Renault Duster Facelift Review & First Look

Renault Duster Test Drive in Chennai

Renault Duster Overview

If familiarity breeds comfort, you’re going to be very comfortable indeed in the facelifted Renault Duster. And before you ask, yes, there is a new generation of Duster (the second) available internationally (with new interiors) but we’ve been told that Renault India will instead launch the third-gen here post 2022, with its development being focused for India. In the meanwhile, you can have a Duster which essentially is a facelift of a facelift but with better standard equipment than before. As before, nothing under the hood has been changed.

Renault Duster Exterior & Style

For starters, the Duster facelift isn’t much different to begin with from the original Duster. You do get blacked out and upgraded headlights that look quite futuristic with it’s distinct cuts and details and a set of new tail lights with a very unique LED lighting pattern. What you also get is a new grille that is better styled than the older one. And then there are the new wheels. Now although some like this blacked out design, we think Renault could have given us a far sportier and slightly larger set of wheels on this new Duster.View offers on Renault Duster in Mumbai at Autozhop.

You also get a set of silver skid plates on the front and the rear bumper and a chrome exhaust tip that adds to the look. The overall SUV look of the Duster combined with the wide stance are still very much as they are and all these smaller updates actually help accentuate it. Although a little late to the party, the upgrades on the Duster make it look quite nice and modern and personally I prefer the simplistic lines on this car as compared to the over the top design of some other SUVs in its segment. As a final note on the design, we personally love this new and bold orange shade that the Duster now comes in.

Renault Duster Interior & Space

Those familiar with the older Dusters’ interior will note the switch to a nice-to-hold new steering, neat new fonts for the instrument console and, of course, the redone dashboard. The centre console has been revised and now features rectangular vents in place of the older circular units, though the position of the touchscreen infotainment system and climate control dials remain unchanged. New to the Duster is a second glove box (also cooled) that takes the place of the storage recess on the front-passenger side of the dashboard. An exterior body-coloured embellishment on the dash adds some colour to the interior and the embossed patterns on the seats are nice too.

However, the look and feel of things inside the cabin is still not at par with the latest SUVs in the market. There are far too many hard and shiny plastics in the cabin and fit and finish is also far from class-best standards. Things like the rudimentary driver’s seat height-adjust lever don’t help the impression either. The ergonomics could have been better too, especially the low-set position of the touchscreen that requires taking your eyes off the road to use its functions. The last bit is a shame because the 7.0-inch touchscreen system is nice to use and finally comes bundled with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – a standard feature on the Duster facelift from the mid-spec RxS trim upwards; as are the steering-mounted audio controls. There’s also a new Eco readout that scores drivers on efficient driving.

In terms of comfort, there’s nothing new to report of. You sit at a nice height, the flat seats are more supportive than they appear and there is reasonable room in the cabin too. As always, the 475-litre boot is large enough to accommodate big suitcases.To know more information on Renault Duster  check Changeonslapac

Renault Duster Engine & Gearbox

The Duster continues to be offered with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, and a 1.5-litre diesel in two states of tune. We had the 110PS 2WD variant on test, and it’s always a pleasure to get behind the wheel of a Duster, especially if you’re going to be hitting the highway. I say highway, since the clutch is heavy to use and not the easiest to modulate in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the city. I found myself shifting between first and second to keep the engine in a comfortable spot. While out on an open road, the Duster will pull from 70kmph onwards in top gear, which means you can essentially stay in sixth and pull off overtakes, only needing to shift to fifth to make a gap. This reflects in the fuel efficiency figures as well, with the Duster returning 17.6kmpl on the highway, with that figure dropping to 13.1kmpl in the city and rain-soaked traffic jams.

The way the Duster delivers its 245Nm of torque is entertaining and grin-inducing, though I suspect most would prefer the more linear delivery of the competition. Peak torque comes in at 1,750rpm, and feels like it stays flat till almost 4,000rpm and the motor revs out till its redline just above 5,000rpm quite willingly in the lower gears. The Duster doesn’t just feel quick either, its 0-100kmph dash of 12.7s in the wet is quite respectable. Braking on a wet surface, the Duster took 53.6m and 3.9s to come to a halt from 100kmph but felt utterly composed while at it. This really highlights the strength of the Duster – its suspension setup.

The variants that get a manual gearbox are priced between Rs 8.47-9.27 lakh for the petrol, between Rs 9.27-11.47 lakh for the less powerful 85PS diesel and between Rs 11.07-13.57 lakh for the more power 110PS diesel engine option. The automatic that only comes on the 110PS option comes with a price tag of Rs 11.67-12.87 lakh for the two variants available. This means that it still undercuts the likes of the Creta but has falls into the claws of the newly launched Vitara Brezza from Maruti Suzuki which could genuinely put a big dent in sales.

The Duster AMT fuel economy figures are 19.6kmpl according to ARAI test results and honestly, that is quite commendable for an AMT equipped compact SUV. And although we did not really get a chance to test these claims ourselves, considering the fact that the fuel gauge barely moved on our 160km drive from Mumbai to Pune is commendable.

Renault Duster Driving Dynamics

The Duster has always been the best handling compact SUV in India and nothing has changed in this new version. The steering feedback on the chunky steering wheel is great and the Duster sometimes feels more like a sedan or hatchback rather than a compact SUV. Ride quality too has not been compromised and continues to be one of the best in the segment. The brakes though, just like on the previous Duster, lack enthusiasm after few heavy braking scenarios and could affect confidence levels of the driver. Renault should have seriously considered a rear disc brake option especially on the top of the line models.

Renault Duster Safety & Security

The updated Duster complies with latest safety norms and gets dual airbags, ABS (with EBD), rear parking sensors, front seat-belt reminders and a speed warning system as standard. Automatics and AWD versions also get ESP and hill-start assist.Auto climate control, cruise control and a rear parking camera are only part of top-spec RxZ trim. The spoiler? This top-spec fully loaded trip is only available with the 110hp diesel (manual and AMT auto) motor and not with the other two engine options.Apply car loan for Renault Duster at Fincarz.

Renault Duster Price in Mumbai

Renault Duster On Road Price is 9,11,765/- and Ex-showroom Price is 7,99,000/- in Mumbai. Renault Duster comes in 7 colours, namely Cayenne Orange,Amazon Green,Comet Grey,Woodland Brown,Galaxy Black,Moonlight Silver,Pearl White. Renault Duster comes with 2WD with 1598 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 103 bhp@5750 rpm and Peak Torque 148 Nm@3750 rpm DRIVE TRAIN 2WD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Renault Duster comes with Manual Transmission with 2WD .

Renault Duster Verdict

The Renault Duster might have started the midsize SUV segment but it’s no longer the first model that springs to mind when thinking of the class of SUV. With the update, Renault has essentially breathed fresh life into what is an ageing product. It’s nicer on the outside, priced between Rs 7.99-12.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and it’s fairly good value for 4.3m-long SUV. Is the refreshed Duster good enough to take on the latest midsize SUVs? Not really. However, there’s a certain honesty to the Duster that still makes it alluring. Sure, it’s down on frills but loyalists will see it as a hardy SUV that gets the basics right. Done and dusted? Not yet.

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