The eagerly awaited Renault Duster facelift was unveiled at Auto Expo 2016 where it was confirmed that the new-look Duster would also get an automatic variant. The Duster is a segment stalwart that had managed to maintain its reputation as king of the segment for quite a long spell up until the launch of the Hyundai Creta. The Creta’s immediate success did take away some of the Duster’s sheen, especially since an update was long overdue, but all that is about to change as Renault is gearing up to launch the new-look Duster with an AMT option and a host of feature upgrades this coming March.
The new Renault Duster AMT sports quite a few minor cosmetic changes, the biggest of which is the availability of an automatic variant. The compact SUV/ crossover battle in India is bound to heat up even more in the near future since other manufacturers are now working on introducing their own entrants into the hot-selling compact-SUV segment. Among the automatic SUVs, the Renault Duster AMT’s main competitors will include the Hyundai Creta AT and Mahindra Scorpio AT. Here’s a look at the specs of the new Duster in contrast to what the competition has to offer.
The Mahindra Scorpio is the largest of the 3 SUVs. It spans 4,456mm in length, 1,820mm in width, and 1,995mm in height. It gets a wheelbase of 2,640mm as well as a high ground clearance of 210mm. The new Renault Duster AMT’s 2,673mm wheelbase is marginally longer than that of the Scorpio and comes with a decent ground clearance of 205mm. Although the Duster’s width and wheelbase are similar to that of the Scorpio’s, Mahindra’s offering is both taller and longer. The Creta finishes up in third place in terms of size and comes in with a 2,590mm wheelbase and 183mm ground clearance. These stats emphasize the different usage purposes of each car as the Duster and Scorpio’s larger dimensions (ground clearance in particular) signify that they’ve been designed to tackle less than average road conditions whereas the Creta is more suited to driving within city limits or on well paved interstate motorways.
In the engine department, the Hyundai Creta AT’s 1.6-litre CRDi VGT diesel motor comes out on top as it develops 126bhp and has a maximum torque figure of 260Nm. The Mahindra Scorpio AT is next in line with its 2.2-litre mHawk diesel unit capable of generating 120bhp and 280Nm of torque. The new Renault Duster AMT will feature the same 1.5-litre diesel unit found on the old Duster which will be paired to a new 6-speed EasyR Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) box. The diesel engine is currently available in 2 states of tune; one that makes around 84bhp and 200Nm and the other more powerful version which makes 108bhp and 245Nm of torque. As yet, Renault is yet to announce which state of tune will come paired with the AMT gearbox although it has been confirmed that only the diesel version will come with it.
In terms of pricing, all 3 cars pretty much fall in the same bracket of around 13 lakh. Upon its launch, the Renault Duster AMT is expected to cost around 1 lakh more than the manual variant although there has been no confirmation on its final cost price in India just as yet. The 2WD Mahindra Scorpio AT is priced at 13.13 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), whereas the Hyundai Creta AT costs 13.57 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).