Renault India has been testing the facelifted Duster compact SUV for the past few months. The facelifted Renault Duster now seems launch ready. A fully uncamouflaged version of the SUV was spotted testing in the high reaches of the Western Himalayas – the Zoji La pass to be specific. The uncamouflaged test mule, wearing TEMP registration plates that are common to Renault and Nissan cars on test, shows a slew of stylistic changes the SUV will receive through the facelift. The front end gets a new grille with chrome plating, revised fog lamp housings, new surrounds for the tail lamps that stretch across the hatch lid and new alloy wheels. On the inside, changes in colours for the seat fabric and interior trims are likely.
We don’t expect mechanical changes though as the current, 1st generation Duster is at the end of its life cycle in the Indian market. In fact, the first-gen SUV has been discontinued in markets abroad, and has been replaced by an all new model. Renault is expected to take at least a year more to bring the second generation Duster to India, and the SUV is likely to come here in facelifted form.
Coming back to the current Duster’s Facelifted version, it’ll get a 1.6 liter petrol engine with two gearbox options: a 5 speed manual and a CVT automatic. The petrol motor outputs 104 Bhp of peak power and 140 Nm of peak torque, and is available on the least priced trims of the Duster. The same is likely to continue with the facelifted model.
Going up the variant chain, the Duster will get the 1.5 liter K9K turbocharged diesel engine in two states of tune: 85 Bhp-200 Nm and 108 Bhp-240 Nm. While the lower state of tune will get a 5 speed manual gearbox, the higher powered diesel motor will get 6 speed manual and AMT options. Renault is also likely to continue offering an all wheel drive variant of the Duster with the 1.5 liter K9K Diesel equipped with the 6 speed manual gearbox.
The Duster AWD is a unique offering in India’s compact SUV space where no other vehicle offers an all wheel drive system. Apart from an all wheel drive layout, the Duster AWD also benefits from traction control, hill hold, ESP, independent rear suspension and shorter gearing on the first two gears that helps both off roading as well as city driving. As for pricing, the facelifted Duster is likely to sit at nearly the same price levels as the pre-facelift version. Currently, Renault Duster prices start from Rs. 8 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi.