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Renault Duster
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 8/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / 50,000 kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
8 Lakhs-12.5 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Stylish Demeanour
  • Convenience Of AMT
  • Powerful Performance
  • Superior Dynamics

Weak Areas

  • Lack comfort features 
  • Average boot
  • Small rear space
  • Low mileage
     
Renault Duster
 
 

Renault Duster Compact SUV An Expert Review

Renault Duster, the Romanian Soldier dressed in French and designed exclusively for Indian car market.


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

Renault India Limited, the 100% subsidiary of the French car giant, Renault started its operations in India in 2005 along with Mahindra India Ltd and in the year 2010 it started its independent operation in India by ending its relationship with Mahindra. Renault has contributed several cars to the ever growing Indian car market. The latest addition being the Renault Duster a compact Sports Utility Vehicle that can comfortably accommodate up to 5 people. 
        Renault Duster Big On Comfort And Safety
Though Renault Duster was launched in the global market in 2010 itself, it was launched in July 2012 in India. It actually stunned everyone who witnessed it in 2012 Indian Auto Expo and with its phenomenal response in India by capturing 23% within a year; it gave Renault the much needed recognition in Indian market that it was looking for since its inception in India in 2005.  Its success made Renault to triple its production from 7 per hour to 20 per hour at Renault’s Oragadam facility in Chennai. It accounts for 86% of production, 81% of sales and 100% of its exports.
 
For India, where SUVs are loved for its practicality and functionality rather than for technical specs and a big body form, Renault Duster i.e. the Romanian soldier dressed in French Uniform has been received well. It is such a beautifully crafted vehicle that gives its exteriors a SUV looks and gives a sedan like feel with its super sporty interiors. 
               Duster Double Barrel Headlamps
When the company decided to bring the European model car to India, it has also decided to remodel the car to suit the Indian market by making its product development team to study the target customers’ needs and what they like in their car and what they do not like and to understand what they expect in their products and all these made them to bring out the sturdy and comfortable Duster that has a rugged looks combined with the comforts of a sedan so that it is easy to drive as well as offers good fuel economy.

Exteriors

The Duster with all its dashing looks comes in seven lovely colours like Metallic Woodland Brown, Metallic Fiery Red, Pearl Supreme White, Metallic Moonlight Silver, Pearl Galaxy Black, Metallic Graphite Grey and Amazon Green. The overall length of the car is 4315 mm, width is 1822 mm, height 1695 mm with the wheel base of 2673 mm that comes with the front track of 1560 mm with Independent McPherson Strut with Coil Springs and Anti-roll Bar and rear track of 1567 mm with Torsion Beam Axle with Coil Springs and Anti-roll Bar. It provides ground clearance of 205 mm with the minimum turning radius of 5.2 m. You will get a boot space of 475 litres to keep your luggage and when the seats are folded 1064 litres are available to keep the luggage. The fuel tank capacity of the car is 50 litres and the gross vehicle weight of the car is 1740 Kg. 
            Duster Rear Defogger Rear Wiper
The front portion having stylish grille with broad chrome gives it a sturdy yet eye-catching appeal with front armour lamps, adjustable headlights, wheel arch claddings, side body moldings, a set of anthracite alloy wheels and smoky headlight cluster. The compact crossover’s highlight is its enthralling exteriors that give it a rugged look that the urban youth looks around. The double toned bumpers have been stylishly carved out which makes it appear imposing on the roads. The side profile have got flared wheel arches and twin-shared chrome satin OVRMs along with the body coloured door handles and solid roof rails mounted on the top. The bonnet appears to be all flat but shows some character lines on it. Wind-shield is large and tinted giving way to the roof. The roof antenna exemplifies aerodynamic design elements and helps in reducing wind noise and turbulence on the go. 
              Duster Rear Defogger Rear Wiper
The ground clearance is great compared to Safaris and Scorpios. Tail lamps also come smartly engraved and unified well with the solid emerging rear. The bumpers are purposeful with plastic surrounding and aluminium skid plates providing a vertical stance.  Duster signed plate with number plate could be found below the booting lip opener. Since the length does not fall under 4m, it does not qualify for the exemption from the excise duty. 
 
Interiors 
 
The interiors of the car come in premium leather seats, 3D Embossed Fabric Seats, Trendy Beige Fabric Seats, Classic Black Fabric Seats and Lime Green Fabric Seats. It comes with the DUSTER lettering along with floor mats and a dual tone dashboard. But it only accommodates 5 people when compared to its rivals who can accommodate up to 7 people on board. Also, while travelling three people need to get squeezed at the back especially for a long journey and since the height is low, the height adjustable driver seat comes to the rescue of the driver but the tall front passenger seat could be uncomfortable. The headroom at the back however is all right and so is the legroom. Of course, high seating position offers better view of the road.
             Duster Onboard Trip Computer
At the inside, it has got plenty of pockets for bottles, digital clock, heater, tachometer, adjustable steering column and other stuff.  It also has some quirky design like music control knobs that are located behind the steering wheel on the right and the control for the power mirrors also placed under the handbrake lever.  The AC of the vehicle ideally suits the Indian weather and keeps the inside of the car cool even when the temperatures are 45 degrees +.  Apart from power steering, the car also comes with power windows in the front, remote trunk opener and low fuel warning light.
 
The car also comes with the future of the in car technology with the MediaNav. This advanced multimedia development combines a top-of-the-line navigation system with a high-end entertainment and communication console. Whatever it is like assisting with getting the correct directions, making a phone call, setting your favourite music on the go, etc. The MediaNav is designed keeping in mind both the off-road adventures and city slickers alike. But the MediaNav is available only with the diesel version of the car and not in the petrol version.
             Duster Choice of Interior
Renault Duster also has 2DIN Audio (CD/MP3/AM/FM) player compatible with USB, Aux-in & Bluetooth along with four speakers. In the top-end variant, it has provided with the customer the advantage of steering mounted audio controls. 
 
The safety features of the car include several features to ensure that it offers utmost safety to its users. The makers did not leave out on all count and they have installed engine immobiliser, door open warning lamp, central locking, anti-lock braking system (ABD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBD), Electronic Brake-force distribution, central locking system, halogen headlamps, crash sensor, adjustable seats, rear seatbelts, power door locks, stability control module, two front airbags, front fog lamps, rear defoggers, impact sensing door unlock, engine protective  under guard, Dual front SRS airbags for the safety of the front seat passenger and three point seatbelt tensioners. From this, it is visible that Renault had all these safety features in its mind while developing the car for Indian market. 
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
The vehicle comes in two variants i.e. petrol and diesel engine with different engine and gearbox specifications. Thus, we have a total of ten variants available on sale for Indian car market.  It comes in diesel dCi 85 PS, diesel dCi 110 PS and a Petrol engine. The diesel variants are offered with 4 cylinders, 16 valves, 1461 cc K9K diesel engines that are capable of churning out two power output of 83.8 BHP at 3750 rpm and 108.5 BHP at 3900 rpm.  It generates a torque of 200 Nm at 1900 rpm and 248 Nm at 2250 rpm.  As regards the petrol engine, it comes with 4-cylinder, 16 valves, and 1598 cc in line petrol engine that goes well with the petrol variants and has yielded good results for the company. This engine offers a power output of 102.6 BHP at 5850 rpm with a torque of 145 Nm at 3750 rpm and is mated to 5 speed manual transmission gear box that provides superb performance and displays the power of the vehicle.
           Duster 1.6-Litre-Petrol-Engine
It comes in two different transmission options  - a 5 speed manual transmission gearbox for 85 PS variants and a 6 speed manual transmission gearbox for 110 PS. 
 
All these goes to prove that the engine delivers supreme performance, power and acceleration. 
 
Ride and Handling 
 
A lot more attention has been turned towards the suspension system to have an enhanced sustainability on any terrain. Thus, it is both an off-roader as well as an on-roader. It comes with a tubeless tyre of 215/65 R16 tubeless that is entangled with the 16 inch alloy/steel wheels in accordance with nut cover and anti-theft key. This makes it favourable with amazing tenacity for all terrains from muddy to hilly.  The all new hydraulically operated diagonal split dual circuit braking system has been introduced in this compact SUV with disc brakes at the front and drum ones at the rear.
 
Thus, it becomes a winner when it comes to both good road as well as the bad road as it makes it a good drive that is comfortable as well. The Duster was taken deliberately on a horrendous stretches of a very badly ripped up roads even where the suspension of the vehicle was very good and not even a single bump was felt inside the car especially in the back seat.  Though the power and torque numbers are lower than those of rival SUVs but at no stage does the Duster feel underpowered, even at high speeds that are more than 140 Kmph it moves with as much balance and smoothness as at lower speeds and the driver has complete control of the vehicle.  Its low height also provides a low centre of gravity that contributes to the balance and effortless ride quality. After all that it gave an average mileage which made it stand out from rest of its competitors.
 
Parking of the car is trouble free and quite easy. Its’ smaller size compared to other SUVs means it is easily manoeuvrable.  The petrol variant has Hydraulic power assisted steering whereas diesel variant has Electro Hydraulic Power assisted steering.
 
Fuel Economy 
 
Renault Duster, the compact SUV that comes under two diesel and one petrol variant is quite fuel efficient. The petrol variant offers a fuel economy of 13.24 kmpl (ARAI specified) where as the diesel one with 85 PS offers a fuel economy of 20.45 Kmpl (ARAI specified) and diesel with 110 PS gives 19.01 Kmpl (ARAI specified) despite producing enormous power and torque.
 
Verdict 
 
The highly sturdy and rugged appearance combined with the interiors that offers luxury, comfort and features that of Sedan makes Renault Duster an exquisite and exclusive product for India. Today, around 60000 Renault Dusters are running on the Indian roads and has given Renault its due market shares in India. The diesel version of 85 PS RxL engine is priced at Rs 9.59 lakhs, 110 PS RxZ engine is priced at Rs 11.27 lakhs and the two petrol variants are priced between Rs 7.78 lakhs to Rs 9.03 lakhs (all the prices are ex showroom New Delhi).
 
It is in stiff competition with Ford EcoSport and Nissan Terrano and proves to be on top of them by all means.
 
Comfort:  4/5
 
Refinement: 4/5
 
Safety: 4/5 
 
Ride: 4/5
 
Handling: 4/5
 
Value for Money: 4/5
 

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