Car tested: 2012 Renault Duster 110 PS RxZ
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 13,35,483/-
“The Duster is about SUV appeal with the driving dynamics of a sedan”
It’s not often a car is launched which can change the fortune of an entire company. The Duster is one such vehicle and Renault is betting big on this car. This is the fourth offering from Renault in India with the previous products, the Pulse, Fluence and Koleos not making ripples in the industry. First showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi earlier this year, the Renault Duster is the first of the compact SUV’s to make it to the market. The response it has got is immense with more than 8000 bookings in the initial few days, which happens to exceed the total number of cars Renault sold last year. It looks worthy on paper, but just how good is it, we find out in the beautiful countryside roads in Kerala.
The Renault Duster is originally a brainchild of Dacia, a Romanian auto manufacturer which is now a subsidiary of Renault. Dacia is also responsible for the Logan and the Duster is based on the same platform. The Renault Duster has been selling in Europe since 2010 and is the first to open up the compact SUV segment in India. According to Renault, it is positioned to attract buyers from SUV, sedan and premium hatchback segment.
Exteriors – There is no mistaking the Renault Duster on the road, its broad and muscular stance reflects its SUV DNA. The front houses double barrel headlamps with a large chrome grille, the Renault logo sits confidently in the center. The front bumper gets two tone color treatment with black cladding and aluminum finished skid plate. Large mesh-work covers the air dam and the Renault Duster looks very appealing indeed.
The sides have prominent and muscular wheel arches with 16-inch alloy wheels. Roof rails and side steps enhance the SUV profile and Renault has offered pull type door handles instead of the grab type ones. The top end variants get silver finished ORVM’s while the lower variants get body colored outside rear view mirrors. Large windows give a roomy feeling to the cabin.
The muscular theme continue to the rear. The bulging rear wheel arches can be appreciated well from the rear profile. The tail lamp cluster is simple yet elegant and is complemented by bulging surrounds on the boot. ‘DUSTER’ is boldly inscribed on the chrome garnish. There is a black button which can be pressed to release the boot, there is also provision to open it with the key. Similar to the front, the rear bumper is also of two tone color arrangement with aluminum finished skid plate. The rear bumper houses the reverse parking sensors with reflectors on either side.
Head over to the next page to read about the interiors of the Renault Duster.