renault duster review and test drive

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by singh-a-lion, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. singh-a-lion

    singh-a-lion Super Moderator

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    Say "SUV" and "under Rs 10 lakh" in the same breath, and most Indians would have done their math on down payments and EMIs, and would have their cheque books ready, even before you finished. That’s the pull of an affordable SUV in the Indian market today. Not that we don’t have options; in fact, we have 'sizable' ones in the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari, but nothing that's contemporary, easy to drive and closer to cars in refinement. Clearly it's a gap waiting to be plugged.

    gud things: Ride quality, seats, space
    bad things: Look and feel of plastics

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    Enter the Renault Duster, a smart, decently specced and affordable SUV from the land of wine and quirky cars that's going straight for this gap. In fact, the pricing for the Duster will start at about to Rs 7 lakh for the base petrol powered by a 104bhp, 1.6-litre engine. The diesels will begin at around Rs 8 lakh and will come with an 85bhp version of the famed 1.5-litre diesel that powers everything from the Micra to the Pulse to the Fluence sedan. This 85bhp Duster will be available in three trims, but won't be as well specced.
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    There is also an 110bhp version of the same engine on the Duster and this will be available in more expensive trims. This 1.5-litre diesel has a variable geometry turbocharger. It might be flat before the turbo spools up close to 2000rpm, but beyond that the rush is potent enough to keep motoring effortless both in the city and at triple digits speeds on the highways. Having a 6-speed manual gearbox helps as it allows for better optimisation of gear ratios and with it improved driveability. The impressive cabin insulation and the lovely ride quality enhance the Duster’s appeal. Not only does it handle undulations well, it suppresses bumps and potholes almost completely with very little noise or vibrations seeping inside the cabin
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    The first thing that strikes you about the Duster, and pleasingly so, is its exterior design. It looks like a proper SUV — something that Indian buyers would love. The high clearance between the tyres and the wheel-well, the bulging but squared off wheel-arches and the cliff like profile for the hood along with roof rails and running boards give it an overbearing street presence, which is bound to win it a lot of fans. Moreover, the Duster doesn’t come across as a utilitarian SUV, but more as a typical upmarket and recreational product.

    The equipment list isn’t outstanding either. Sure, it has all the comfort, convenience and safety equipment one expects at this price like power ORVMs, steering mounted controls, Bluetooth, ABS as well as dual airbags for the front passengers, but the pampering coefficient is missing. So, there’s no climate control and no proper seat-height adjustment for the driver (the one that is there is a two step affair like it was on the Logan and now on the Xylo). Furthermore, it doesn’t get front armrests or one touch up/down function for the windows.
    One area where the Duster really shines, and is easily the class leader, is comfort. For starters, it is roomy but more importantly it has fantastic seats. The rear seats are very accommodating with a large, cushy and supportive seat squab. The front seats too are comfortable and should work well on longer highway drives.
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    If you are in the market for a diesel SUV priced under Rs 10 lakh, the lower versions of the Duster make sense. Not only does the Duster look good, it’s comfortable and with an ARAI fuel economy figure of over 20kmpl, it promises to be light on the pocket to run as well. It’s easy to drive and offers good visibility.
    Engine 1598cc
    Max power 110bhp@3900rpm
    Max torque 248Nm@2250rpm
    Gearbox 6-speed manual
    Wheelbase (mm) 2673
    LxWxH (mm) 4315x1822x1695
    0-100kmph 12.4s
     
  2. Codename.47

    Codename.47 Guest

    bhai saab
    thing is they made this cheap suv class diesel that people will love
    am sure its going to be high on pockets when comes to service and euro spare parts

    plastic cheap yes for that budget, dont compare it with ur SRT :p
     
  3. singh-a-lion

    singh-a-lion Super Moderator

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    Lol nt comparing with srt
     
  4. Arun Malhotra

    Arun Malhotra New Member

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    The all new Renault Duster has got some shortcomings which include its five seating capacity which makes competition a little easy for Maruti Ertiga. At turns, steering feels a bit heavy and the gearbox is also slightly stiff. Renault’s less number of dealerships in India will definitely come into play during its selection.

    Renault Duster Vs Ford Eosport
     

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