Koleos has been in our market for sometime and it is no secret that it hasn’t exactly set the sales charts on fire. Now, Renault is readying itself to launch the Duster in India. The Duster, like the Logan and unlike the Fluence, is an ‘economy-class’ vehicle manufactured by Dacia.The SUV is built on the same platform as the Logan nay(!!) the Mahindra Verito. Renault recently unveiled the Duster ‘compact-SUV’ at the ongoing Auto Expo in New Delhi. The Romanian version was seen being showcased in India, albeit, with a few minor alterations. Renault is planning to make India an export hub for the Duster SUV.The firm revealed its plans to export Duster to the UK by the end of 2012 under the Dacia badge.
Design and Styling
Speaking of the dimensions, the Duster looks almost similar in size to the now defunct Hyundai Tucson but the car should be priced significantly lower.Talking of the front, the Duster sports a chrome finished front grille, smart looking headlamps, a bumper that sports neatly integrated fog lamps and an air dam placed inside a skid plate like housing. In the side profile, the car has well pronounced wheel arches and the 5 spoke mags gel well with the beefy design. That said, the D pillar looks a tad too wide and the car could had done with wider windows in the rear doors. Ditto for the rear quarter glass. The Duster sure looks rugged and sporty in this profile but the aforementioned changes and blacked out B pillars could had given the car that extra character. Coming to the rear profile, the car continues to look beefy and integrated reflectors and skid plate are integrated into the bumper. The chrome plated number plate bulb holder and some smart surfacing on the hatch that gels seamlessly with the design of the tail lamps ensues that special touch to the rear. I am hard pressed to find a fault but then, as it is my job to, why not twin tail pipes here?
The car will be powered by a 1.5 liter dCi diesel engine and a 1.6 liter petrol engine with a power output of 105 bhp each and torque of 240 Nm and 148 Nm respectively. It may be noted that this oil burner is already found in the Fluence and Logan sedan, albeit, in different states of tunes. This simply means that the compact SUV will sport a diesel engine that has been tried and tested in the Indian mart. In addition to this, the car will be available in both 4X2 and 4X4 versions.
The Renault Duster is scheduled for launch in India by mid 2012. The Duster will come along with a price tag of around 8-10 lakh INR. The SUV designed for the Indian and UK markets will be similar with a few cosmetic changes though.