New Renault Duster comes sporting significant design upgrades; could get new 1.6-litre dCi diesel engine
Renault Duster is a very popular compact SUV in the Indian market over the years. The muscular looking five-seater has helped Renault to establish itself as one of the major players in the auto industry as well and that’s the reason why it carries all the more importance for the brand.
The French car manufacturer is expected to launch the next-generation Duster in India sometime during late 2018 or early 2019 according to rumours following its entry into Brazil. It made its public debut as Dacia badged Duster at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show before the Euro-spec model’s production commenced in Romania. But the arrival of Captur could delay the new Duster’s launch as Renault might not risk two products at almost similar price range reportedly.
With no seven-seater seemingly in the development, the images of the new generation Renault Duster with revised styling had also been revealed officially a couple of weeks back. The SUV comes featuring significant design upgrades compared to the outgoing model.
The second-gen Duster is based on the company’s CMF platform developed by Renault-Nissan alliance for the European markets. But for emerging markets like India and Brazil, it follows the same trend as Captur and continues with the B0/Logan platform.
The new-generation 2018 Renault Duster has redesigned headlamps with LED daytime running lights integrated and new creases on the bonnet. The extended front grille takes some inspiration from Renault Captur while the front bumper is different compared to outgoing model and is aggressive and beefier. It is fitted with a silver skid plate made from a scratch-resistant material.
At side profile as well, the SUV receives changes like newly designed 17-inch alloy wheels, tweaked glass area, revised aluminium roof bars and thick side body cladding. Additionally, the rear fascia is also tweaked for more appeal with new taillights similarly shaped as Jeep Renegade. Other important features are black wing arch trims and new body colour called Atacama Orange.
The revamped Dacia badged SUV retained tweaked versions of the same 1.5-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol engines as the outgoing model. Dacia’s design boss, Laurens van den Acker, said despite all proportions are same every body panel is brand new. It will be the same case for Renault’s version as well.
It has wider track and reprofiled side panels while the windscreen has been moved forward by 100 mm to improve space. The bonnet and belt-line are raised to give more protected feel for occupants and the tail lights are pushed to each corner. The top-spec models will have aluminium-accented roof bars, new 17-inch alloy wheels, and rugged silver skid plates fitted front and rear.
The centre console is ergonomically angled towards the driver, with the infotainment system positioned higher up. The overhauled interior has better infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity along with use of more soft-touch materials.
The interior has been overhauled extensively with a brand new dashboard layout, new materials and new technology. The new dashboard uses cleaner surfaces and repositioned air vents alongside fresh instruments and a new steering wheel. There is digital switchgear for the climate control.
The other highlighting features are multi-view camera system linked to the colour infotainment screen, blind spot monitoring, automatic AC, automatic headlights, curtain airbags and keyless entry as well as start with a hands-free key card.
It is expected to get certified with three starts in Euro NCAP but there is an optional safety pack to be provided as well comprising autonomous braking and other safety tech. The new Dacia Duster will be launched in France early next year with UK deliveries from summer 2018. Both two-wheel-drive and selectable four-wheel-drive versions will feature in the line-up.
On the powertrain front, the Renault Duster could receive a new 1.6-litre fuel-efficient diesel engine replacing the 1.5 dCi for India while there could be a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine on offer as well. Brazil will continue to get 1.6 and 2.0 flex fuel engines.
To keep the sales of current-gen model going, Renault launched facelifted Duster last year in India and it received an Easy-R AMT gearbox with exterior updates. Currently priced between Rs. 8.29 lakh and Rs. 13.46 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi), we can expect an increase of up to Rs. 30,000 across the range on the upcoming iteration.