The revamped Duster’s refined RXS trim adds sheen to its appearance while clinging to the brand’s durability, reliability and class.
BY SARTHAK RAJ BARAL
The Duster has long since been considered an exciting yet affordable vehicle in Renault’s stable. The SUV’s understated yet stylish aesthetic has seen it make a considerable impact in the market in the years since its launch in 2016. Positioned by the French manufacturers as a multifaceted SUV, the Duster ticks all the requisite boxes.
We spent some time with the recently launched RXS trim of the Renault Duster. Below are the key takeaways.
Design and Exterior
From the exterior, the RXS trim is near identical to the preceding variants present in Nepal. The gunmetal finished alloy wheels being a key differentiator. That being said, the Duster remains a compact, functional and stylish vehicle. Endowed with a notable ground clearance of 210 mm, Renault has designed the four-wheeler to make short work of unfavourable terrain.
The design element adopted by Renault is utalitarian yet formidable. The Duster, while being an aesthetically appealing vehicle, prioritises function over form and this all-pervasive philosophy is apparent in the design. The stylish Renault logo plastered in the centre of the front grille adds lustre to its visage.
Further, the SUV‘s rounded look is easy on the eyes and all things considered; the Renault Duster is an undeniably handsome car.
The modifications to the interior in the RXS trim are considerable; they pack in an overabundance of attractive features that add to the luxury-quotient of the car. Soft-touch materials are used throughout the interior, and in conjunction with the leather seats, they ensure the cabin is comfortable while also boasting a rather ostentatious aura.
One of the fundamental attractions of the new trim is the 7-inch touchscreen enabled infotainment module housed in the centre console. The sizeable yet intuitive display serves as an ideal entertainment portal for long drives. Further, it supports Bluetooth connectivity as well as smartphone voice recognition and support for Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
The seats are plush and comfortable. Regarding seating capacity, there is ample room at the rear for three passengers to sit with a fair degree of comfort.
Besides the features mentioned above, the RXS trim also comes equipped with steering adjustment, a power supply port, rear armrest, electrically adjustable rear-view mirror, rear reading lamp, GPS navigation and a host of other features.
Engine, Performance and Safety
The engine here is a capable piece of machinery which is perfectly suited for a variety of scenarios – daily commutes, long drives or even light off-road expeditions.
The Duster lives up to its Jack-of-all-trades promise. While in city traffic, the engine has enough pep to overtake vehicles and the raw power to stay ahead comfortably. The nimble handling further adds to the ease of driving and helps alleviate some of the irritation brought about by Kathmandu’s tumultuous, chaotic traffic.
While on the test drive, we decided to put the Duster’s off-road capabilities to the test, and the vehicle passed with flying colours. While this is not a purpose-built off-road vehicle, it fares adequately and chews through rough terrain with ease.
The incorporation of dual airbags on the RXS trim is a welcome addition. The presence of ABS is yet another reassuring feature. The brakes offer good response times and sufficient bite.
While the Renault Duster’s engine might not come across as particularly lively on paper, in practice, it is efficient and when given a little push, has the power to satiate most customers.
Pricing and Conclusion
Priced at a comparatively reasonable Rs 4.35 million, the Renault Duster RXS is a tempting option that calls for consideration.
On the exterior, the SUV exudes power. The design language marries that power with a shade of grace to produce a product that impresses with its visual flair while communicating the functionality of the vehicle.
The performance aspect is commendable. The engine packs enough punch for most conditions and the handling, courtesy a well-calibrated steering wheel, is a dream.
The decked out interiors and the addition of a sizeable infotainment console, along with a plethora of bells and whistles, ensure every ride on the Duster is a pleasant one.
With ample boot space, comfortable seats and a fantastic safety package, the Renault Duster is doubtless a desirable family SUV. However, it is multipurpose enough to appease diverse consumer segments.