Wednesday, September 24

Renault Duster : All Wheel Drive muscles

Duster AWD, wading stream - Slow shutter photography

Finally, Duster can flaunt its muscles off-road in India too!

Renault Duster AWD coming with an on the fly switch between 2WD, AutoAWD and manual 4WD is the best news for the urban car / weekend fun segment we call as compact SUV/mini SUV. 

Though I wish they had introduced it back during the 2012 Duster launch.

A new suspension setup, Smoked out Headlamps, subtle changes to exterior and new forest green dress code. All set for for some dirt and mud. The 2 versions will be at 11.9 and 12.9 lakh (Delhi ex) with the 110ps engine. 

AWD Campaign poster

While Thar will remain the ultimate off-roader compact UV segment, Its pure play off road only. It needs a lot of after market upgrades to gain a respectable urban/highway cruise capability. Even then, its limited by top speed, fit and finish, safety features etc. 

I did expect some side cladding paint protection. The tweaks on bumpers seems to improve the approach descent angles, but whether there is an under body protection for at least the engine bay is not known. As many manufacturers do, Renault must be holding back some things for the next year facelift. 

While in the mean time, Renault Duster AWD is the cheapest compact SUV available in India. Pricing for the 2014 new generation scorpio 4x4 and Duster AWD needs to be compared to confirm, but both vehicles appeal to different customer segments and utility.

Renault has finally given the very capable Duster extra muscle and thus making it the first real compact SUV in Indian Market. 

A Sub 15 lakh Urban daily use car that can dare you on weekends! 

Nissan Terrano with AWD will be announced soon for sure. But Will Ford EcoSport really sport an AWD soon?