Renault Duster : First look & review

Read the full road test from our Munnar drive

Updated on 4th July : Renault India has finally launched the much awaited Duster compact SUV in India. The SUV is available with both petrol and diesel engines with a base price of Rs 7.19 lakh for petrol and Rs 7.99 lakh for the 85 horsepower diesel variant. Read about the Duster launch here


Chunky, muscular and looking every inch an SUV- that’s the Duster for you! In pictures it looks much bigger than its 4.3 metre length and thanks to many details it looks like a pure SUV. Details like the big flared wheel arches, roof rails, 16 inch alloys and squared off styling. Renault have done some minute changes to make it look plusher compared to the Duster’s available in rest of the world. The front is simple with a big chrome finished Renault grille and square head lamps while the more sculpted rear looks more appealing with its big Duster badging. Overall this is a proper old school SUV with modern touches that will surely have a large fan following!


 Renault has played it safe here – just like the exterior, the interior is conservative yet cheerful and spacious. There is no futuristic styling here and instead you get a functional and practical instrument design. The dashboard is clutter free and you get many features including a 4 speaker music system with USB/AUX and Bluetooth. The equipment levels on the Duster are very good as you also get keyless entry, ABS with Brake Assist & EBD, dual front Airbags, satellite Audio & phone control, rear defogger, rear wiper & washer, electrically adjustable ORVMs, rear parking sensors, rear AC and leather upholstery.

When it comes to space the headroom and legroom are excellent. Passengers at the rear will find the seats comfy and providing excellent headroom and legroom. Storage is also taken care off with a big glove-box, plethora of cup-holders and an adequate 475 litre boot.


There are three engine choices- two diesels and one petrol. The petrol is a 1.6-litre unit generating 102bhp of power @ 5850 RPM. While it will score on smoothness, refinement and low initial cost, it goes without saying that the diesel engines will sell like hot cakes- the one to watch out for and certainly a potential best-seller is the 84Bhp mid-level oil-burner variant. It is the similar to 1.5-litre K9K powerplant and Renault is offering it in two different avatars. You get 84bhp @ 4750 RPM and the other more powerful one makes 109bhp @ 3900 RPM on the top end version.

When it comes to transmission the petrol will have available with the five-speed gearbox only while the 84bhp Duster will have a five speed gearbox and the 109bhp one will have a six speed gearbox. The 109bhp diesel will be our pick for performance freaks and should easily give the Duster best in class acceleration, top speed and fuel economy. Speaking of mileage, here are the figures- 20.46 kmpl and 19.01 kmpl for the diesels and 13.24 kmpl for the petrol.

Summing up

You will be able to buy the Duster in three trim levels, RxE, RxL and RxZ. Mind you the 102bhp petrol and the 84bhp diesel will only be available in the RxE and RxL variants, while the top of the line RxZ will come only in the 109bhp diesel. The RxE is the most basic and that means you get keyless entry, power windows, aircon, tilt steering and foldable backseat. Upwards in the RxL there is electrically adjustable outside mirrors, rear seat armrest, rear seat height adjust, music system with USB/AUX/Bluetooth and steering controls. The plushest one is the RxZ variant where you have also rear AC, rear parking sensors, driver’s seat height adjust, alloys, dual front airbags and ABS with EBD and brake assist. However the RxL diesel has an optional pack where you can get some of these goodies too.

The Duster is a well thought out and carefully executed move by Renault and they have done absolutely everything in order to get this one right and they certainly have as the Duster looks good, is spacious and comes with a very good diesel motor. With prices expected to start at Rs 7.5 lakhs for the base petrol and going up to Rs 12 lakhs for the top-end diesel, it seems this is one fire cracker that will burst open the market way before Diwali!

Updated on 4th July : Renault India has finally launched the much awaited Duster compact SUV in India. The SUV is available with both petrol and diesel engines with a base price of Rs 7.19 lakh for petrol and Rs 7.99 lakh for the 85 horsepower diesel variant. Read about the Duster launch here

 PS: Pictures used are of the international Duster (and hence the LHD shots)

Read Renault Duster Full Review

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About the Author

has written 41 posts on this blog.

Somnath started his career in the print world and soon discovered that his passion for four-wheels wasn't put to justice. Now in the web world, it seems he has found the right place to quench his thirst for new machines and since 2011, he has been a core part of the editorial team at

30 Comments on “Renault Duster : First look & review”

  • kp wrote on 4 July, 2012, 10:37

    toocool suv..i like that very much

  • satvinder singh wrote on 5 July, 2012, 4:15

    i liked this suv but bad part is that we don’t have showroom of renault in j&k

  • damu(pu,thop,dawood,pitta) wrote on 12 July, 2012, 20:31

    Xellent mileage in SUV sector. Damn sure it hits indian mkt

  • mahavir Chaudhari wrote on 13 July, 2012, 4:05

    It will FIRE the market

  • NehaDhingra wrote on 13 July, 2012, 4:48

    Hey It’s a 7 seater rt , bcz im not seeing the back pic , please share that as well

  • A. Pereira wrote on 13 July, 2012, 5:02

    Nice one. The future for larger vehicles in India will be in their pricing. Also, with increased traffic, not completely improved road infrastructure and increased interest of returning NRIs (who are pampered with the Auto Transmission vehicles), it would be useful to comment if this vehicle has an AT option. Please update me on my email, Thanks

  • Dr Jafrey wrote on 13 July, 2012, 5:38

    Could get a chance 2 drive top end model.
    Its value for money in India.
    Its most fit car in the segment.
    Diesel engine is most refined and best performing engine in India. I have yet not driven any other diesel engine the way this 1 is. 
    Even acceleration, very good power for our roads. Very good control. Short turning radius makes it No1 vehicle in C-segment.
    Claimed 2 have good fuel average which v shall come to know when we buy it!
    Only expected competitor is Ford eccodrive…..provided they don’t use same diesel engine of fiesta……other wise it is a clear winner……

  • Tapan Bhanot wrote on 13 July, 2012, 6:32

    The interiors sucks!

  • rajdeep wrote on 13 July, 2012, 10:16

    it’s a 5 seater

  • Gaurav wrote on 13 July, 2012, 17:49


    its strange that you have given up so many options for petrol and  diesel but there is no model with automatic transmission and its actually the same thinking that other players are having . Its nothing different. 
    I thought that renault would actually give the option of auto transmission  in the basic model too.
    Actually the problem is that none of the car makers have till now given option of auto transmission in basic model and then they think that people  don’t want to buy an auto transmission .
    Actually the price of auto transmission is mostly very high and no one wants to spend 2-3 lakhs extra for someone who is looking for basic features but with auto transmission.

    There is no option for custom build and choice for people..
    There is no car which has climatic control ac with remote control and stereo with remote so that the driver is not at all disturbed while driving by passengers to change the temperature and the custom build stereo with steering controls  and with remote.
    Practically driving  with all these controls in india actually disturbs the driver a lot and there should be an option when passengers too can themselves change temperature and stereo with a remote.

    I know i am demanding too much but that has never been thought about …

  • zia hussain wrote on 14 July, 2012, 6:01

    waiting for it for a long time .booked it before having physically seen.. it seems i will hv no regrets. hoping for efficient service after sales.

  • amit wrote on 14 July, 2012, 9:35

    looks strong

  • Sunil wrote on 14 July, 2012, 19:24

    Hi Somnath
    You did a wonderful story. I like a most….. pls suggest me to buy this machine. Is it a good choice? pls advice

  • M V Choudary wrote on 15 July, 2012, 7:17

    Option of 7 seats must be there because this is INDIA.

  • R.Krishnan wrote on 15 July, 2012, 11:45

    Wish the Duster had come 2 years ago, when I had to settle for the Logan diesel. The duster is what I want, which is to get in without bending too much unlike sedans. As a proud owner of the Renault 4 once upon a time, rightly called the poor man’s rolls royce, renault know how to make good affordable cars. Would like to buy the duster, if still alive beyond my present 75 years of age!

  • rohan wrote on 16 July, 2012, 8:13

    i am going to buy it this month only

  • Amar Singh Deori wrote on 18 July, 2012, 10:05

    At last an affordable SUV, the milage is good on paper, l would like to own the 84 bhp diesel Duster, but where is the dealer in guwahati, Assam ?

  • satish kumar wrote on 20 July, 2012, 14:21

    I looking diesal suv to buy   as soon as possible in delhi or in noida

  • harjinder arora wrote on 21 July, 2012, 11:09

    seems to be a nice one

  • seby wrote on 22 July, 2012, 21:13


  • Senthil wrote on 24 July, 2012, 20:39

    It looks close to the HYUNDAI TUCSON 2007 models … willing to try at chennai and on south travels 

  • Karthik wrote on 29 July, 2012, 4:43

    Ford is once again late for the party. Wait for the Ford Ecosport to arrive and lets see who rocks the party!

  • Mahendra wrote on 1 August, 2012, 18:54

    Its the best in this segment and also have an option of extra two seats if required. I had booked but dont know by when i will get the delivery.

  • zafar wrote on 2 August, 2012, 15:19

    looking good and duster has it raw effect …..but whether it is better than scorpio ?

    please suggest me on this……..

  • venkatesh wrote on 11 April, 2013, 14:44

    interior looks stylish……………..

  • Harish wrote on 10 June, 2013, 11:35

    @Karthik- Without doubt Duster will rock the party! Late latif Ford have really checked people’s patience. And there is a big difference between a “real” and “spacious” SUV and a sub-4 meter car that will seat only 4 of a family!

  • AGK wrote on 10 October, 2013, 23:24

    Attractive look but cost is very high.


  1. European Renault Fluence to get a facelift. India could be next. -
  2. Renault Duster launched at a base price of Rs 7.19 lakh for petrol, Rs 7.99 lakh for diesel -

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