The interiors too have gone in
for a change. The vehicle now comes with crimson-black interior theme with
sporty double spacer fabric for the all wheel drive and a cedarwood-black
Interiors theme with premium embossed fabric for other variants. There is also
a dual tone soft touch dashboard.
Convenience features include
new rear view camera with guidelines, new automatic air conditioning, new
auto-up/down window with anti-pinch, new media nav, and new centre fascia.
Driving is made a lot safer with ABS, EBD with Brake Assist, dual airbags, ESP
& Hill start assist.
Apart from the visually
appealing changes, what we really went out test was the new 6-speed AMT.
Smartly enough the company has not mated this transmission to the 4 wheel drive
variant. It’s only the 2 wheel drive 1461
cc diesel engine that has got this luxury. We all know 4X4 buyers are assumed
to be a lot more adventurous that their 2 wheel drive counterparts.
The 6 speed AMT is a bit slow
on the take. Even when you gun the machine fully, the transmission takes a tad
bit of time to move from the first gear. Finally when it settles down at the
third gear, everything looks up and the machine starts to roll and the vehicle
gathers tremendous speed.
But please remember, the
Duster has been a hit among a lot of young Indian families. Safety is their
prime concern and none of the customers seems to have a maniacal bent of mind.
Thus by fitting the AMT to a 2 wheel drive variant has been a very sensible
step by the company. For someone who loves speed, and worships it as though
there is no other God, this new AMT is a big “NO”. They could rather go for the
other manual transmission variants. But then if AMT is what he has decided,
then he or she has the option to go into the manual model and get his machine
On a personal front, I liked
the new AMT. It makes life a lot easier in the heavy traffic and long distance
driving. With this facelift, the Renault Duster has just got a lot smarter and
safer. But then it was always a good looking practical SUV. Apple to apple if
it were to be compared to the Hyundai Creta (this is also not a compact SUV),
both also have a six speed automatic transmission. But then the Duster has a
4X4 option! With the new AMT option, Renault has thrown in a new automatic
challenge to others in this segment.