Next-gen Renault Duster is a C-segment challenger from the French automaker

Desirazu Venkat
26 Feb 2024
07:51 PM
2 Min Read

We expect it to arrive in India in mid 2024

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4th generation is the charm?

What you see in the pictures will be Renault India’s charge to make a name for itself in the C-segment. It’s the 4th generation Duster SUV and is expected to arrive here in the latter half of 2024 with two different petrol engine options, AWD, two-row and three-row seating and will also spawn equivalent Nissan models.

It’s a part of Renault’s five-model strategic plan and will lead the charge at the premium end of things. The previous-gen Duster earned itself a reputation for being a no-nonsense small SUV throughout its nine-year run in India and at one point practically held the fort for the French automaker.

On paper at least that should make it easy for this new-gen car to step in and carry on. But there is a marked difference between the market that the first Duster came into and the one that this fourth-gen will enter. So what are its challenges?

Two major ones.

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USP and feature list

The original Duster came along when the C-SUV segment was nascent and in fact, at that time it was sedans ruling the roost. Now, however, it’s SUVs the whole way from all the big names. Kia, Hyundai, Maruti, Toyota, Tata, MG, Mahindra, Honda, Volkswagen and Skoda all have vehicles fighting for space up and down the pricing ladder. This means if Renault has to get its foot in the door, its product has to bring a USP/s and feel-good features.

One USP the older car had was its ability to gobble up bad roads while the other was its practicality in terms of storage space. This new car will need to demonstrate that but will also need a big feature list to match up.

The European spec car has the basics like dual screens, climate control, connected car technology, cruise control and practicality but lacks things like level-2 ADAS, 360-degree camera, leatherette upholstery, soft-touch plastics and a sunroof. The Indian customer is far more demanding and it will need all of these plus some kind of rear seat package for the three-row model to get itself noticed and become a major player. If Renault really needs to seal the deal, then these features should be accompanied by a five-star GNCAP/BNCAP safety rating.

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Creating a non-diesel legacy

The Duster has a legacy and those faithful to the badge would be a large chunk that Renault could tap into to move the new-generation car forward. Of course, this legacy would have to be viewed a bit differently as Renault would not have a diesel for this generation but instead offer a hybrid. It will have more AT options and at least one version will get AWD covering all the required bases.

To recap, up until BS6, Renault had a 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel of which the latter also got AWD one of the first in the market. At the time of its exit, it was offered with a 1.3-litre turbo petrol and 1.5-litre NA petrol.

When is it arriving?

We expect the Duster to be the first of the new cars from Renault and arrive here in this design and guise in mid-2024. We expect a pricing in the range of Rs 14 lakh to Rs 20 lakh depending on the variant and engine.

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