Posting this after a test drive and found a lot of details thats hard to notice for the first time... But useful for those who consider buying it...
1) Price. Its a VFM SUV. Those who blame the 5 seater option - don't worry. You have a dealer fitmet option from Renault to add 2 more seats in the big boot area. I heard the seats may be around 10,000/- each.(NOT SURE). Also I heard they would be more like child-seats...
2) View from the cockpit & driveability- The road view is superb. My wife was able to comfortably drive the car. So even, ladies out there can consider it as its unisex friendly
3) Promised diesel mileage of 14 / 19 for 110 PS - if met is a big Pro...
4) Great Ground Clearance of 205 mm
5) Very low cabin noise. Well insulated
6) Rear seats are hugely comfortable and the driver seats lumbar support is great
7) Smaller in Size for easy city drive BUT looks quite SUV-ish from outside and does not look too much like a mini-SUV like Yeti etc... PLUS a turn radius of 5.2m quite easy to maneouver & make quick sharp U-turn
8) SUPERB BRAKING. Could brake the vehicle from 80kmph to 30kmph in 2 / 2.5 sec without downshifting.
9) Style : The front look; Rails on top; DUSTER stamp on the rear door; all look perfect for attracting people around
10) SUPERB Wheel base - would increase stability on long drives. However, has some bodyroll on turns - see my cons-comment
11) After the turbo kicks in, the power could be felt. Though its not as good as the mHawk engines like XUV, its not terrible
Cons1) The top end 110PS versions come with a rear AC unit vent which is highly annoying for the middle person in the rear to move his legs and for the driver sometimes whose hand would probably hit the rear AC. When asked, they said, its not just a blower but a dual AC so the unit itself has a compressor which makes it big. BUT thats a big design flaw from Renault. They could have just had a higher capacity AC with just rear blowers in the pillars as the cabin is quite small
2) No climate control AC
3) The gear knock back can be felt in the 3rd gear. Hold the gear while the car is moving without pressing the clutch. Just remove leg from accelerating the gear stick moves backward can be felt. Then press down the accelerator, the gear stick moves forward. THIS IS ANNOYING TO THE CORE. However, I am not sure if it was just the test-drive vehicle's fault of if its a manufacturing defect
4) IP is not that great. Does not have 2 DIN / GPS / proper reverse sensors(just makes noise) / voice activated control / video player etc like the XUV.
5) Though monocoque design, has a lot of body roll - felt a little unsafe to turn in 50kmph on a circular ramp with speed limit of 50kmph. When I do this with sedans like D'zire, I feel quite safe. However, 205 GC may be the reason
6) Poor plastics - Especially the color of the chrome handles inside and out; inside handle looks like it would break any minite; the fuel opening level plastic was poorest
7) The front wheel fendors look amazing and bulged out BUT they may prove difficult to drive in city as judging corners may be hard as they are projected out of the view frame
8) Low gear power was a little underpowered until the turbo kicks in.
9) CLUTCH iS HARD. May get knee pain - if driven in city for long time... Most Renault engines have this problem. Had noticed it in Logan very much and now this one. So people who have weak knees, stay away from this vehicle. No option for Automatic transmission either.
10) No 4*4 option. So its not a real SUV. - atleast not for off-roading. Its more of 'SUV looking like car'.
11) Reverse sensor does not give out the distance or the area under risk. It just beeps higher. So this doesn't help much
MY DECISION:I had been looking at XUV500 (see my review too in mouthshut.com) BUT it has 2 main disadvantages which are the brand-name and after-sales PLUS the annoying nut of the steering column hitting my foot on clutch when turning the steering. Otherwise its powerful beast with all features and specs more perfect than any SUV in its class.But now that I tried DUSTER, I feel it doesnt match the XUV in many ways right from power to space to style to features, its a less costlier vehicle(almost 2.5L cheaper) with a more dependable engine from the French and interior (though both interior are not even close to being called 'NICE'), I have decided to opt for the DUSTER and put my risk on it... Lets see how it comes through....
THANK YOU FOR THE COMMENTS.
Why can't they introduce the automatic version
May be they would... but when u see new launching, they always introduce in steps. 1) Petrol Variant first 2) Then Diesel 3) Then Automatic Variants 4) Then 4 Wheel Drive In case of Duste, its atleast good that its got both petrol and diesel variants launched simultaneously. So we can wait and watch for the other two...
Hi, Where is the Stepini placed (Extra Tyre), Is it accessible from Inside the Boot Space or hangs under, In case its hanging from below, would replacing the tyre be an easy job.
Hi Amit, The spare tyre is placed underneath the boot. Yes, to access this, you have to open the boot door and unscrew which then slowly hangs the tyre below. Replacing tyre - may not be a very easy job. Also to check pressure now and then and fill air could be a little 'extra work' to do as you need to bend down, go almost underneath to do this... However, the brighter side would be 1) You get more room in the boot 2) Replacing is not done too often. So it totally depends how you look at it...
Thank you for the review. Ihave the same opinion.Most of the essential features are omitted.Tinted glass is an essential feature since the sun control film is banned.They could have included atleast in the optional pack.Electrically foldable OVRM with side indicators is a cimmon feature now a days.Space between the clutch pedal and the console is less, afoot rest close to the console would have been convenient.These were omitted for saving the cost only. Such features could have been included in the opt.. pack.The DESIGN of interior has to be improved for more .Itis few years behind Modern touch is not yet adopted.
Murukesan.G, Am in total agreement with your comments. I read a review in team-BHP which said (as a light note), Retault had a budget for thecar and among the Renault design engineers, the exterior engineers used up more of the money - so the interior engineers ended up having less money and compromised on the inside... haha.. Could be fairly true / a strategy too on saving costs
A little correction - the rear ac vent does not have its own compressor, but its own cooling unit. The compressor is shared with the front unit.
As you rightly pointed out the clutch(Cable) is heavy and its the same like Logan!!! Even cheaper diesel sedan cars like Swift, Fiesta etc.. these days comes with hydraulic clutch which is very light and makes gear shifting easy. I think life saving features like ABS with EBD should be Mandatory considering the heavy trafiic conditions i mean even in the highways these days given these cars are very powerful.....
What does turbo mean and does it activate automatically or needs to be manually activated. Will it have any impact on the fuel efficiency. I am inclining towards 85PS RXL with Option against 110PS RXL due to Dual Airbags and Alloy Wheels. Is it a wise decision?
i have booked duster,but i didn't like rear ac vent.hence i wish to choose between 85 ps with optional pack vs 110 ps Rxl ,but only worried about the power of 85 ps.can somebody help me in this regard
From outside it gives SUV look however i agree with views that 1. rear AC vent may not be useful 2. Options of ABS with EBD break assist should be available in fully loaded petrol version also.
I test drove the 110 RxZ today. All other things are ok with me but the hard clutch could be the deal breaker. I plan to go to the showroom and try the clutch on some new dusters instead of the test car. But if they are indeed that hard, then this car is not for me.. driving in city traffic will kill the knee and back in a matter of hours..
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