The Renault Duster has finally got AWD, while the Volkswagen Vento facelift gets updated along the lines of the new Polo with the new 1.5-litre diesel engine powering it, also matched to a DSG automatic gearbox.
The festive season is certainly the golden period for every manufacturer in a year. Most manufacturers lineup and eagerly await these auspicious months to capitalise on the market sentiment with a series of launches planned. This year too, almost every manufacturer has a new launch, facelift, update or special edition lined up for launch and the next week will see two popular Europeans, Renault and Volkswagen launch their more popular products with significant updates on 24th September.
Starting with Renault, the automaker will finally bring in the Duster All-Wheel Drive (AWD) variant in the country that has been eagerly awaited since the SUV was launched in 2012. The AWD variant is the new top-end model sitting above the RxL and RxZ variants. The AWD version continues with minimal changes to the aesthetics, while the powertrain remains the same as well. On the inside, there is an inclusion of a new 3-spoke steering wheel, fabric upholstery and a 3-pod instrument cluster. The AWD comes with 3 settings and gets ASR and ESP to maintain optimum levels of traction. The Duster AWD will be priced at a premium of around Rs. 1 lakh over the standard 2WD variants.
Volkswagen too will be launching the Vento facelift on the same day. The updates to the Vento will be in the form of a revised front fascia that will feature the reworked front grille, bumper and revised headlights with new elements. The rear will also get revised tail lights and subtle changes to the bumper, all of which were seen on the new Polo. On the inside, changes include new upholstery, a flat bottom steering wheel and updates to the audio system. However, the main change on the 2014 Vento will be all new 1.5-litre TDI diesel unit that debuted on the Polo earlier this year. The new engine will produce 105 HP of power and will be the replacing the mundane 1.6-litre unit. The new engine is expected to be a lot more frugal, while also offering better power delivery than the outgoing version. It will also be offered with a DSG automatic transmission.
Both the Vento and Duster have been losing sales in their respective segments, courtesy of new entrants. With the Vento’s sales down to almost 500 units per month, the facelifted model is expected to bring some respite to Volkswagen in the C-segment sedan space currently ruled by the City. The Duster on the other hand has been losing sales to the more economical Ford EcoSport in the compact SUV segment. However the AWD is will certainly give the model an upper hand as it now competes with the Skoda Yeti, Mahindra Scorpio, Tata Safari and the likes in the same space.