells much more and nothing indicates that this will change, considering what each pickup currently offers. Considering price, Oroch’s simplest configurations, which do not require a turbo engine and automatic transmission, make much more sense, starting at R$108,800 – little more than the initial value charged by the Fiat Strada with a double cabin.

INTERNAL SPACE AND EQUIPMENT

Renault Oroch Outsider panel - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

Without following the deeper updates applied to the Duster, Oroch brings a cabin that mixes SUV elements with items from Captur, Renault’s most expensive sport utility vehicle in Brazil.

The cabin features elements that debuted on the Duster in 2020, such as the horizontal air vents with a frame that simulates metal and the three rotary buttons on the automatic air conditioning with built-in screen, informing ventilation speed, temperature and air flow – an exclusivity. of the Outsider version, the only one to display an orange strip across the panel.

The same color is used in the stitching of the seats and armrests.

The pickup’s instrument display is very similar to the one used by the Captur, while the door panel and buttons for the windows and electric mirrors are from the “old” Oroch.

The internal finish, as before, features hard plastics, but well fitted, in addition to a generous padded surface on the inside of the doors with material that simulates leather – also present in the seats, in the evaluated configuration.

As for the standard equipment, Oroch dispenses, even in the top version, with a face-to-face key and push-button start – standard items on the Duster Iconic.

It also does not bring blind spot alert, factory equipment in the most expensive configuration of the SUV, while the steering remains electro-hydraulic, against the all-electric assistance used by the Duster, which makes the steering wheel lighter in parking maneuvers.

On the other hand, the Oroch Outsider is far from being poorly equipped: it has automatic headlights on, rain sensor, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, eight-inch multimedia center with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wirelessly, and even wireless charging. induction cell phone – offered as an accessory in the dealership network.

As for ergonomics, the air conditioning adjustments are slightly tilted down and the steering wheel is only height adjustable – details that don’t compromise the set, but are far from ideal.

Regarding space for passengers, the rear seat is within the average for the category. The load capacity is 650 kg in the Outsider configuration and 680 kg in the other versions – below the 750 kg of the Toro flex.

PERFORMANCE AND CONSUMPTION

Dynamic Renault Oroch Outsider - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

By gaining the 1.3 turbo flex TCe engine, offered exclusively in the top-of-the-line Outsider version, Oroch gained new life.

Developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz and managed by a CVT transmission with manual mode and eight simulated gears, the new engine provides excellent performance, with its 170 hp and 27.5 kgfm – available at just 1,600 rpm.

Especially in the city, the large amount of torque available at low revs made the pickup agile, with its 1,432 kg.

It’s quite an evolution compared to the 1.6 flex aspirated 120 hp and 16.2 kgfm that equips the other versions.

On the road, the potential of the 1.3-litre engine could be better exploited, especially on resumes, with the use of a conventional automatic transmission in place of the CVT – which is competent, but, like other continuously variable transmissions, keeps the revs up there for longer. longer than desirable when stepping on the accelerator.

Renault reports that the acceleration from zero to 100 km/h happens in a good 9.9 seconds – against 9.2 seconds for the Duster with the same engine.

Another point that leaves something to be desired is fuel consumption – with the air conditioning on, I got less than 7 km/l in the city – Inmetro (National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology) reports averages of 7.4 km/l l on urban roads and 7.8 km/l on the road with vegetable fuel.

With gasoline, consumption drops to 10.5 km/l on the urban circuit and 11 km/l on the highway, according to the institute.

As for handling, the Oroch, with 16-inch wheels and high-profile tires in the Outsider version, brings a very comfortable ride to face potholes, ditches and speed bumps on a daily basis.

In addition, it provides a lot of stability, even with an empty bed – the independent Multilink-type rear suspension contributes greatly to this commendable behavior.

DESIGN

Renault Oroch flat front - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

Especially in the top-of-the-line configuration, which features an imposing chrome front grille, the Oroch displays a look that conveys the feeling of robustness expected in a pickup truck.

It’s true that, basically, it doesn’t offer much news on the outside compared to the Oroch originally released seven years ago – the restyling that debuted in April brought subtle changes, such as redesigned front bumper and grille, as well as new graphics on the lid. rear and smoked-lens taillights.

Unlike the Duster, the Oroch does not display LED daytime running lights even in the most expensive version.

On the other hand, the new Lune gray color, which adds R$ 2,000 to the final price, married well with the style of the pickup – as well as the 16-inch alloy diamond wheels.

In the Outsider variant, Oroch adds elements borrowed from the Duster Iconic, such as plastic moldings in the wheel arches and appliqu├ęs around the headlights, at the bottom of the front bumper.

Exclusive to the most expensive version, the bucket-loader gives an air of sophistication to the utility.

Even so, there is no denying that the modifications were few in the face of the need to bring freshness to the appearance of the Renault pickup.

SAFETY

Renault Oroch side - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

Like the Duster, the Oroch is equipped in all versions with only the two mandatory front airbags – the Renault Kwid, which is one of the cheapest cars in Brazil, leaves the factory with four inflatable bags.

That doesn’t mean the truck is unsafe: from the cheapest configuration, it’s equipped with traction and stability controls, plus hill start assistant and a rollover prevention system – which can cut off the throttle and brake the vehicle based on body tilt.

The vehicle also has cruise control and speed limiter, in addition to the aforementioned reversing camera – which does not bring different viewing angles like the Duster.

Regarding technological devices aimed at safety, the Renault model does not have advanced driving assistants, such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

MARKETPLACE

Renault Oroch Outsider rear - Disclosure - Disclosure
Image: Disclosure

Judging by the comments in Oroch’s owner groups on social media, Renault’s decision not to update the pickup as much as the Duster, from which the pickup is derived, was disappointing.

The maintenance of the look without major changes was added to the lack of technological items in comparison with the SUV, which is far from being a reference in this regard.

Even the adoption of the excellent 1.3 turbo flex engine was restricted to the most expensive version, which makes up a small part of Oroch’s sales mix.

At the same time, Toro recently gained a turbocharged and dual-fuel engine in the entry-level Endurance version (R$138,490), while maintaining 4×4 turbodiesel configurations – the Renault model no longer offers four-wheel drive.

Thus, Oroch misses the chance to steal customers from Fiat’s rival, which is successful precisely because it combines the versatility of a utility vehicle with the sophistication of a medium SUV in terms of finishing and technological items.

Even arriving first, the Renault representative will follow, apparently, as an adjunct and predominantly aimed at fleet owners – while Toro has strong appeal among passenger car customers.

From January to May, Oroch occupied the 11th place in the pickup truck ranking, with 2,903 license plates, of which 70.8% came from direct sales.

Already the pickup of the Italian brand occupied the second place in the same period, adding 41,206 units emplacadas – only 26.8% of them corresponded to corporate sales.

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