The Duster was one of Renault’s first big hits in India, and it helped to launch the country’s monocoque midsize SUV trend.
The Duster SUV has been produced at Renault India’s Sriperumbudur plant for almost ten years, since the first unit was delivered in July 2012. The Duster was one of the company’s first mainstream products in India, and it was a sales success, with nearly 40,000 units sold in its first year. The Duster was also the first monocoque midsize SUV, with competitors such as the Hyundai Creta following suit later.
For nearly a decade, the Duster was only available in first-generation form.
The 1.5 petrol and 1.3 turbo-petrol engines were the last to be offered in the Duster.
There are currently no plans for a replacement.
A quick rundown of the Renault Duster in India.
The Duster was launched in India with two power outputs: a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine. Its sales surpassed one lakh in 2014, and the SUV received a slew of special editions and mechanical updates, including the Duster AWD diesel variant, which debuted in September of that year. Because of its supple ride quality and off-road capabilities, the Duster AWD is still a popular choice among SUV enthusiasts.
Renault added an AMT gearbox to the Duster 2016 facelift in an attempt to compete with modern rivals. The Duster AMT was later joined by a petrol CVT variant, giving the entire line-up more gearbox options. The CVT was introduced at the same time as the SUV’s old 1.6-litre engine was replaced with a newer 1.5-litre naturally aspirated unit.
Renault discontinued the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine in 2020, dropped the CVT gearbox option with the 1.5-litre petrol engine, and discontinued the diesel AWD variant due to stringent BS6 norms.
A few months later, the carmaker updated the Duster with a new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine, a mild facelift, and the return of the CVT gearbox on the turbo-petrol. The Duster’s new turbo-petrol engine produced 156 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful midsize SUVs in its class.
To capitalise on the Duster’s popularity and the growing midsize SUV trend, sister-brand Nissan introduced the Nissan Terrano, a slightly different-looking version of the Duster that was sold in India from 2013 to 2020.
The Duster is based on the Renault group’s capable B0 platform, which underpins a number of vehicles in India, including the Logan, Verito, Duster, Lodgy, Terrano, Captur, and Kicks – the Kicks being the last model on the platform to be sold in India.
Throughout its life cycle, the Duster has been one of our favourite SUVs at Autocar India. In 2016, we drove it all the way from India to Cambodia, as well as from Agra to Bangkok. In 2017, the Duster served as the support vehicle for our Delhi to Paris trip in a Renault Kwid.