Ever since its debut in 2012, the Renault Duster has been the unspoken, uncrowned King of the budget SUV segment. It was quick to make a breakthrough and value seekers flocked in fairly large numbers to embrace a much needed alternate value preposition. Now in 2019, the second-generation of Renault Duster returns with an improved level of comfort, a perfect combination of familiarity and a much needed design makeover.
Available in two options PE 4×2 and SE 4×4. The PE 4×2 is powered by a 1.6-liter petrol 4 cylinder engine and provides decent enough power to cruise around the city in confidence while boasting a great fuel economy.
My choice of Duster is the SE 4×4 with a 2.0-liter petrol 4 cylinder engine. I won’t honestly call myself a champion off-roader but when I am not pushing speed limits in my Honda CBR motorcycle, I’d like to mildly crush some sand dunes and glide around on hard-packed sands near undiscovered beaches. And that is exactly where I took my Duster.
In comparison to its competitors, Nissan Kicks and Ford EcoSport, the Renault Duster is longer, wider and has higher ground clearance. It might still not look as premium but from no angle does it looks a push over.
The Duster offers a confident, powerful feel while driving. The straight line acceleration at over 11 seconds for a 0-100 km per hour is average but you do feel like a champion when taking on turns. Minimal body roll and a decent turning radius are the driving highlights. The power steering is smooth at performing perfect U-turns without any hassle and the well designed dimensions of the car make it easy to cut at tight corners.
There is an option to toggle between the ECO and Non-ECO mode but since the car is a 4 speed automatic transmission, you are driving most of the time in the highest gear.
Renault Duster has a brilliant suspension exhibiting near perfect balance even on the most rugged terrains.
In summary, the Duster is an impressive lightweight vehicle weighing just 1,179 kg, which doesn’t put too much strain on the engine, transmission, or the suspension. It is an excellent value for money and provides a suitable output / mileage ratio, making it very desirable.
Engine: 2.0 Liter – 4 Cylinder
Horsepower: 135 Bhp
Torque: 195 Nm
Drive System: All Wheel Drive
Transmission: 4 Speed Automatic
The 2019 model of Renault Duster brings in a modern progressive look with subtle changes. The front grille has been redesigned to give it an aggressive look and the front headlamps get an update on new LED daytime running lights.The hood is raised is the front. Bumpers (front and rear) have been reinforced to protect them from the high pavements.On the SE 4×4 you get 17-inch Everest diamond-cut alloy wheels. The vehicle also sits quite high and offers a class-leading ground clearance of 210mm.
In the cabin, the steering wheel has been given a sleek finish of leather, making it look smooth and providing a fantastic grip. While it is not cluttered with too many options, the volume controls are not conveniently accessible either.Since there is an absence of a center storage compartment, the Duster has provided a foldable arm-rest instead.
At the center, the air conditioning vents have a smooth rectangular design instead of the earlier circular vents. Just below the air vents is a 7-inch touch screen LCD. The entertainment console is pretty basic but user-friendly and comprehensive. With the touch of a few options on the screen, you will have everything set up within minutes.The console is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has the option to connect your phone through a chord to play your music. The cabin noise is to a minimum, giving you that crisp audio quality from the speakers.
Highlights of the interior are a navigation system that beeps out loud when a speed camera approaches and a 4-camera exterior-viewing system that acts as a parking assist. Other comfort and safety features include climate control, blind-spot warning, speed limiter, cruise control, ABS, EBD, and EBA (emergency brake assist).
The spacious interior provides plenty of legroom for the driver but kind of tight legroom for the passengers in the rear. Looks like the Duster has traded second row legroom for a more generous luggage space.
Looking for a test drive, click here to visit the nearest Renault showroom.