It is only the interiors of the Duster that failed to appeal us. The plastic quality isn’t up to the mark, even though the fit and finish is decent. The space in the Duster is just phenomenal, with large and supportive seats.
The interior quality on the Duster is decent. It isn’t phenomenal for its price, but it is good enough. The overall fit and finish of the plastics is good, but it is the feel that doesn’t impress. Even the inside has been designed ergonomically. The black and beige interiors look good and feel premium, as most of the Indians consider beige to be superior over black or grey.
There is loads of space in the front row and the Duster doesn’t feel cramped. The seating is a bit low, but the view is good as the overall visibility of the car is good. The support offered by the seats is good for the back and the thigh. Move into the second row and there will be no disappointment with the space for your knee and head. The space is immense and so is the thigh support. Even the boot is large for 4 people’s luggage. The Duster comes with a dealer fitment option of two additional seats forming the third row.
The Duster comes in three variants, RxE, RxL and RxZ. The latter two come with option packs as well. The RxE is the base model and it comes with basic features like black interiors, keyless entry, power windows. It misses out on airbags and also on ABS.
The RxL is the mid-model and it gets additional features like rear defogger and wiper, front fog lamps, trendy beige fabric seats, the centre console becomes glossy black instead of the charcoal black, electrically adjustable ORVMs, integrated music system with four speakers and USB connectivity, on board computer, glove box lamp and reading lamps being the major upgrades.
The RxZ is the top of the line version and it comes fully loaded with various bells and whistles like dual airbags, ABS, reverse parking sensor, driver seat reminder, body coloured door mirrors with satin, rear AC blower, leather wrapped steering wheel. These are the major add-ons, except for those that were already mentioned in the RxL.
With the Duster being a compact SUV, most of the buyers will prefer the 85bhp 1.5litre diesel engine. This engine has good drivability and sufficient torque to potter around in the city. There is no turbo lag either and it does make its case for a good buy.
The Duster comes with a 1.6-litre petrol engine that produces 102bhp of power at 5850rpm and a torque of 145Nm at 3750rpm. This is a four-cylinder that earlier powered the Logan. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The NVH levels are fairly refined and the engine isn’t noisy. The power delivery is linear and the shifts on the box are also good. For quick overtaking one has to downshift as the power is most available in the higher rev range. The ARAI mileage for the petrol version of the Duster is 13.4kmpl.
Duster comes with two power ratings in the diesel variant. One is 85bhp and the other is 108bhp. The 84bhp is available on the RxE and RxL trim levels. This is the same engine that powers the Nissan Sunny as well. The NVH (noise vibration and harshness) levels on the diesel Duster are quiet low and Renault has done a fabulous job on reducing the clatter. This version of the Duster produces 84 bhp at 3750rpm of power and 200Nm of torque at 1900rpm. The power delivery is good enough and the engine is fairly drivable even when in the city. Overtaking in the city is easy and most of the time a downshift is required. The 5-speed transmission is good enough and the shifts are positive. The ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of the 84bhp Duster is 20.64kmpl.
The 108bhp of the Duster is available only with RxL and RxZ trim levels. This engine produces 108bhp of power at 3900rpm and a maximum torque of 248Nm at an engine speed of 2250rpm. The refinement level of the engine is the same, as the lower powered diesel engine, and there is no clatter drama. Once you pass 1800rpm, there is sufficient power to lug around the town. For better utilization of power, this engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual box than a 5-speed that powers the de-tuned version of this K9K engine. The shifts on this 6-speed manual box are also smooth and positive. However, there is a drop in fuel economy by ARAI standards to 19.1kmpl. On the highway, the sixth-gear will help to increase the fuel efficiency.
The Duster excels in the ride and handling department. It doesn’t just have a well sorted ride, but even the handling is good for its size and ground clearance. So, the Duster is makes a strong case for itself.
The Duster is based on the Logan platform and so it gets independent McPherson strut with coil springs & anti-roll bar at its front and torsion beam axle with coil springs & anti-roll bar at its rear. The ride of the Duster is fairly supple. All the road shocks are absorbed by the utility vehicle and the occupants get a smooth ride. The ride is similar even at higher speeds.
The handling of the Duster is similar to that of a sedan. It can be chucked around corners and its chassis responds well. Despite the high ground clearance the handling characteristics of the Duster are good. The steering wheel also is light at low speeds and weighs up well as the vehicle gathers speed.
The interiors of the Koleos are decent and even the seating is comfortable. The Koleos is a good vehicle for long distance journeys.
Renault Koleos has undergone a minor change, and most of the things on the instrument panel remain the same. . The interiors of the old Koleos had beige interiors, while the new Koleos gets black trim leather for the seats. The Koleos comes loaded with several features and one of the most spoken is the Bose music system.
The quality of materials used, the fit and finish of the plastic is high quality and there has been no compromise whatsoever. The Koleos can comfortably seat four people. The fifth will be a bit of a squeeze. The front row seats are large and extremely comfortable. The Koleos has both the front row seats that are electrically adjustable, compared to the previous Koleos that only had this feature for the driver’s seat. There is a rear seat control for the AC vents and the vents are mounted on the B-pillar. The boot of the Koleos is a split tail gate and it is extremely large to carry weekend luggage.
The crossover even has the Bose badging on the exterior of the car. The quality of the system is just fine. Possibly, we have set very high hopes from this music system, but yes we expected it to be a little bit better than this. Also, this music system is a bit complicated to use too, and could have been wee bit more responsive.
The Koleos has a good powerful engine and it does well as a manual, it is the automatic that is a bit sluggish, which is fine.
The Koleos is available with the same 2.0-litre dCi engine, but the power ratings have now been changed. It now produces 171bhp of power and 360Nm of torque— an increase of about 20bhp and 20Nm. There are different transmission options that are available too. It has a manual transmission on offer as well and even a 4x2 on the manual. The ARAI claimed mileage for automatic has bumped up to 14.56km/l from 13.7, and the manual 4x2 returns about 17.2km/l. The engine NVH is fairly low and we have always liked this oil burner, even on the Nissan X-Trail. This engine now has more power and even the acceleration is much better.
The six-speed self-shifting transmission on the Koleos is slow and it does blunt the engine’s performance to a good extent. Press your right foot and the engine takes a while to get that thrust from the turbo. The transmission does take a bit of time to downshift. The self-shifting transmission is a bit lethargic. Once out on an open road, the Koleos shines and it doesn’t feel that it will ever run of steam. The real world efficiency that we got in the Koleos was about 7-8 km/l on a single-lane highway.
The ride and handling of the Koleos is good, especially of the 4x4 version that doesn’t easily lose grip.
The handling of the Koleos is just fine. It is softly sprung hence it has some amount of body roll on it. The steering wheel is also light and not so tiring even on long drives. The Koleos now also has hill descent control and ESP as added features on it.
The Koleos is a soft off-roader, not more of a performer but a comfortable ride. It has sublime ride and the suspension does a good job of soaking up all the bumps and road shocks. The ride is sorted even on bad and rough roads. The 17-inch tyres also help to reduce the road shocks and even the ride is sorted. The underpinnings of the Koleos remain untouched, on the facelift version.
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