The Renault Duster is the car that turned the fortunes of Renault in India and gave the company a name that is well regarded in the subcontinent. Renault had not been doing too well with their cars when they first came to India but with the Duster, they offered a car that was spacious, built ruggedly and equipped with a good bunch of features. The Renault Duster is available in the following variants: Standard, RxE, RxL, RxS, and RxZ. The biggest change in this new Duster is the fact that it can be ordered with an AMT automatic gearbox as well.
Powertrain & Performance
The Renault Duster is available with both petrol and diesel options. Engine options include a 1.5 litre K9K diesel engine which has been tuned to churn out 108 bhp and a maximum torque of 245 Nm @ 1750 rpm or 83 bhp and a maximum torque of 200 Nm @ 1750 rpm; and a 1.6 litre K4M petrol engine which has a peak power output of 103 bhp and a maximum torque of 148 Nm @ 3750 rpm. The petrol engine returns a fuel economy figure of 13.24 kpl. The 108 bhp 1.5 litre diesel motor returns 19.64 kpl and the 83 bhp version of the same engine returns an impressive 19.87 kpl (all fuel efficiency figures are ARAI-certified). While the petrol version gets a 5 speed manual gearbox, the diesel versions get a 6 speed manual gearbox. The 108 bhp diesel version now has the additional option of being specced with a 6 speed, Easy-R AMT automatic gearbox.
Interested customers can also buy an all wheel drive version of the Duster. This particular model comes equipped with the 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder K9K diesel engine that delivers 108 bhp. This engine is hooked up to a 6 speed manual transmission and returns a fuel efficiency figure of 19.72 kpl. The Duster AWD also has a special Eco mode, which reduces fuel consumption. The driver can select between 2 wheel drive, 4 wheel drive and automatic modes using a shift-on-the-fly controller. Thanks to the suspension setup, the drive is engaging and the ride quality is pliant, even over rough roads. The turning radius of 5.2 metres helps it to manoeuvre easily through crowded city traffic and fairly tight corners.
Build & Styling
The exterior of Renault Duster features new double barrel headlights, remodelled bumpers with faux skid plates at the front and rear, a new front grille, restyled tail lamp clusters and stylish roof rails. The higher end models also display body coloured outside door mirrors, body colured exterior door handles and a chrome exhaust pipe finisher. The alloy wheels now have a new, sportier pattern as well. The interior of the Renault Duster is well appointed with well upholstered seats. Depending on the variant, you get either Cedarwood Black or Crimson Black colour themes. The dashboard is kitted out in soft touch materials to give it a more upmarket feel. The dark chrome centre console finishing adds to the character of the new Duster..
Features of the new facelifted Duster include equipment such as an automatic AC, an audio system with MP3, USB, aux-in and bluetooth support, a 7 inch MediaNav touchscreen system, a navigation module, smartphone voice recognition (which works now only for iOS devices), steering mounted controls, a height adjustable driver seat, reading lamps for the rear seat passengers, an illuminated glove box, power adjustable and retractable rear view mirrors and cruise control. In terms of safety, the new Duster comes with ABS with EBD and brake assist, airbags for both front passengers, a rear defogger, a rear wash/wipe system, speed sensitive auto door locks, hill start assist, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera with guidelines, impact sensing auto door unlocking mechanism, electronic stability program (ESP) and rapid deceleration warning.
The Duster single-handedly changed the way Renault was viewed in India and that was no lucky accident. Indian car buyers immediately fell for its solid build quality, reasonable price, frugal engines and feature list. But Renault has observed that the SUV segment in India is becoming increasingly competitive and therefore, they have improved the Duster all round and even given it an AMT gearbox, making it ever more attractive to India car buyers. In simple words, the Renault Duster is a better vehicle than it ever was.