Good for Indian roads
My old car (Chevrolet Beat LT Diesel) did 50000kms in first three years and just 10000 kms in last 3 years. After Chevrolet announced their exit plan in India I planned to sell it and buy a new car. This time I had my requirements very clear for the new car:
1. It will be driven maximum of 4000 kms a year.
2. Should be good at bad roads.
3. Big luggage space for airport and few highway trips.
4. Should fit in my parking space with my Yahama R3 parked in parallel.I selected Duster over
1. Brezza (Not so good at bad roads, limited luggage space)
2. Eco Sport (felt like a raised Hatchback)
3. Creta (I hate Hyundai steering system, did not even opted for test ride)
4.Nexon (Got the appointment for test ride, went there, waited for 30 mins and then left. Now I know what "Tata" means) I shortlisted Duster, as both, my parking space and myself could not afford Isuzu D Max V Cross. Based on my usage (4000 kms per year max), Diesel was not a good option so I decided to go for Petrol Duster. The best version offered in Petrol was RXS with mandatory CVT. I always ask myself "Why was I born?" when I ride an automatic. So, I shortlisted Petrol RXL version(with manual transmission) after compromising on passenger side airbag and alloy wheels. Touch screen was not a compromise as it is useless for me (I cant control it while looking on the road) I took the test ride and noticed following things:
1. Fuel consumption was on lower side (thanks to trip computer)
2. It floated over the bad road on which my Beat was struggling daily. In convinced my wife to sit on rear seat whenever we are on highway and selected a good set of alloy wheel and rear view camera to buy. I wish I could have added a passenger side airbag after market. Got my Duster delivered within 5 days of booking as Petrol Duster was available in the yard (Manual Petrol is not selling well, Petrol CVT might be selling well because of CVT as per my guess). After delivery I got following modifications done:
1. Got artificial leather seat cover as most of the time I ask old people, girls and kids with mom/dad crossing the mud road, to come inside the car.
2. Alloy wheels (this time I liked and selected Momo Alloys) as I had got the steel wheels of my uncle's Tata Estate ruined when I was 16. Though ride is already comfortable, I will upgrade the tyre once the current ones are worn out.
3. Ordered a camera which is mounted along with the number plate lights, waiting for the delivery. After completing 900 kms on my Duster I can tell following Pros:
1. Good at bad roads. Eat potholes and unmarked speed bumpers for breakfast.
2. Being front wheel driven, even 2wd is very capable on off road (rural areas, when sometime one of the rear wheel is in air)
3. 2nd gear is short enough to cross the speed bumper
4. 1st gear is short with good torque to climb steep slopes without clutch half pressed.
5. Perfect to 5 people on board with luggage for a week or a bit more.
6. My cycle fits in after folding the rear sit.
7. Good at cruising at 110 kmph (Didnt tried above that as I am no more teenager and have learnt my lesson on my beat at 150 kmph) Cons:
1. Mileage is on lower side, but I am good for it as my yearly mileage is less than 4000 kms.
2. No Auto AC on a car with price tag of 10L (even my Beat had)
3. No Passenger side airbag (You know life will be difficult if you survive alone)
4. No Alloys (Well this was opportunity for me to select alloy of my choice)
5. No RearView camera (Absolutely needed in Bangalore where people have no patience for a car in reverse gear). Again this is opportunity for me to select the camera and dedicated display of my choice.The one Renault gives in Rxz models are not good as the ones that is installed just above the number plate.
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