Riding in a Renault Duster

June 26, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

RDThe Renault Duster has become the favorite compact utility vehicle in India. Boasting a broad look with off road features, this car commands road presence.  With a country being driven to larger and spacious cars, the Duster fits the bill as it is of the perfect size, big enough to please the customers yet compact enough to be driven on the tight Indian roads. Although the car is being marketed as an SUV, it actually lies somewhere between a hatchback and an SUV, hence its true category is the CUV. The car competes with the price range of high end sedans and saloons, thus making it very popular amongst Indian buyers. In fact, the car recently overtook the sales of the SUV – Mahindra Scorpio.

Interiors

The interiors are completely composed of hard plastic. Although some might question the use of hard plastic, but you can be assured that the car looks quite premium from the inside. The leather seats are quite comfortable and the air conditioning is effective too. Although, the positioning of the rear AC vent is rather annoying.

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The dashboard is minimalistic and simple, and gets the work done. The head clearance is also really good along with the leg space, for both the front and rear passengers. The driver seat can be adjusted in 8 different directions .Overhead reading lamp is useful for reading maps in the night. There are individual power sockets at the front and the back. The boot space is sufficiently large, 475 L of capacity, which can be increased to 1064 L if you fold the rear seat.

Exteriors

The big muscular look automatically gains respect in the streets. The large front chrome grill. The twin barrel headlamps also house the indicator lamp, and are situated at the ends of the grill. The bulky wheel arch add to the masculine look of the car.

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The front and read skid plates are made of plastic and the components of the car underneath are protected with a clean plastic cover. On the top, the two roof rails add the illusion of height to the car. A big chrome plate bears DUSTER written at the back. The color combinations are tasteful and you can choose from Black, White, Red, Brown, Silver and metallic gray.

Performance and Driving

The first thing one will notice while driving the car is that its driving experience is equivalent of a car, despite the comparable size of a SUV. The petrol version of the Renault Duster is very powerful and responsive, and you can reach up to 100 kmph in roughly 11.68 sec , which is a good number for a SUV. The pickup of the car is also really powerful, although you might experience some turbo lag in the diesel versions. The 105 bhp petrol engine produces a torque up to 145 N-m, the 85 bhp diesel engine produces a torque up to 200 N-m, and the 110 bhp diesel engine produces a torque up to 248 N-m. The car can hold up to 50 litres of fuel at one time.

Pros

  • Wide masculine body
  • Large ground clearance for comfort ride
  • Car like handling
  • Monocoque body accounts for less body rattle
  • Sufficient boot space
  • Considerable fuel efficiency

Cons

  • Interior could be  better
  • No extra row of seats, considering n SUV
  • No climate control
  • Pricing of high end models is too steep

Final Verdict

Despite direct competition from the Mahindra Scorpio, Mahindra XUV500 and the recently released Ford EcoSport, the Renault Duster is a highly successful car in the market. Starting at Rs. 7.89 lacfor the petrol version, and Rs. 8.5 lac for the diesel version, this value for money SUV has given Renault an unexpected boost in the automotive industry. The car is solid with a really good driving experience.


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