Renault will be launching the 4-wheel drive version of the Duster compact SUV later this month. The French automaker hasn’t made many changes to the Duster since launch although new variants of the vehicle have popped up ever so often, including Adventure and Anniversary versions. Renault’s most popular car in India, the Duster has managed to sell in good numbers even after the arrival of Ford’s EcoSport, its closest rival, both in India and Brazil. Although majority sales of this car comes from the 85 PS version, Renault continues to promote the 110 PS version which is loaded with more kit.
The Renault Duster 4×4 version will be offered with a single engine option only, the 1.5-litre diesel mill outputs 110 PS and 248 Nm of torque, matched to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The vehicle gets three modes – 2WD low, 4WD low and 4WD high. Renault has been producing the 4-wheel drive version of the Duster since a long time now as the vehicle is exported to other countries as well. The 4-wheel drive Duster is quite popular in Europe and YouTube is swamped with videos of the car going through off-road terrain without bogging down. Just recently, a 4-wheel drive Duster towed the Porsche Macan when the latter was stuck, so this is one capable off-roader.
The Renault Duster 4×4 will be offered with a lot of kit including a touchscreen audio system, rear AC vents and rear parking sensors. All features of the 2WD RxZ variant will be carried over on the top-end Duster 4×4. The current Duster range starts at Rs. 8.90 lakhs for the base petrol but no one really buys the petrol Duster. The base diesel model of the Duster is priced at Rs. 10.02 lakhs while the top-end variant costs Rs. 13.85 lakhs (all prices on-road, Mumbai). With the Duster 4×4, Renault will charge a premium of close to Rs. 1 lakh, so expect the vehicle to cost close to Rs. 15 lakhs. Competition will come in the form of the Mahindra XUV500 AWD and Tata Safari Storme 4×4.