French automobile manufacturer Renault is gearing up to launch the next-generation Duster compact SUV in India on November 29. First unveiled in Russia earlier this year, the new Duster marks an evolution in design while retaining the essence of the nameplate that helped democratize the SUV segment in India. Let’s take a closer look at what the new Renault Duster has to offer.
Exterior Styling – An Evolution in Design
The new Renault Duster features a more masculine design as compared to the outgoing model. The front fascia sports Renault’s latest family look with the large Renault logo taking center stage. The waterfall bonnet adds a touch of aggression along with the wide air dam at the bottom. The split headlamp cluster gets LED projector lights and LED DRLs, underlining the Duster’s premium positioning.
In profile, the strong creases and prominent wheel arches highlight the Duster’s SUV character. The new model sits on smart-looking dual-tone 17-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, wrap-around LED tail lamps span the entire tailgate. They are joined by a chrome highlight that runs across, tying both lamp units together. The rear bumper gets silver faux skid plates to emphasize the Duster’s rugged appeal.
Cabin Upgrades – Feature-Rich but Retains Practical Focus
Step inside the cabin and the Duster greets occupants with soft-touch materials and tactile surfaces. The overall dashboard layout is similar to the current model but is updated with horizontally oriented air con vents. The new Duster also benefits from the latest version of Renault’s Touchscreen Media Navigation system. Apart from navigation abilities, the 8-inch touchscreen will offer smartphone connectivity features like Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
In keeping with its practical roots, the India-spec new Duster is expected to continue with a manual air conditioning system unlike the automatic climate control offered on the Russia-spec model. Likewise, creature comforts like a sunroof and ambient interior lighting may not make their way to India in order to keep costs down. Safety is unlikely to be compromised though with multiple airbags, ESP, traction control etc. expected to be offered.
Engine Options – Mix of Old and New
Under the hood, the new Duster will carry over the familiar 1.5L H4K petrol engine that does duty in the Triber and Kiger too. This engine is good for 106PS of power and 142Nm torque with both MT and CVT gearbox options. The existing 1.3L turbo-petrol in the current Duster is likely to be given a miss this time.
On the diesel front, Renault will deploy an all-new 1.2L turbocharged motor co-developed with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles. Tuned to produce 115PS and 270Nm in the new Duster, this engine promises to effortless drivability with its flat torque curve. It will come paired with either a 6-speed MT or a new generation X-Tronic CVT automatic. The proven 1.5L K9K diesel in the current Duster will be discontinued.
4×4 Driving Capability Retained
A key USP of the Duster that will be retained in the new model is its 4×4 driving ability thanks to the selectable AWD system. Power gets distributed between front and rear axles via an electronic coupling, thus enhancing grip and stability on loose or undulated surfaces. This also allows the Duster to tackle anything the Indian terrain throws at it.
Expected Price & Launch Details
Renault is expected to price the next-gen Duster from Rs 10 lakhs onwards when it launches on 29th November 2023. This will be for the base petrol manual variant. Higher-spec diesel automatic variants will likely top out at Rs 15 lakh mark. With its bold SUV styling, feature-rich cabin and capable drivetrains, the new Duster seems all set to appeal to both urban commuters as well as outdoor enthusiasts.
What is the price of Duster in 2024?
The mid-size SUV will rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and more. Therefore, it is expected to be priced from Rs 10 lakhs and going up to Rs 17 lakhs, ex-showroom.
“Renault is expected to price the next-gen Duster from Rs 10 lakhs onwards when it launches on 29th November 2023. This will be for the base petrol manual variant. Higher-spec diesel automatic variants will likely top out at Rs 15 lakh mark.”
However, it does not provide pricing details beyond the 2023 launch timeline. Renault may revise the pricing for 2024 but there is no official information available on that yet. The pricing could see a mild upward revision in 2024 depending on various macroeconomic factors and market dynamics. But in the absence of any confirmed updates from Renault regarding 2024 prices, I cannot provide an accurate estimate for the same. Hopefully more details on that front will emerge closer to 2024 from the company.
What is the future of Renault Duster in India?
Here is my analysis on the future prospects of the Renault Duster in the Indian market:
Bright Outlook Thanks To Product Strengths
The Renault Duster has enjoyed immense popularity in India since its launch over a decade ago. The value-for-money SUV has been one of Renault India’s most successful models so far. The next-gen Duster launched recently builds upon the core strengths – bold road presence, spaceous interiors, ride quality and off-road ability. This should enable it to attract many buyers.
Focus on Enhancing Brand Appeal
While the Duster sells well thanks to its inherent product qualities, Renault needs to up its brand image in India. The company is taking steps like expanding dealer network reach, improving customer experience processes and introducing attractive financing schemes on the Duster. Building brand consideration beyond just price-conscious buyers will be key.
The midsize SUV space is seeing intensifying competition with launches like the Hyundai Creta facelift, Maruti Suzuki Fronx and the likes. Renault needs to ensure the Duster stays relevant feature-wise while protecting its value positioning. Offering more drivetrain options can also help counter rivals.
Ongoing Rural Demand
Rural and tier 2/3 markets constitute a major portion of the Duster’s sales. Outstation and highway drivability plus the option of AWD make it popular there. With rural markets expected to drive passenger vehicle demand going ahead, the rugged Duster remains well-placed to tap this.
Overall, while competitive intensity is rising, the new Duster’s core set of attributes and Renault’s focus on customer experience should enable it to grow sustainably over the next 5+ years. The model is set to continue playing a vital part in Renault India’s portfolio.
Is Renault Duster powerful?
Based on the specifications revealed for the next-gen Renault Duster, it does seem quite powerful:
- The new 1.2L turbo-diesel engine makes 115PS of peak power. That’s among the highest in the midsize SUV segment in India.
- The peak torque output of 270Nm from this diesel motor also happens to be best-in-class. Torque availability at lower RPMs is said to be excellent as well.
- Renault claims the engine has been tested extensively in India to withstand high dust conditions, varying fuel quality as well as tropical weather. So durability should not be a concern.
- The existing 1.5L petrol too puts out 106PS power which is similar to what some more premium rivals like Hyundai Creta offer.
- Both engine options get manual and automatic gearbox choices which is a key requirement for Indian buyers these days.
- Renault is also retaining the selectable AWD system from the current Duster. This enhances grip & stability over challenging road conditions.
- The Duster’s robust body-on-frame build quality also allows it to handle tough terrains quite capably. High ground clearance aids here.
In summary, factors like strong power & torque output across engine options, rugged construction and AWD capability make the next-gen Renault Duster a very capable SUV in terms of performance, drivability as well as off-road abilities. So yes, it does live up to being called powerful by both Indian and global standards.
Will Renault Duster return?
Based on the information available, it does not seem like Renault is planning to discontinue the Duster nameplate in India. Here are some key points:
- Renault just launched the next-generation Duster in India on November 29th, 2023. The launch shows their commitment to the model in the Indian market.
- The new Duster is underpinned by Renault & Nissan’s new CMFA+ platform which can be localized over time. This indicates a long-term strategy.
- Renault has invested significantly in terms of new powertrains tailored for India, upgrades to design, features and technology. This also points to a continued presence.
- In press statements, Renault management has called the Duster an ‘iconic model’ and one of Renault India’s ‘bedrocks’. The importance they attach is quite clear.
- Multiple reports suggest that Renault dealers have received strong pre-launch bookings for the new Duster across India. This shows there is still healthy demand.
In essence, the Duster is among Renault India’s most popular models and they have given no indication that it will be axed. Considering the investments and upcoming CMF-A+ platform strategy, it seems highly unlikely the Duster will exit the market anytime in the foreseeable future. Present and future prospects seem positive for it in India.
Which country made Duster car?
The Renault Duster is originally designed and manufactured in France by Renault, the French multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Paris.
Here are some key facts about the Renault Duster’s country of manufacture:
- The first-generation Renault Duster was designed at Renault’s Technocentre near Paris, France. It was conceived jointly by French and Romanian teams.
- Its design prototype called Renault DCross was initially unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, hinting at the company’s European origins.
- The production model named ‘Duster’ was first manufactured in Romania at Automobile Dacia’s plant in Pitesti in 2010. Dacia is a Romanian subsidiary of Renault.
- The India-spec Duster launched in 2012 is also produced in the same Dacia factory in Pitesti, Romania and then exported to India as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kit.
- For the next-gen model, Renault India is reportedly evaluating options to source parts from nearby Thailand or localize production to 70% in India.
So in summary, while the Duster started production in Romania due to low costs, the original R&D, designing and technology have been led by Renault at its facilities in France. The model thus carries French design origins like most Renault cars worldwide.
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