Renault Duster in India preview

Renault India Limited started out confidently in India but then their low cost car, the Mahindra Renault Logan didn’t fare too well due to its taxi image and the other factor being the car been pricier than everybody thought it would be. Well, to change that image, Renault is embarking on a sole journey in India and they plan to start that with the Renault Duster. While the Renault Logan manufacturing rights have been given to Mahindra and Mahindra, the Renault Duster, which is touted as the world’s cheapest SUV, would be an independent venture. So here is a preview of the Renault Duster in India, ahead of its 2012 launch.
The Renault Duster in India would have that very SUV stance and would do away with the boxy styling of the Logan. Well anyways, the Logan is a sedan. Anyone remembering the Hyundai Tucson would be instantly reminded of the similarities in appearance between the two SUVs. The front end looks a bit truck like with that bifocal head lamps and the not so longish hood. The grille is split with the lower end carrying a chunk of the bulk whereas the upper end makes do with only Renault badge. The lines around the shoulder of this car are more like rounded but they have a muscular stance to them. The bumper area is covered by black plastic and cutting across the mass of black plastic is an aluminium skid plate. The 16 inch wheels with fat rubber on them hold the SUV stance very well. The wing mirrors have the half black half body colored look. Like any other SUV, the wheel arches are also pronounced. The rear is the most interesting part of any SUV found in India and it has more of the hatchback type tail lamps. All in one small cluster. The rear end also gets black bumpers with an aluminium skid plate. The tail pipe is also a small unit. The rear visibility would be a problem since the rear glass area is very small.

Renault Duster SUV launched at 2012 Auto Expo

Cut to the interiors and the familiar Logan’s interiors come to mind. The fully closable AC vents, the meter console and the position of the power window switches. Heck, even the stalks and wipers seem to be lifted off from its sedan sibling. The same semi hooded instrument binnacle with its chrome outlining and the red gauges with a digital display in the center are all Logan material. The steering wheel however is different and is a 3 spoke flat unit. The gear lever is also a stubby unit like the Logan’s. But then the similarities in the interiors ends there. The Renault Duster uses high quality materials unlike the cheap surfaces found on the Logan. Everything has a premium touch to it including the door sills and the entire packaging. The music system was fantastic and highly modern with its Bluetooth and aux input functions. Front seats are two electrically programmable but without memory functions. Though the seats feel a bit flat to sit on, they aren’t uncomfortable. Moving onto the rear seat, the rear seat passengers can boast of having individual AC vents for their comfort plus good head room, leg room and shoulder room are added benefits. The Renault Duster is a 5 seater SUV and has ample space at the rear for luggage. Unfortunately there is no third row of seats available but then it stands its ground as a genuine 5 seater SUV.

The ride ad handling package is almost the same as the Renault Logan since this SUV is built on an extended Logan platform. It uses a monocoque chassis and one which gets Machphersons in the front with double wishbones and there is a deflected H torsion beam at the rear. This setup is similar to most hatchbacks and the advantage of the same is its simple construction and significant cost savings. But then weights have been added on to handle the more hefty SUV body. In the ride front, the Renault Duster rides very well. It is softly sprung but surprisingly doesn’t pitch and bob over every undulation that comes its way. The handling is also excellent with the Duster doing one’s bidding at the turn of the steering wheel. The only gripe is that the steering sometimes turns lifeless. It has a heavy feel to it and doesn’t always inspire confidence. To keep the SUV in a straight line, one has to labor more than with regular SUVs. The Renault Duster in India would most probably be available with 4×4 version or 4×2 version.

The engine options in the Renault Duster in India would most likely be limited to two diesel options. Renault, as of now, isn’t looking to bring in any petrol engines to the equation. To cut down on costs, Renault would be using the same 1.5 liter engine as in the Renault Logan and the Nissan Micra diesel in India. This engine would be in two different states of tune for this SUV. One would be a 90 Ps version whereas the other would be in 110 Ps. Both these versions are said to provide for high torque figures and would be very sprightly to drive. Moreover, the refinement would be on another level and going by how damped the engine is in both the Logan and Micra, one can expect the same levels of NVH factoring in the Renault Duster in India. It is driveability where the engine would score most on and this is what Renault is looking at for its Indian customers. There would be a 6 speed gearbox for starters and later on, a 5 speed auto would also be offered. The gearshift feels similar to the Logan’s, a bit rubbery but easygoing. The Renault Duster would have a top speed of approximately 155 kmph.

The Duster would have 4 airbags, ABS, EBD, traction control and also parking sensors on its topmost variant, when it reaches the Indian shores. Fuel efficiency would also be on the higher side since the Renault Duster is lighter than most of its rivals here in India. The rivals list would include the likes of the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari. Does the tag of the world’s cheapest SUV suit this SUV? We don’t think so since in India, for jokes, we have the Premier Rio. But jokes apart, the Renault Duster price in India most likely would start from Rs 7 lakhs for the 4×2 variant whereas the fully blown 4×4 variant would clock in below Rs 10 lakhs. That seems pretty much value for money. Expect the Renault Duster here by early 2012. It would follow the Renault Fluence and the Renault Koleos. The competition in the meanwhile would be fully geared up for welcoming this SUV. Mahindra with their band of Ssangyong SUVs and their global W201 whereas Tata is already testing its 2011 Safari and would be out with it very soon.

52 thoughts on “Renault Duster in India preview

  1. Renaults dusters outer shape reallly looks good. You have brighten my mind to still hold on to my old suvs till 2012. Bright article. Thanks

  2. Good article,giving comprehensive details of Duster.I am really waiting for this beauty to arrive in India.I had narrowed down my search to Tata merlin,which is yet to be launched.But reading this article,I already have second opinion,even if I have to wait for another year.The expected price is too tempting for a SUV which has already proved its worth in other parts of the world. Renault India plz.hurry up.

  3. Finally it takes an enlightened Foreign manufacturer to do what our Indian manufacturers should have done a long time ago!
    We look forward to and welcome the Renault Duster wholeheartedly in India.
    There is such a huge market out there for a high quality, utilitarian, modern, well designed, diesel powered, tough, reliable, functional,high ground clearance, 4WD SUV with all the essential safety features included at a sub 10 lakh price!

    I wonder why Tata and Mahindra have to give the 4WD and all safety features only in their TOP SPEC models! Do they think that 4WD and Safety are luxuries and therefore not necessary to offer to the common man? If they do, they are kidding themselves.

    Any sensible consumer, faced with the options of the old-wine-in-a-new-bottle, not so well designed, ergonomically uncomfortable SUVs currently sold in India at the 10 lakh mark, will jump at the option of the Duster as an extremely desirable and viable alternative! Why pay 22 lakh for a silly Skoda Yeti when one can get a perfect 5 seater SUV with decent luggage space and all the frilly bits for half that price or less?

    All the other wannabe SUV’s and actual SUV’s which are priced around the 20 lakh mark are mostly poseurs with a few exceptions. It is also a fact that the market is very crowded at that price point and sadly and terribly and consistently neglected around the 10 lakh mark!

    Its taken a Renault to try and show these fellows like M&M and TATA the way – if a standard international brand hatchback can offer all sorts of gadgets and safety features at a sub 10 lakh price then why cant the Indian SUV’s do the same?

    Atleast give these as options to the consumer for him/.her to pick and choose!!

    DUSTER please come quickly!! the Sooner the better!!!

    1. You forget that all Indian manufacturers just want to fleece you off your money. Been doing it for 50+ years so why stop now?

  4. Thanks for the comprehensive information shared through this article. Overall the Duster seems to be an attractive package, except for its weird name. If priced between Rs.7 Lacs and 10 Lacs, the Duster will surely dust off the scorpys and the safaris from the SUV arena. And someone ought to do that because the Mahindra & TATA guys are simply cheating customers in terms of quality and ASS of their vehicles which are comparable to those launched by 3rd world countries.
    The Aria & Yeti were much awaited launches like the Duster but absurd pricing spoilt the show for them.
    Renault should launch the Duster prior to launching any other vehicle from its stable. They can make a kill with the right pricing and right ASS strategy.

  5. This is great…. this is the right price for a car. I don’t know why all SUVs are priced above 15L.

    I wanted to buy yeti….18L on the road price is unacceptable.

  6. skoda yeti/16 lacs overpriced to the hilt.wanted to buy this vehicle for my wife.but the skoda people are nuts at that price its a total hardly see anyone buying this vehicle even though it is good for option of 4×2 or automatic.this veicle should have been priced between 10 & 12 lacs.
    mahindra scorpio/safari– quality just not up to the mark.the new W201 from mahindra they say will be priced between 14 & 15 lacs.please again they are going wrong.the engine is the same Mhawk engine.for what are they asking a extra 7 lacs for???wake up mahindra
    renault duster if priced what this article is saying then I am willing to wait for this vehicle.looks good.huury up renault.
    toyota fortuner.overpriced and bad mileage.people are paying 20 lacs for this vehicle which should not cost more than 12 lacs.again we indian are stupid to pay these
    I just hope this article is correct otherwise all this wait will be in vain.after all till now most manufacturers have not stuck to their prices

  7. duster has been looking really aggressive. me become a duster lover. may i know when it,s launching in india . whom we have to contact to collect the details and as well as for booking.

  8. i am waiting for this car…i want to purchase this car…please send me a mail if u have more information about this car…my dream come true in 2012..please make it fast…

  9. look like a CRV i seen this car in many europian countreis specially in paris..look awesome…ground clearnce are perfect for the indian roads..interior was ok…but look awsome…

  10. Candid review speaks all data & no assumption
    > One of the best 4×4, in terms of Angle of Climb and Departure.
    > Sharing LOGAN Platform, so same assy line, Low Cost
    > 5 Seater, Shorter wheelbase, good for Hill Driving
    > Hard Steer, at times needed for this size, it is not a racing car….

    What Renault must look at is Price, Fuel Efficiency & Service Support. FIAT is still crying for LINEA through TATA Service Channels

  11. i am waiting for this car want to purchase this car please send me a mail if u have launching in india information about this car

  12. Very Good SUV FROM a great Brand !!!!! I love the brand Because (Advantages are more than you pay) !!!!!!!! Waiting For your launch.

  13. before seeing this reviews planned to buy scorpio but now postponed till Duster’s arrival come soon

  14. There is a big scope in India for small SUV with less price. I would like to buy this car as soon as it is in the market.

  15. Fantistic buddy… I can’t buy a Scorpio/Safari after seeing this post… i have a second openion now, and have to wait until Duster arrives.
    Go Duster, Dust all of them, come soon …

  16. Forming an elaborate network of dealers and service centers is the biggest challenge for Renault. There can be no other reason to buy Scorpio or safari.

    1. Definately…duster is going to make hisory in Indian good requirment for compact 5 seater SUV in xcellent price.I am waiting this….make it fast…

  17. I was thinking of buying a second hand Honda CRV, now I have changed my mind. I will wait for Renault Duster. I am quite impressed by Logan’s build quality

  18. Hi!

    For SUV lovers like me, this is a dream come true, can’t await the early launch of this car. I’m for sure going to delay my SUV purchase until this SUV launches. The styling looks great and if the features and interiors beat the industry standard under the same price range, then this by far would be the best release in india….looking forward to the Duster Launch.

  19. Looks very promising and pricing should be good in the range for 8lakhs it will hit in india. I will surely buy it.

  20. this sounds very good,as i c this suv shape is appealing and as company says the weight of the vehical is lesser then other suv’s,.the price is very attractive,i hope i should be the one 2 drive this first in bangalore,.

  21. I am sure the Duster would dash on the Indian roads. Its style and look is amazing has been desperately turned down and dimmed it by the manual gear. An automatic gear, that is the best for such a suv we expect and for women and best for the zigzag roads across India.

  22. Ha,ha,ha !!!
    We gullible Inidans, believing that Duster will be priced at ex- shoroom of 7 to 10 lacs !!!!!!
    By the time it is launched in 2012, believe me ( and Im willing to take a big- bet) the price would have slowly increased to 12 lacs.
    Renault will justify that by saying that when a Yeti or Aria should cost 18-20 lacs, wny not pay 12 lacs for Duster ?
    Once again, 100 million car buying public in India waiting to ve taken for a ride, this time by a foreigner, as willing victims.

  23. i really feel duster is a fantastic peace of an art and glad 2 see it being launched in India. SUV with the perfect pricing and the car definitely worth the price. Many people may not be able to afford a high end SUV but duster will create a bench mark unlike other companies keeping the price of their SUV’s extremely high. i hope renault launches the car before they launch any other car and i am sure the car will give a stand and wipe out many other SUV’s in its class. Hoping 4 it 2 b launched soon

  24. i was thinking to buy a TATA safari but now changed my mind and wait till 2012 for Duster, if its launch under 10L on road it is going to dust all its competitors. Come soon ….

  25. Is it possible for the Duster to have a third row of seats as well,may be thin and narrow in size but will be of much use in India . More important is this will have Duster in a better position to compete with Toyota innova,Mahindra Xylo,Mahindra Scorpio,Tata Safari and the upcoming Maruti R3.The seats can made so that they can fole to sides like in Innova.Also make the lunch in India soon. Regards

  26. now i have tata safari , but after listened about duster i want to made my mind for this new suv , it has many features in its price segment its a good choice in indian market

  27. i am looking for booking can you tel me when & where , duster is my real dream i would love if i get with in 1st 10 duster. pls reply

  28. Its good to have a compact SUV at this price . I was planning to buy a Safari or Scorpio but now definetely wait for launch of DUSTER.

  29. This looks really amazing real value for money something like tuscon interior looks of this vehicle should be improved to make it more attractive for customers.

  30. I booked a Scorpio Vlx 4WD last week, but after reading this and seeing the tremendous response people gave, I desided to wait until the launch of this amazing machine. Lets hope that what appears on papers in terms of price and will come true

  31. Fantastic SUV, i am just been reading reading articles on this suv for weeks now, i will surely buy it as someone was commenting hopefully they price it as mentioned in the article. ABS should be standard fitment. I am waiting i will grab this SUV please lauch the car soon..

  32. I kindly request to renault that they should launch duster in india before diwali. this is an perfect time because i am sure that duster will capture indian market in suv segment, due to low price,good average,nice chunky sporty look, heavy ground clearance. several companies where launching there suv in this diwali festiwal & many of buyers waiting for duster.

  33. A fine new SUV promised at a down to earth price. Why should SUVs not be reasonably priced and be really affordable to more people instead of just the filthy rich, is a question no Indian SUV manufacturer has ever bothered to answer. But Renault has, with its very first SUV offering. Well done Renault. Your promised low priced SUV is certain to make you every Indian’s favourite SUV manufacturer. But PLEASE do 3 significant points:

    1. give the new vehicle a more decent sounding name in India.

    2. And also offer a 3 seat, 7 to 8 passengers version, along with the 5 seater. I am sure both the models will sell well.

    3. Also, a very reasonably priced basic, no-frills version with just an AC and 3 comfortable seats, would rake in hundreds of orders from small budget SUV buyers.

  34. This seems to be a very good SUV. If they are able to keep it under 10 lakhs then its going sell like hot cakes. There is a void in this segment for good looking and performing SUV and if Renault makes some sensible moves then Duster will be instant hit.

  35. The Duster has proven its ruggedness and reliability in other parts of the world and it will be an instant hit once it is launched in India as well. There are a lot of young SUV aspirants in India who are looking out for a value-for-money type of SUV.
    Scorpio is the only choice in the sub 10 Lacs SUV category and the EX & LX versions of Scorpio that are priced below 10 lacs are grossly under equipped. The SLE and VLX versions are above 11 Lacs. Scorpio is a trust worthy SUV but at the same time Mahindra is over-charging its customers because there is no competition in that segment. Once Duster is launched it will surely change the rules of the game and will the Scorpio far behind.
    Renalt should get the pricing right. If the Duster is priced equal or less than the Scorpio, then surely no one will opt for the nearly decade old Mahindra Scorpio.

  36. yes its really best suv car good size good looking and good price.i like suv or mid size car (gypsy, jeep, tatasumo) its then these because i have latest feature, tech economy i think waiting time finish its fulfill on hope.

  37. Duster, the article is excellent, gives good coverage of the vehicle. Looking at the comments of my fellow customers in India, I do agree with and we are awaiting for a compact fully loaded SUV within the reach of the common people, currenty we lack that model. All the SUVs are priced very high or the local made Safari and Scorpios not upto the standard. Bcs of no other choice people are buying those cheap/bulky ones.

    Auto manufacturers are looting the Indian market bcs for the past so many years we have no choice other than few brands available, so anything they offer, the customer will buy although the prices are double or three times more than the international market.

    It is suggested Duster should offer diff variants like 2.0L diesel fully loaded Auto Trans etc. If you maintain the price when it is launched within 10L-11L will be great.
    best regards
    Thomas, Bahrain

  38. The present Indian market needs an affordable SUV for the common man, priced between 5.5 to 6L, 1.5L diesel Logan engine with AC & power steering should do the trick.This will eliminate the greedy M&M,Tatas & all other looters.
    Renualt, plz give a serious thought. Hopefully, you’ll not let us down.

  39. I presently own a Santro, almost for 5 years, I was just narrowing down the upcoming cars to move up to a sedan model. Just bored with hatch back. I used to read Auto car magazines every month and the latest edition has a article about Renault Duster which I impressed by the picture put up on the cover page. Same like others my dream also to own a SUV just physocologically feel safer than sitting inside santro and looking the neighbours SUV. But I cannot afford to buy due to heavy price and also dont trust indian SUV due to its refinements and cheap equipment. I was stunned to see the price of DUSTER ie. between 7-10L. It is really a killer price for foreign SUV, to be frank I was just telling myself who noone put up a SUV like Duster within 8-10L price rance and little smaller than Scorpio or Safari for almost 3 years, but MY DREAM COMES TRUE and for sure I will postpone my sedan dream and move ahead to DUSTER in which I sit like a King. For sure many people will go for Duster than comfortless M/M and TATAs… Good luck Renault and we will give full support if Mileage and price exceeds our expectations.

  40. I am just eagerly waiting for this SUV to be launched.Please let me know when this will gonna to hit indian roads.

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