We all love the Renault Duster facelift for various reasons most which seem to be along the lines of it being a small vehicle made to look much bigger than its size. Developed and designed by Renault’s Romanian subsidiary, Dacia, its arrival heralded a new chapter in the pages of Renault India’s history as it set the charts on fire every month since its launch in July 2012. However, despite the good combinations that it offered, the Duster was no match for the Ford EcoSport which was launched earlier this year, and ultimately started dropping off in terms of numbers. With so much to lose, it is now likely that Renault will bring the facelifted version to the Auto Expo in February.
The facelifted Renault Duster gets a redone fascia in the form of a new grille, revised headlamp design as well as a new design for the air intake in front. It also gets new front and rear scuff plates, revised tail lamp assembly and 16-inch wheels. However, the overall design of the crossover has not been tampered with as it still retains its squat stance and model-defining flared wheel arches. The rear too remains the same as the current vehicle but now the exhaust pipe has been integrated into the rear diffuser assembly. However, one noticeable change to the Duster is the modified roof rails to increase the amount of support it can provide. For further personalisation, Renault may also offer the adventure exterior design pack which includes a bulbar, satin chrome strips and door sill guard protectors.
The Renault Duster facelift carries over most of the interiors from the current vehicle but what’s new is the instrument cluster, seat upholstery options, power window switches, a contemporary multifunction steering wheel. It will also get navigation and Bluetooth connectivity like the current car. India would be getting only the fire extinguisher. The rear seats are likely to remain unchanged as will the boot area. Renault currently offers a navigation pack with the Duster and we expect that this will become a standard feature on the RXZ diesel variant.
Variants and engine line-up
The Renault Duster is currently offered in seven diesel and two petrol variants. We expect that once the Media-NAV system is integrated into the car as a standard feature, Renault will do away with the RxZ and RxL optional variants.
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 110bhp 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 110bhp diesel has been mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
However, what’s really going to make it stand out, in addition to the visual enhancements, will be the introduction of an AMT transmission. It’s obvious that the carmaker has opted for the AMT technology to keep the costs low.
Price and competition
It is likely that Renault will showcase the facelifted Duster at the 2016 Auto Expo and will launch it a few months later. The price for the AMT variants is expected to be slightly higher than the current top-spec variants. The facelifted Renault Duster, when launched here, will compete with the Ford EcoSport, Nissan Terrano and the Mahindra XUV500 W4 variant.