Like the exteriors, the interiors, too, are redone on the new Renault Duster. The dashboard has been tweaked a bit and the chunky D-cut steering wheel feels nice to hold. Renault has done away with the top storage slot, which was quite handy to stow loose cash and other items. Instead, you now get a cooled glove box at the top as well, which replaces the recessed dashboard area on the older model. Then there's the redone central console with a piano black surround and square AC vents. The seven-inch touchscreen system finally gets support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That said, the placement of certain features could have been better. For instance, the display and AC controls are placed lower, which requires the driver to look away from the road to operate its functions. Further, the window control enclosure constantly fiddles with your right leg, and the steering-column-mounted audio controls aren't placed at the most ideal location. All of this might take some time to get used to.
It gets hard plastics all around, and the fit and finish leave a lot to be desired, especially at a price point of over Rs 15 lakhs (on the road). There are rough edges at some places, and a refined cabin would have worked well for the new Duster. That said, the SUV is spacious and the large glass area makes it roomier. The front seats are very comfortable with the right amount of padding and side support. You sit high-up and the view out is good too. However, the Duster AWD misses out on seat height adjustment. And although it is offered on the top-spec RXZ trim, it is painstakingly difficult to operate.
The rear seats are comfortable as ever, and the wider dimensions allow three adults to seat abreast with relative ease. There's ample knee, head and legroom for everyone, and the middle-seat passenger also gets a fixed headrest. You also get a central armrest with twin cup holders. It gets a decently large boot-space capacity of 475-litres and the flat loading lip helps in shoving big suitcases with ease.
In terms of safety net, Renault has you covered with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, rear parking sensors, speed alert system and seat belt reminder. The Duster AWD benefits from features like ESP, hill hold control, an intelligent AWD drive-train and an independent suspension setup. However, it misses out on comfort and convenience features like automatic climate control, cruise control, driver seat-height adjustment with lumbar support, rear wiper, fog lamps, and GPS navigation, which are available in the top-of-the-line RXZ trim. And for its price, Renault should have offered some of these features on the AWD version.