Renault Duster – A dream SUV on off-roads
Pros : Powerful engine, high mileage, proven performance, aggressive & bold appearance
Cons : expected higher price tag
Since the entry of French car maker Renault in the Indian market in mid of last year, I have been constantly looking forward to drive a powerful Sports Utility Vehicle from Renault camp – Renault Duster – on the Indian roads. Though I was expecting Renault Duster to be the first portfolio vehicle of the company in India, the company decided to roll-out sedan Renault Fluence, luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) Renault Koleos and premium compact hatchback Pulse, respectively, before finally reaching to the launch of Duster SUV, in the coming two - three months.
The launch of Renault Duster will be colliding with the roll-out two other major vehicle of this segment including Maruti Ertiga and Ford EcoSport. However, the technical superiority of the Duster model will give it an upper hand over these new age competitors.
Renault Duster will come powered by a 1.5L diesel engine (with peak power of 110 PS) as compared to the Ertiga’s 1.3L multijet and Ford EcoSport’s 1.5L (90 bhp) engine. Even the petrol version of the Duster will be superior in its segment in terms of engine power, as it will come powered by a 1.6L 16V petrol engine that deliver a peak power of 105 PS, as compared to Ertiga’s 1.4L k series and EcoSport’s 1.0L EcoBoost engine. In addition, the Duster is the only SUV among these three, which is expected to be offered in both 2X4 and 4X4 options.
While the petrol version of the Duster model will be delivering a fuel economy of up to 15 km per liter, the diesel one will be even more fuel efficient at up to 19 km per liter.
All of these MUV / SUV models will be fighting for space in the price segment of Rs 7 to 9 lakh, giving a tough fight to the existing models like Tata Aria, Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo.