One of our CarToq community members, Sujeeth, shared a couple of pictures of the upcoming Nissan Duster-based compact SUV, from Facebook. He says these pictures are of what the compact SUV from Nissan could finally look like.
Now, Nissan has confirmed that it is launching a Duster-based compact SUV in the festival season this year. But just how different is Nissan’s version of the Duster compared to the hot-selling Renault Duster? Also read: Nissan confirms rebadged Duster, Micra and Sunny automatic for India
The render has been done on an actual photograph of a left-hand drive Duster (probably one used for research at the plant).
From the front pictures, it’s quite obvious that Nissan would want to put its trademark grille on the Duster – and it does fit in quite well, making it look a little like its larger cousin, the Nissan X-Trail. The headlamps are dimensionally identical to the Renault Duster (obviously to save on costs by using the same mounting points), but have been designed differently, with twin beams that are asymmetric and not circular like the Renault Duster. The bumper is different and so is the fog lamp housing. These are the main visible changes in the front. The bonnet and fenders remain the same, saving cost by not making any sheet metal changes. Also read: Renault Duster road test and video review
Changes to the rear are quite dramatic. If these pictures are to be take at face value, the tail-gate has been modified, which is probably the only sheet metal change that will take place. The modified tail gate houses functional reverse lamps in it, with dummy reflectors – this occupies the bulge that is present in the Renault Duster. The tail-lamps themselves are squared off, compared to the rounded lamps in the Renault Duster, and house the turn indicators and a combined brake-and-tail lamp. The bumper design also is different, with reflectors inset in the far corners (which may also include a rear fog lamp option).
The interiors are likely to largely remain the same with only the Nissan badge replacing the Renault badge on the steering, and a different choice of seat upholstery. The music system also may be a different unit offered.
Renault itself is planning to launch a 4×4 version of the Duster shortly, to cater to buyers who want four-wheel drive. The 4×4 Duster is being made in India now under the Dacia brand for export to the UK market, and it should be relatively easy for Renault to quickly introduce it in India. However, the pricing is going to be a cause for concern, as it will be at least Rs. 1 lakh more expensive than the top-end 4×2 Duster – which would take its ex-showroom price to about Rs. 12.7 lakh – more expensive than even the Mahindra Scorpio VLX 4×4. Also read: Renault Duster 4×4 launch likely in March
And when Nissan introduces its version of the Duster, it will have to price it cheaper than Renault – as that’s how the price hierarchy sits within the Renault-Nissan alliance. Look at the pricing of the Pulse vs the Micra and Scala vs the Sunny. This should give you a fair idea of what the Nissan compact SUV will be priced at, and if it looks as good as it’s made out to be, it could take a chunk of sales out of Renault. But, the profits come into the same alliance at the end of the day. That’s why Renault is giving itself a huge headstart, and will let Nissan launch this only around the festival season, and effectively compete with the upcoming Ford EcoSport as well. Also see: All you wanted to know about the Renault Duster
Now let’s see what Nissan plans to name this compact SUV. Any guesses?