The Renault Duster has the most powerful petrol engine in its class but is it enough to instil confidence since replacing the old diesel powertrain? Considering the international-spec Renault Duster borrowed some technology from the beloved Nissan GT-R, what do you think?
Renault launched the Duster in India eight years ago and the people loved it. Already back then the Renault Duster was the most awarded SUV as it essentially created a class of its own. They set a hard-to-match benchmark in terms of design, features and overall performance.
New Renault Duster Gets A Power Boost
With the coronavirus pandemic making headlines, it’s often easy to miss promising motoring news such as this. The new Renault Duster is getting numerous changes not only with a turbo-petrol engine but also in the way it looks and feels on the outside and the interior.
This compact SUV must be one of the best-handling vehicles in its segment and capable of taking on the rough stuff thanks to the class-leading ground clearance. Indeed, it may not have all the features of the more top-end SUVs but it has tremendous driving dynamics coupled with a powerful turbo-petrol engine, co-developed by Nissan-Renault, Mitsubishi and Mercedes-Benz.
Renault Duster Specifications And Performance
In this instance, size doesn’t matter as the engine is a 1.3-litre unit with direct injection and produces an impressive 156hp of power and 254Nm of torque. The gearbox is a 6-speed manual or a 7-step CVT where Renault India claims 16.50 km/l and 16.42 km/l respectively. That is one reason why this turbo-engine engine has been used in so many Mercedes cars and many other brands.
Unlike other cars, you don’t need to press the brake and there are only minimal vibrations on the steering wheel when the engine idles. With the CVT transmission, the engine is responsive enough while darting in and out of traffic with ease. It’s only when you put your foot down that you realise just how special this engine is; almost like driving a custom-tuned Renault Duster.
Styling And Tech Features
In terms of styling, the turbo-petrol Renault Duster has red accents on the grille, alloys, and roof rails. There is also a welcome addition of bigger 17-inch alloy wheels which makes it stand out even more alongside the 205mm of ground clearance. The boot offers 475 litres of cargo space which is plenty for urban use or a weekend away.
Renault India has given this Duster blue stitching on the seats, a new start-stop button that replaces the earlier ECO unit and an additional switch on the key fob. This enables you to start the engine or air conditioning from outside the cabin.
The Renault Duster is built tough which means it is a rugged performer on all types of roads. It handles remarkably well and even though the pronounced wheel arches may take some time getting used to in traffic, this Duster is an easy choice.
Is It Good Enough To Replace The Renault Duster Diesel?
After the demise of the renowned K9k diesel engine, and the global decline of interest in diesel, Renault India shifted focus to turbo-petrol. They believed that updating the diesel engine to meet emission standards would require a huge amount of investment.
That, coupled with the small price gap between petrol and diesel, meant a turbo-petrol engine makes perfect sense. Especially if you consider this new petrol powertrain delivers more power and torque than the outgoing diesel mode, Renault Duster fans are not losing out on much.
The Renault Duster turbo-petrol seems the likely answer to the missing diesel engine in the brand’s portfolio. Although the first of the Renault Duster turbos was shown at the Auto Expo with a planned launch in June, Covid-19 delayed things. However, a few months later, the car arrived at showrooms offering discounts to attract potential customers.
In conclusion, the Renault Duster turbo-petrol seems to offer good performance with adequate features and styling. It certainly gives the outgoing diesel models a run for their money. At the moment, there is no confirmation whether the new Renault Duster turbo-petrol will be available in South Africa but keep an eye on our blog to stay informed.