Duster urgently needs a generation update to remain competitive against rivals
The midsize SUV segment currently has more than a dozen products with bestsellers like Creta and Seltos. This segment has added several new products in recent times such as MG Hector, Tata Harrier, Tata Safari and the most recent Citroen C5 Aircross.
Renault Duster was once quite popular in this segment, but sales volumes have dropped in recent months. It has had a long innings in the Indian market, having debuted way back in 2012.
Indian Duster still in 1st generation
While internationally Duster is in its second generation, the Indian market still has the first-gen model. Renault had introduced design updates for Indian-spec Duster in 2019 based on the global model. However, that alone may not be enough to remain market relevant.
Renault’s decision to patent the new-gen Duster design in India shows that the company still perceives it as a capable brand. This despite the fact that current sales numbers are way below expectations. In April 2021, Duster sales were 180 units. It was placed at 11th place in the list of bestselling midsize SUVs in April.
Hopefully, new-gen model will pack in improved styling and added features, which will help bring more customers. However, it is not yet certain when exactly Renault is planning to launch all-new Duster in the Indian market.
Global-spec Duster design, features, and specs
International-spec second-gen Duster has a more rugged profile, as compared to the model on sale in India. Some key features include studded front grille, chunky LED headlamps with sleek DRLs, prominent front and rear skid plates, sculpted bonnet design, 17-inch alloy wheels, functional roof rails, and snazzy square-shaped rear tail lights. Colour options include Glacier White, Desert Orange, Pearl Black, Slate Grey, Iron Blue, Mink Brown, Highland Grey and Fusion Red.
In UK, the SUV is offered in four trims – Access, Essential, Comfort and Prestige. A total of six engine configurations are available – three petrol, one bi-fuel and two diesel options. The lowest capacity engine is a 999cc petrol unit that is capable of generating 90 hp of max power at 5000 rpm and 160 Nm of max torque at 2750 rpm. It is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The 1,333 cc petrol motor is offered in two configurations, delivering 130 hp / 240 Nm and 150 hp / 250 Nm. The 1,461 cc diesel motor makes 115 hp / 260 Nm. For the Indian market, Renault is likely to offer only petrol engine options for new-gen Duster. The current model has a 1.5 litre petrol and a 1.3 litre turbo petrol motor.
In the future, Renault could also bring 7-seater Duster in India. It is expected to debut in overseas markets soon. It is likely to be named as Grand Duster. If it arrives here, it will take on rivals such as Tata Safari, MG Hector Plus and upcoming Hyundai Alcazar.