Renault Duster Review & First Drive
Renault Duster Overview
French car maker Renault launched the new refreshed model of the Duster SUV in India in order to heighten the appeal and popularity of this massively successful compact SUV. Renault India received great success with its Duster SUV. The updated Duster model comes with updated new interior and a new ECO drive mode which will surely increase the appeal of the Duster with better comfort and enhanced fuel efficiency.With the Hyundai Creta going on to dominate the very segment the Duster pioneered, Renault needed to do something to bring the attention back to its small SUV. So, what you see here, really is Renault’s answer to the Creta. This facelifted Duster gets revised styling, a revamped cabin, more equipment and, for the first time, the option of an automatic gearbox. Request a Test Drive for Duster in Tryaldrive
Renault Duster Look
In terms of looks, the basic design remains unchanged, but stylistic tweaks here and there do help the Duster look fresh. The square headlights now get more intricate detailing (though there are no DRLs) and there’s a new twin-slat design for the grille as well. There’s a greater dose of brushed silver cladding with chunky scuff plates at the front and rear that seriously enhance the Duster’s SUV credentials. Fatter roof rails with the Duster name embossed on them and new rear view mirrors complete with turn indicators are other elements that help bring the Duster’s appearance up to speed.
The Duster gets new black alloys but the design is quite plain and nowhere near as attractive as the Terrano’s wheels, which is one of the selling points of the Nissan-badged version of the car. Another missed opportunity are the door handles – we just wish the cheap lift-type flaps had made way for pull-type handles. At the rear, the re-profiled tail-lamps get a very distinctive S-shaped LED signature and the brake lights too look unique. Also, our test car came finished in the new shade of Cayenne Orange and the colour sure did its bit to spice up the look.
Renault Duster Comfort
Though Renault has made improvements over the years, the Duster’s cabin has always come across as a bit utilitarian. That feeling has reduced, though still not completely gone, thanks to a fresh round of upgrades on this facelifted version. For starters, the new black and chocolate-brown plastics help cover up the rougher edges better than the lighter tones of the earlier Duster. You’ll also notice more silver highlights and a bit more chrome detailing (on the air-con vents, for instance) that help spruce up the cabin. The centre console also gets a lot more gloss-black plastic. On the whole quality has improved, but it’s still not at Hyundai levels.
The facelifted Duster also gets embossed branding atop the glovebox, but only those very familiar with the earlier Duster’s cabin will note that the layout of the centre console has been slightly revised. The buttons for the hazard lights and door lock now sit higher up and are more convenient to access. On a related note, the mirror controls that were formerly under the handbrake have been moved to the more traditional position near the window switches, which is more practical. However, the cruise control switches are still scattered between the dash and steering, and the steering column-mounted audio controllers continue to remain out of view. The cumbersome driver’s seat height adjust is also something that should have been improved. The seats themselves are trimmed in richer fabrics and the front pair get armrests for added comfort. Equipment-wise, only top-spec Duster RxZ versions see some additions. The range-topping versions finally get automatic climate control, though lower trim levels continue with the rudimentary manual setup. The functionality of the touchscreen system on the RxZ versions has also been enhanced with voice recognition for paired iPhones. There’s a new reverse camera too, as well as auto up-down for the driver’s side window. Curiously though, the Duster AMT doesn’t get a dedicated dead pedal even though the footwell is spacious enough to accommodate one.In terms of space and comfort, this Duster is no different to the pre-facelift version which is no bad thing. The front seat is comfortable and despite its flat contours, the rear seat also offers a good deal of support. There is a plenty of head, leg and shoulder room in the cabin too. As ever, the large boot will be a boon for anyone looking to use their Duster on long out-of-town excursions.
Renault Duster Performance
The engine line-up stays the same as before – a 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.6-litre petrol. The diesel is available in two configurations 84bhp and 200Nm and 108bhp and 240Nm while the petrol engine produces 102bhp and 145Nm of torque. The 84bhp diesel and the petrol engine have been mated to a five-speed manual while the 108bhp diesel has been mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The Duster is also offered with the shift-on-fly all-wheel-drive option along with the standard front-wheel-drive setup. The most important addition to the new Duster is the automated-manual six-speed gearbox that is available with the 108bhp setup. The AWD though, is not being offered with the AMT transmission.The 1461 cc Diesel – powered variant delivers a fuel economy of 17 kmpl in city and 19 kmpl on highways, while the Petrol variant offers a mileage of 11 kmpl on urban roads and 13 kmpl and freeways, respectively.
Renault Duster Rideing
The power to weight ratio that the Duster offers is impressive and the engine has enough grunt to pull from any speed without straining. The gear ratios are wide and the engine has enough torque and you would not need to make frequent gear changes. At the front, the car uses Mac Pherson With Coil Spring, Stabiliser Bar & Double Acting Shock Absorber with Anti Roll Bar and at the rear, Multilink with Coil Spring & Double Acting Shock Absorber with Anti Roll Bar does its duty. Duster offers good performance on tough road conditions while also offering comfortable drive and handling on the busy city roads. The car has impressive high speed stability and feels stable at all speeds.
Renault Duster Safety
The new Renault Duster gets an updated feature list. The fully loaded RXZ variant gets a touch-screen infotainment system with steering mounted controls, cruise control, automatic climate control and a height adjustable driving seat with lumbar support. The wing mirrors are electrically adjustable but not retractable and get a reverse parking camera with guidance. Door handles and wing mirrors are body coloured for the RXL and RXS variants while the RXZ gets chrome exterior door handles. Headlamps are conventional with fog lamps being offered from the RXL variant while LED tail lamps are standard except for the diesel base variant.On the safety front, ABS with EBD is being offered on all variants except the base diesel. While RXL and RXS get driver airbag only, the RXZ is offered with dual front airbags. ISOFIX child-seat mounting points are standard on the Duster.
Renault Duster Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 8,55,174/- (Duster RxE Petrol) to 13,71,075/- (Duster RxZ Diesel 110PS 4×2 MT). Get best offers for Renault Duster from Renault Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Duster price in Hyderabad at Carzprice
Renault Duster Bottomline
With the update, Renault has addressed some of the Duster’s lesser points. The cabin looks that little bit plusher than before and the top-spec versions get more equipment too. And we think you’ll agree the facelift has done its bit to freshen up the design. At the same time, the Duster’s not lost its tough and honest air either.As for the AMT version, it doesn’t match the smoothness of a torque converter let alone a twin clutch unit, but it does the job of providing two-pedal convenience rather well. The advantage of an AMT of course is that this comes with no real impact on fuel consumption. But the bigger plus is the substantial cost advantage.Tags: Renault