The Renault Duster features:
>It creates a new compact SUV segment.
>Unique design and styling with overall length of 4.3mtrs
>Multiple engine options 1.6L 104 bhp petrol,1.5L 85 bhp diesel and 1.5L110bhp diesel engine.
>Priced from 7Lakh Rs for the base petrol variant and 8 lakh Rs for the base diesel variant.
>The top end variant comes loaded with ABS,EBD ,airbags,rear seat AC vents,16”Alloy wheels,music >system with Bluetooth connectivity
>Segment best ride and handling.
DESIGN AND INTERIORS:First look at the Duster it impresses you with its overall look.The aggressive looks and design of a SUV is very much evident.The front has a large grill with the renault logo at the centre and with the use of chrome it looks rather smart.The head lamps are not large and fits well to grill ,it is not extended to the body.The front has a large bonnet for the engine bay and with smartly designed grill gives it the much needed masculine looks.
The rear has a simple botched looks with large Duster logo embedded in chrome and the small tail lamps which fits well to the body line giving it very different look.The rear wheel arches are prominently defined.Get inside the Duster you would feel the interior design is kept minimalistic with usage of multiple colurs,beige ,brown and grey.Chrome linings are used for the Ac vents,door handles.A wooden finish is also given to the door pocket.The dash has combination of beige and brown colour with the central console consisting of Ac controls and a music system which comes with aux,USB ,Bluetooth and 4 surround speakers.
The steering wheel has the audio and Bluetooth controls.The power window controls are provided at the doors.The driver seating position provides very good front visibility however it does not come with height adjustable seats.The seats come with leather covers in the top end variant and provides very good under thigh support.The overall space is good enough for 5 people to comfortably sit in.Overall the fit and finish and quality of the plastics used feels average.The top end variant comes with 2 airbags,ABS ,EBD and 16”alloy wheels.The ground clearance of 205mm is adequate and it is easy to get in and out of the car compared to SUVs like Scorpio and Xyslo where one has to climb up to get in.The boot space of 460 litres is huge and if you to for a trip with huge luggage fits the purpose.There are couple of bottle holders at the front.The rear AC vent is provided in the top end version
The Duster comes with multiple engine options.It has 1.6L 104 bhp petrol engine, the famed 1.5L DC 85 bhp and 110 bhp diesel engine.Basically the same engine powers the logan,fluence and Sunny in different bhp configurations.The test drive vehicle we drove was of 110bhp diesel variant.The 85bhp diesel and the petrol variant are still not provided for test drive.The 1.5L 110bhp dci engine is one the best performer from the Renault stable.Push the accelerator you will notice hardly any sound on the inside,Renault has managed to keep the NVH level very low which is indeed good.The Duster is easily up on its heel quickly.The acceleration is mind blowing when you push the vehicle above 4000 rpm in the second and third gear the turbo kicks in and the vehicle just flews.
The wide 16’”inch tyre profile and the solid monocoque structure gives the duster its best ride and handling.The vehicle is stable in straight line high speed as well as in monuevering tight corners.The suspension set up easily absorbs the shocks of bumpier roads and you would not feel uncomfortable on bad roads.The power steering is light and gives right feedback.We can easily say the ride and handling is unmatched by any SUV player in the Indian market today.It just feels like a sedan to drive and Renault has done a commendable job here.With ARAI tested mileage of 19km/litre for 110 bhp version and 20.5km/litre for the 85 bhp version this is one of the best fuel efficient SUVs in the market today.Sure Renault will find buyers to this car since the price point of 8lakrs of the base diesel is spot on between a premium hatch back and a sedan
Renault has the first mover advantage here since it represents altogether a new segment of compact SUV where there are no players.Ford will be launching its Ecosport compact SUV which is a year later.With very good pricing starting from 8lakh Rs for the base diesel variant Renault would definitely get buyers who look for a sedan.Already withing 1 week of launch it has got 7000 bookings and going by it Renault has given its first punch in the Indian market.With ambitious plans of launching a small car below 4.5 lakh and an entry level sedan Renault is making every effort to grab a pie of Indian car market.We would highly recommend the Duster for its robust design,good ride and handling,good engine options.