When to expect
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 India sooner than expected. It was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show and features a host of cosmetic changes and a new petrol engine option.
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.
Interior and features
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 and power window switches. The European spec car also gets a fire extinguisher, security system and snow chains. 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+200Nm and 110bhp+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, Renault’s new weapon is the 1.2-litre TCe petrol engine that produces 123.3bhp and 204Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels or all four wheels via a six-speed manual and in the case of the latter a four-wheel-drive system. It is their answer to Ford’s Ecoboost engine and will most certainly be launched here in the front-wheel-drive guise.
When do we get it and what will it cost?
It is likely that Renault will showcase the facelifted Duster at the 2014 Auto Expo and will launch it a few months later. The price is expected to be Rs 20,000 more than the equivalent current variants of the present vehicle.
The facelifted Renault Duster, when launched here, will compete with the Ford EcoSport, Nissan Terrano and the Mahindra XUV500 W4 variant.