French automaker Renault's SUV Duster has been crowned 'Car of the year 2013' by automobile magazine Autocar India.
The compact SUV, which hit the Indian roads earlier in the summer of 2012, fetched the award following tough competition from major SUV players. In 2012, Mahindra's XUV5OO had bagged the title. The award was presented at the annual awards night in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The Duster, which changed the concept of the SUV in India, was also named SUV of the year 2013, viewer's choice car of the year 2013 and overall Autocar car of the year 2013. Apart from Duster, Mahindra and Mahindra was named manufacturer of the year, while Bajaj KTM 200 Duke, which set new trends among Indian youngsters, became the viewers' choice Bike of the Year and the Autocar Bike of the Year 2013.
The Duster was given several awards even before it hit the roads. Among the awards were 4x4 of the Year in France and Argentina, Autobest 2011 in Germany, 2011 Car of the Year in Croatia and Russia and Golden Steering Wheel in Romania. The car was launched with a price tag of ₹7.19 lakh for the petrol varionat. Earlier in October, Renault increased the price of the vehicle by up to ₹40,000. The car did not have a direct rival in the Indian market since the time of its launch. The soon-to-release Ford EcoSport is expected to become a strong contender to the Duster.