The very popular Renault Duster has been around since 2012. The car was extremely well received and created new benchmarks for compact SUVs in India. Its monocoque construction and efficient engines were the chief reasons it did so well. It received some updates and a facelift already but now with nearly 200,000 Dusters sold in India, we have exclusive information on what happens next. The second generation Dacia Duster (which we get badged as Renault) shall not be coming to India. Instead Renault India is undertaking a major investment to update the current car. This will involve another styling change - or facelift. And more significantly, it will also entail adding certain features, interior updates, and safety related changes too. The car will have to meet the new crash norms, and this will not need major tweaking according to sources within the company.
But aside from that there will be a lot of safety equipment that will also become standard. Expected on that list are dual airbags and ESC or an electronic stability control programme. The car is also expected to get larger LED daytime running lights, a more premium interior finish, and a new connectivity touchscreen interface. The car will also move to a new drivetrain - but that will only happen around February or March 2020, in time to meet the April 2020 BS6 or Bharat Stage 6 deadline.
The India-spec Renault Duster received its previous facelift in 2016 and also an AMT version
Renault first updated the Duster with a brand new touchscreen infotainment setup for the top end in 2014. The 4x4 variant came in 2015. The following year it received a major facelift with new grille, headlamps, taillights and bumpers. This was done just for India, and was not in keeping with the Duster's global facelift that had happened in 2014. At the same time we also got an India-specific auto option (AMT) on the diesel Duster on the more powerful 108 bhp variant. Badged as easy-R, the AMT has been quite popular. The car continues to be available with 3 engine options in India - 83 bhp (5-Speed manual gearbox) / 108 bhp 1.5-litre diesel (6-Speed manual/AMT), and 104 bhp 1.5-litre petrol (5-Speed manual/ 6-Speed CVT). The petrol has an auto option of a CVT gearbox.
Renault is expected to use India as the lead development market for the next generation of the Duster. You can read more about that in carandbike's exclusive report - here. The Duster's key rivals are the Hyundai Creta, Mahindra Scorpio, Nissan Kicks and its own sibling - the Renault Captur.