Renault Duster bookings begin this month; Official launch in sight

Kaustubh

Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store. Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!

Just two days back, we showed you un-camouflaged pictures of the Ford EcoSport testing in Chennai. So to balance things out, we bring you un-camouflaged pics of Renault Duster spotted in Kolkata. Reports are coming in from across India that Renault dealers have started taking bookings for the Duster.

Renault Duster India frontRenault Duster India backRenault Duster India rear

Our sources confirm that Renault has planned a shocking pricing structure for the Duster. An introductory starting price of under 6 lakhs for the petrol variant and a little over 7 lakhs for the diesel variant is what our little birdie told us.

While this price may sound like wishful thinking, one has to remember that the Duster is a make-it-or-break-it car for Renault India. The French automaker will not leave any stone unturned to make it a successful launch. Of course, the introductory pricing may be revised later on once the product clicks.

Would the Renault Duster click?

Well, feature wise, the Duster looks like an interesting proposition. The key features that Renault mentioned in its press release are:

  • Twin barrel headlamps
  • 16  inch alloy wheels
  • Front Fog Lamps
  • Keyless Entry
  • ABS with Brake Assist & EBD
  • Dual front airbags
  • Leather Upholstery
  • 4 Speaker Music System with USB , AUX-IN & Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Steering mounted Audio & phone control
  • Rear Defogger, wiper & washer
  • Electrically adjustable Outside Rear View Mirrors
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • 475 liter trunk capacity

In this video, the Duster is subjected to slippery surfaces and extreme off roading

A EuroNCAP rating of 3 stars may not something to boast about. But 3 stars are not bad for the price that it will be offered.

Renault’s work-in-progress sales and service network might just work against the Duster. But, let’s face it, it takes time to select the right partners and grow your dealer network.

Second thing that will hurt the Duster will be Mahindra’s mini Xylo. Mahindra can easily undercut the Duster with pricing. Riding on the successful wave of XUV500, Mahindra definitely has the brand power and the network to bully Renault’s Duster. But let’s not forget that the mini Xylo is a shortened and redesigned MPV.

Lastly, Ford’s EcoSport will be a direct competitor to the Duster but thankfully for Renault, it will take Ford 7-10 months to steer it towards Indian shores.

We will have to wait and see how this rivalry unfolds.

Renault Duster testing in Chennai

[Image Source: Team-bhp.com]

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