With the launch of new Renault, Indian automotive industry has observed an unbelievable sensation. Being the top selling SUV for the past few months, this typical European car has won hearts of millions of Indian people.

Launched in July 2012, Renault Duster  took the Indian market by storm. Offering a wide range of turbo-charged, compact SUV segment, it has acquired approx. 23% market share within a year.

Design – the hot new Renault Duster impeccably matches the Indian customer’s desires of what a perfect SUV. While it stays true to the so-called SUV pattern with its flared wheel arches, short front and rear overhangs; it also offers an impressive 205mm ground clearance. All these ingredients add up enough to give it the royal stance.

The double-barrel square headlights and chrome-rich grille gel goes well with its up-lift face. The scuff plate and plastic cladding on the lower portion of the bumpers define its off-road ability. Moreover, the flimsy lift-type door handles points strictly to the Renault duster’s price. Being small in size, it overcomes many limitations of a typical large SUV. All 108.5bhp diesel Duster variants feature ABS, EBD, brake assist, ventilated front discs and rear drums.

Interior – Duster is spacious enough to offer sufficient legroom galore for all passengers. The cabin is wide enough to comfort passengers on the rear seat. Similarly, the front seats, which get lumbar-support adjustment, are also cozy enough for long distances.

The well-finished door handles along with curvy instrument binnacle gives it a sassy makeover. The adjustment between panels on the dashboard is decent. Some features like the touch-screen audio with satellite navigation adds spice of lavishness to its interior. Unlike other SUVs, Duster has plenty of space for cargo. The cleverly shaped Renault can accommodate more than its suggested capacity.

Performance – Keeping up with its small SUV tag, Duster uses comparatively small engines. Beside the 1.6-litre petrol motor, the Duster comes with Renault’s popular 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine. With an SOHC for its eight valves, this four-cylinder motor may not be cutting-edge in terms of technology, but it is very flexible.

Available in two modes,  i.e.  84bhp and 108.5bhp, it provide different injection systems and turbochargers that manages the variable power output. As per the offical record, this motor churns out its 25.3kgm of peak torque at 2250rpm. To get the most out of the engine, you need to stay within the 2000-4000rpm limit.

Ride and handling

The Duster calmly dismisses the worst patches of road making it a perfect ride for you. The suspension and other expansion joints can be handled easily. Even at highway speeds, the Renault SUV remains very composed and free from any unnecessary up-and-down movement. Its wide footprint and moderate Centre of gravity gives it good stability at all speeds.

The electro-hydraulic steering is light enough at low speeds. This front-wheel-drive Duster is quite proficient off-road.

Efficiency

At 1308kg, the Duster is light as per the SUV standards, driving in congested cities, it delivers a fuel economy figure of 11.8kpl. Out on the highway, the tall sixth gear makes the Duster a relaxed cruiser and allows it to stretch each litre of diesel for remarkable 17 kilometers.

Verdict – The Renault Duster is undoubtedly accomplished. In total, the Duster has a lot going for it. It looks classy, comes with a comfortable and spacious cabin and is well-built too. The 108.5bhp diesel engine has sufficient perkiness for most conditions and scores well on fuel economy. The handling is liable and offer fantastic ride quality.

Specifications overview-

Range at a glance – Engines

Petrol –                1.6 petrol 102.5bhp @ Rs 7.19-8.19 lakh

Diesel –                1.5 diesel, 84bhp @ Rs 7.99-9.99 lakh

1.5 diesel 108.5bhp @ Rs 9.99-11.29 lakh

Type –  Front-wheel drive

Gearbox –           Six-speed manual

Seating Capacity – 5 seater

Steering – Power steering

Suspension –

Front     Independent, MacPherson struts, anti-roll bar

Rear       Non-independent, torsion beam axle, anti-roll bar

Steering –

Type      Rack and pinion

Type of power assist      Electro-hydraulic

It would not be wrong to say that the success of Duster has revived the fortunes of Renault India. So what are you waiting for? Revive your fortune too and buy a product that not only delivers a strong value-for-money proposition of price but also offers a convenient handling and a safe journey for your family.

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