The Duster compact SUV is sold in Europe through Renault’s Romanian budget brand, Dacia. The company announced its comeback in UK market with the launch of the Duster, at the 2012 Goodwood festival of Speed. Though the delivers for the right-hand-drive Duster, which is manufactured in India, will begin only in January 2013; Dacia has already received over 1000 pre-orders.
The Dacia Duster that will be exported to UK from Chennai facility is essentially the same car, but with additional features. Apart from additional safety as per European standards, the export model also gets 4x4 variants. The Dacia Duster is available in choice of two petrol and four diesel variants. The petrol Duster is powered by the same 1.6-litre 105bhp unit, with an option of 2WD or 4WD. There is also a bigger 2.0-litre 4WD engine, but that will not be offered in India anytime soon. Only the 110bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel is offered in UK on the diesel version; there are two variants – Ambience and Laureate, each having a 2WD and 4WD guise. All Dacia Duster variants get four-airbags and alloy-wheels as standard.
The prices of the Dacia Duster are in the range of GBP 8,995 (Rs 7.78 lakh) and GBP 14,995 (Rs 12.96 lakh). Just like the prices in India, the introductory prices in UK are competitive as well and we expect them to go up, once the SUV hits the showroom. More importantly, we can expect Renault to launch the 4x4 variant here for a marginally higher cost, with economies of scale.