Renault has given its Duster SUV a much-needed shot in the arm by introducing this mid-cycle facelift. Priced from Rs 7.99-12.50 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Duster facelift remains mechanically identical to its predecessor but gets tweaks to its interior and exterior. It is powered by a 106hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel unit available in 85hp and 110hp states of tune. The SUV is available in nine versions with five engine-gearbox combinations. Here are five things that you should know about the new Renault Duster facelift.
Revised exterior styling
While the second-gen Duster is on sale in markets abroad, the first-gen model soldiers on in India. However, Renault has done well to hide the SUV’s vintage. The updated Duster is identifiable with its new projector headlights with LED DRLs, a redesigned, chrome-embellished front grille and a redesigned front bumper. The sculpted bonnet also sits marginally higher (raised for the Duster to meet pedestrian protection norms) than on the previous model. Front and rear skid plates, and plastic cladding at the tailgate also help the look. Of the other things, the Duster gets a new design for its 16-inch alloy wheels as well as a new blue exterior paint option.
Changes inside the cabin include a new steering wheel, angular AC vents and brown-fabric upholstery. Faux-aluminium trim, chrome-and-gloss-black bits and a dash insert finished in the body colour also embellish the cabin. A welcome upgrade in the interior is the infotainment system. Even though it retains the same-sized 7.0-inch screen, it now features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Interestingly, Renault has chosen to leave out the larger 8.0-inch unit which will feature in the brand’s upcoming Triber seven-seater.
As mentioned earlier, the Duster is available in a total of nine variants in five engine-gearbox configurations. While the variant line-up remains more or less unchanged, an important addition is the introduction of all-wheel drive on the mid-spec RxS (O) trim. Earlier, AWD was only available on the fully-loaded RxZ variant. While this makes it more affordable, the new AWD variant misses out on features like automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a front armrest, electrically foldable ORVMs, cruise control, a rear parking camera and a rear wiper/washer.
Additionally, the diesel-AMT combination is now available only on the top-spec RxZ variant (the pre-facelift model had it in the mid-spec RxS variant). This means that along with its higher price tag, the Duster AMT gets more features – namely the ones that the new AWD variant misses out on.
To go along with the updates, Renault has revised the prices for the Duster. The SUV is priced from Rs 7.99 lakh for the petrol RxE variant, going up until Rs 12.50 lakh for the RxZ AMT and RxS (O) AWD trims (both 110hp diesel variants). In comparison, the outgoing Duster range was priced from Rs 7.99-13.10 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India).
Thanks to the variant rejig, the AWD Duster now costs Rs 60,000 less but it does miss out on some equipment. Meanwhile, the AMT version is now pricier by Rs 60,000 but is more feature-rich than before.
Rivals across segments
Key rivals to the SUV include other midsize SUVs like the Hyundai Creta (Rs 10-15.65 lakh), the Nissan Kicks (Rs 9.55-14.65 lakh) and the Maruti Suzuki S-cross (Rs 8.86-11.49 lakh). Furthermore, thanks to the competitive pricing, the updated Duster also competes with compact SUVs like the Mahindra XUV300 (Rs 7.90-12.70 lakh) and the Ford EcoSport (Rs 7.69-11.33 lakh). In price, the Duster facelift now sits in the sweet spot between midsize and compact SUVs.
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