Renault Duster AMT Review: Dusting Off The Competition

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Renault pulled the covers off the facelifted Duster at the 2016 Auto Expo. Along with the change in styling, the new Duster has been fitted with Renault's 'Easy-R' AMT gearbox.

The New Duster is looking to claim back the segment that it started, a segment that is fast becoming the most important one in the Indian car market today - the Compact SUV. We take a look at the brand new Duster AMT and find out what's changed.

Renault Duster 2016 Exterior And Interior Design

The new Duster has been given quite a few cosmetic touchups to distinguish it from the previous generation.

The biggest change is up front with a redesigned front bumper which looks more muscular and imposing. The new hawkeye cluster headlamps flank the twin-slat grille which is finished up in chrome and features a large Renault badge in the centre. The fog lamps are integrated into front bumper.

The brand new alloy wheels have a gunmetal finish and at the rear the new LED tailamps feature a rather distinctive design which really does catch your eye.

The new kayak roof rails are finished in silver and have are branded with the Duster name as well. The skid plates on both ends of the SUV give it a more rugged and sporty look compared to the outgoing Duster.

There are two new themes for the interior namely crimson black and the optional Cedarwood Black theme which is available with the premium variants of the Duster.

The centre console has been redesigned and features the automatic A/C controls as well as the new infotainment system which also acts as the display for the parking camera.

The biggest change though is the new AMT gearbox and the lack of a clutch pedal.

The claimed mileage for the diesel variants is around 20km/l, while the petrol returns around 13km/l.

Performance & Mileage of New Duster AMT

The facelifted Duster features the same diesel and petrol engines as before. The 1.5-litre diesel engine comes in two states of tune with either 84bhp and 109bhp available for the driver to play with.

Both variants produce over 200Nm of torque, which is available quite low on the rev range making the Duster diesel quite easy to drive.  

The 1.6-litre petrol engine produces 103bhp and 248Nm of torque. It's quite a peppy engine which can be played around with if you want to have a bit of fun.

The inclusion of the new Easy-R AMT gearbox will help the daily commute become a whole lot easier and tension free. The addition of cruise control will make driving on the highway a lot better as well.

Verdict

The new 2016 Duster was launched for anintroductory price of Rs. 8.46 lakhs ex-showroom (Delhi) for the base petrol variant while the variant with the new Easy-R AMT gearbox is priced at Rs. 11.47 lakhs ex-showroom (Delhi).

With Maruti entering the fray with the new Vitara Brezza and Hyundai's Creta doing extremely well, the facelift and the new AMT gearbox couldn't have come at a better time for the new Duster. 

With its new looks and an AMT gearbox, the new Duster could propel Renault back to the glory days of when it ruled the compact SUV segment. 

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Story first published: Friday, February 5, 2016, 20:35 [IST]
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