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Renault Duster Turbo: Pros and Cons

Introduction

Front view

The Renault Duster Turbo is the latest iteration of the SUV that comes with BS6 updates. However, the most interesting change is that it’s powered by a 154bhp 1.3-litre turbocharged engine, making it the most powerful Duster yet! We take a look at the five good things about it, while telling you a couple of its drawbacks as well.

left rear three quarter

Positives

1. Powerful and silent engine

Engine Shot

The biggest and newest change to the SUV comes in the form of a BS6-compliant 1.3-litre direct-injection petrol engine. As opposed to the standard Duster’s 105bhp 1.5-litre mill, this turbo petrol pumps out 154bhp of power and 250Nm of peak torque. Crank up the engine and it settles into a quiet note at idle. Even out on the run, it will give occupants a peace of mind as it’s a fairly silent mill.

2. Great drivability

Right Side View

It’s good for city run-abouts or even the highway jaunts, and its good drivability is evident from the word go. There’s a minimal turbo-lag with the power delivery being quite linear. This has resulted in far lesser gear shifts around town. The punchy motor is quite city-friendly with adequate torque delivery even before the turbo spools up. Thanks to this, the motor certainly doesn’t feel dead lower down the range at 1,300-1,500rpm and makes the Duster a breeze to drive in traffic conditions.

3. Big yet fast

Right Rear Three Quarter

Another interesting aspect that will interest enthusiasts more is the sub-10second 0-100kmph sprint time. In our V-Box tests, it sprinted to 100kmph from standstill in just 9.71 seconds. Then, the in-gear acceleration results are impressive as well with the 20-80kmph run in third-gear completed in 9.28 seconds and the 40-100kmph run achieved in 11.52 seconds. All in all, you can easily pick speed, keep ambling around in a lower gear and won’t face any difficulty even while overtaking a long vehicle.

4. Excellent ride quality

Right Front Three Quarter

The Duster still remains to be the benchmark when it comes to ride quality. It keeps the passengers very comfortable by absorbing all the shocks and undulations that the Indian roads might throw at it. Then, a 205mm of ground clearance further helps its case. Be it any terrain, any kind of road, the Duster stays unfazed and remains to be very stable and sure-footed.

5. Great pricing

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Also, when it comes to pricing, Renault has managed to offer a 150bhp petrol manual SUV for under Rs 15 lakh on-road, that too in its top-spec trim! This 1.3 litre turbo version comes in three manual trims. The RXE variant is priced at Rs 10.49 lakh, the RXS at Rs 11.39 lakh, and this top-spec RXZ at Rs 11.99 lakh, all ex-showroom. On the other hand, buyers can also go for the CVT (automatic) variants. The RXS CVT costs Rs 12.99 lakh and the top-of-the-line RXZ – Rs 13.59 lakh. Quite a competitive pricing given the other SUVs in this segment.

Negatives

1. Feels dated

Dashboard

The Duster might look brute yet handsome, and the latest tweaks like DRLs, projector lamps, et all make it look modern. Yet, it has started to feel long in the tooth and reasonably so, as this facelift is in essence the updated version of the first-generation Duster. We will not get the second-gen version anytime soon and the third-gen launch seems a far-distant possibility.

2. Lacks new-age equipment

Ignition

Even in terms of features, it’s adequately specced with basic features. Yet, if you look at the competition and for that matter, even SUVs below this segment, they get quite a lot of new tech and wizardry. Meanwhile, this version of the Duster doesn’t even get wireless-charging, air-purifier, sun-roof, key-less entry, engine push-start button and all, which is currently the norm in new cars.

Right Side View

Conclusion

Despite the few drawbacks, the Renault Duster remains to be one of the modern cars that still gives that good old mechanical and raw feel while driving. And enthusiasts will appreciate this engaging experience and the vigour and energy this new engine pumps in. And for a price of a compact SUV, you get a bigger, more badass SUV. Also, if you are the adventure-seeker who prefers to spend more time amidst nature, you know the Duster is just about the right vehicle for you to take you to new places without second thoughts.

Left Front Three Quarter

Pictures by Kapil Angane