2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: Bold new Dacia Duster boasts new cabin, more features. Arrives in India late-2018
The new Dacia (Renault for us in India) Duster duly made its first public appearance at the International Motor Show, Germany at Frankfurt and it is a promising new SUV. This is the second generation of the Renault Duster - since we don't get it as a Dacia, we're going to go ahead and refer to it as the Renault Duster for this story although it is, as unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, a Dacia Duster. It's a full on from the ground up refresh and it should be coming to India, probably early next year. According to Dacia, the new SUV design aimed for a more rugged looking Duster - revealed in August - while the interiors of the Dacia Duster's cabin was reworked for greater comfort as well as greater perceived quality. We expect the new Renault Duster to be at the 2018 Auto Expo but the launch will only come late in 2018 - our estimate. The Renault Duster will also likely arrive with styling tweaks as the Nissan Terrano in India perhaps by early 2019. In India, the Renault Duster competes with the Hyundai Creta (which we recently compared to the new Jeep Compass), Mahindra Scorpio and Nissan Terrano, it's twin.
The new Renault Duster is expected to carry over the 1.5-litre diesel and petrol engines from its predecessor.
In dimension, though, the new Renault Duster keeps the basic form and dimensions in the same place while widening the track a wee bit. But there is an extremely extroverted radiator grille, equally proud wheel arches and bold new 17-inch wheels that give the compact Renault SUV a sense of muscularity that the outgoing model never had. The tail lamps are new and they will remind you of the Jeep Renegade (which is likely to also come to India in 2018) somewhat but try to notice instead, the other details. The Renault Duster as new aluminium roof rails as well as as new rear bumper with a new scuff plates. We would say that the new Renault (Dacia) Duster looks butcher but you know what, it just sounds wrong.
All-new second generation Dacia (Renault) Duster is more muscular and all-new!
Step inside the car and it's a whole new world as it were for the Renault Duster. The instruments are all new, the center console is re-designed and the steering wheel design is new too. Renault (Dacia) did not mention the details but we expect to see an updated infotainment system too, possibly featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink compatibility at least on the top trim levels. There are also comfortable new seats and by adding a while bunch of storage cubbies, the Renault (Dacia) has added almost 30 litres of extra storage. The new Renault (Dacia) Duster also gains a multi-view camera, blind spot warning, curtain airbags, keyless entry, automatic headlights and automatic air conditioning, but we wait to see what of this will make it to India given the Duster's low starting price point.
The new Renault Duster has higher ground clearance and shorter front and rear overhang than before.
Renault (Dacia) did not announce any new engines but we would be surprised if the Indian engines change even if the international Duster gets new powerplants. We expect that when the Renault Duster comes to India, it will continue with the well-accepted and prove 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines that it currently uses without any changes to gearing or tune. The engines at the show had two diesels and two petrol engine options in two- and four-wheel drive configurations. The top diesel is the only one to have an automatic gearbox option. The four-wheel drive Duster also gains hill descent control and hill start assist while the in-car information now includes a compass and a real-time vehicle angle readout.
The new Renault Duster gets a four-spoke steering wheel. Also new is the cabin upholstery.
So, should you start saving money? Given how well the Duster has done the Renault in India, this Duster is an odds-on favourite for a launch or preview at the 2018 Auto Expo in Delhi. If it doesn't get launched at the Expo, then we expect that the car should be on road towards the later half of the 2018 calendar year. We know that the right hand drive Dacia Duster is coming to the UK - a right hand drive market - only by the middle of 2018. The price will, as is usual for this kind of update, go up slightly and you can most certainly expect all the trims to get a minor boost in features and equipment levels. And while we wait, we have prepared an exhaustive image gallery featuring the all-new 2018 Dacia (Renault) Duster in all its glory.
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