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Old 15th July 2012, 00:48   #511
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

The ACI Duster Review

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Old 15th July 2012, 01:15   #512
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by sathyaprakash View Post
According to Wheel-O-Mania site Duster top variant will come with two jump seats which are full size with head rest as optional.

It further states Duster can well be now compared with Innova, XUV500, Scorpio or Ertiga as an 5+2 people mover with third row

Full size picture of the seat in beige color is added in their site and further adds it will be a dealer accessory for other variants.
Whether this will go well with the RTO is yet to be seen.

I test drove Duster RXZ yesterday and the sales representative (SR) mentioned about this option. When I asked him if the car will be registered as a six seater he couldn't answer convincingly.

BTW here is the first impression after my TD :
1. Looks much better in flesh than it looks in the pics.
2. Interior is average. Some of the plastic parts are hard and have rough edges. Driver seat height adjustment system is unique. One must experience it to believe it. The lever is below the right corner of the seat.
3. Front seats are spacious and comfortable. By now everyone knows about the rear A.C vent eating into third occupant's leg space. So it makes RXZ a virtual four seater. Although the rear seat is comfortable a small compromise on the boot space would have released some much needed space for the occupants.
4. Trunk is huge. 10/10 there. Access to spare wheel if from within the trunk.
5. Doors do not make 'thud' when shutting. After hearing the noise they make, I double checked if they were made of metal sheet. Hope you get the drift.
6. The placement of various controls. hmmm. Well the bottom line is you won't find them where you expect them to be. e.g. Audio/bluetooth controls are behind the steering. There are times you can't see them because of the steering position. ORVM switch below the handbrake? There is a rotary headlamp leveling switch. When questioned SR told me it was for Fog lamps . Basically whenever you test drive a new vehicle, you expect certain controls at specific locations. That's not the case here. You look around. you see lot of them but then you keep wondering about the utility of those switches.
7. Clutch is hard. After a test drive of 4 kms, I could feel the pain in my left knee. Wonder what will happen in case of bumper to bumper traffic.
8. Steering felt good. Maneuverability in general is good given the size of the vehicle.
9. Brakes do their job but could have been better.
10. Ride over broken roads was comfortable.
11. 85 PS RXL (O) is the way to go. But it costs 12.37 on road which in my opinion is bit too much to ask for a vehicle built to a cost.
12. Visited service facility which happens to be behind the showroom. Nothing impressive there. Saw a 'Mahindra Renault Logan' standing in one of the service bays. Going OT here but who services Mahindra Renault Logans? I thought it was Mahindras.
13. Couldn't test the audio setup as SR didn't know the security code .
14. IIRC there is no auto up/down for any of the windows. Couldn't figure out how to lock all the doors from inside. Don't think there is a speed lock either. Levers to unlock the doors from inside belong to the last decade.
15. Seating position. While I was able to find a comfortable position, I couldn't see speedometer etc in that position which was quite annoying.
16. BTW there are no 4X4 and AT variants planned yet. SR told me about some survey Renault did in 2009 where 90% junta voted against 4X4 and AT options.

My take after 20 min TD: While the Duster did impress me in certain areas, I am not convinced with its asking price. I sincerely wish 85 PS RXL (O) was available at 11.50 on road. Anyway, I would wait for the comprehensive official review before taking the call.
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Old 15th July 2012, 06:35   #513
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Even the Autocar review mentions the illogical placement of steering audio controls. I have test driven the car and she is wrong on space. The AC tower does interfere a lot, especially for taller drivers.
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Old 15th July 2012, 10:38   #514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by methilsunkara

Even the Autocar review mentions the illogical placement of steering audio controls. I have test driven the car and she is wrong on space. The AC tower does interfere a lot, especially for taller drivers.
The most illogical placement is for the ORVM controls, below the handbrake! Pull up the handbrake and adjust mirrors!
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Old 15th July 2012, 12:30   #515
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

I went to see the car in the flesh yesterday and i could barely get 30 seconds inside the car as the rush at the South Delhi showroom was insane. People were queing up to see the car and I'm really shocked to note that Renault displayed 1 car only !
The car looks really great in the flesh, its a lot lower than i expected it to be but its muscular and definitely has that 'i workout' look to it. The plastics are hard but nothing one can't live with. Our ANHC has some really poor plastics as well.
The Steering controls fall nicely to the hand and in fact i don't think its badly placed at all.

Does anyone have knowledge of an AT being launched anytime soon?
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Old 15th July 2012, 13:03   #516
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So I toddled along to Palace Orchards first thing this morning. No booking no nothing. Requested their executive and got meself a little test drive with my Dad and my wife.
We test drove the 110BHP top end version.

Iam not getting into elaborate details because there are tons of opinions floating around anyway

Suffice it to say that it is an extremely comfortable vehicle to get in and out of.
Poor under thigh support was again evident for both me and my Dad.
The driving position was very good. Significantly higher position than my Yeti.
The engine does not sound rough while it is not the most refined either.
The turbo lag such as it is did not bother me much though I came straight out of the Yeti to drive this. There is no dramatic power surge when the turbo kicks in, like the Yeti has.
The suspension and overall driving comfort is very very decent. The suspension handles all the horrid Bangalore bumps and speed breakers very well indeed. Bith dad and wife commented on this. The vehicle handles very competently around the corners. No squealing etc. The body roll also is not overwhelmingly evident as has been suggested. The tyres are competent especially today with the wet roads. The clutch is a bit hard and the gears are ok, though not as smooth as the Yeti.
The horn sounds like a moped horn. Cost cutting is evident.
The music system is competent.
The rear seat comfort is fine and yes, that silly AC tower is highly irritating.

This vehicle is STREETS above the Scorpio in comfort, handling, ride and fit, finish, finesse and quality. Enough Said. I have owned the Scorpio long enough to comment competently on this fact so let there be no argument about it. Oh! And Yes, you can rough use this vehicle just as much as you can a Bolero and Scorpio. I certainly would if I owned one. Nice and tough beast it is.

Overall I think Renault definitely deserves appreciation here!

I also believe that the 85BHP version will be more than competent in the city but it might run out of juice on the highway.
Overall at 12.4 lacs on road, the 85 BHP with all options, will be the best buy for consumers to make especially if their primary need is space, safety and in city running.

I would definitely have considered this vehicle in its 110BHP avatar, if it had come with all the proper safety kit and 4WD. In fact if the Euro Spec had been available at about 14.5 to 15 lacs I would have definitely bought it in preference to the XUV and pretty much most others at that price because it meets my needs perfectly otherwise.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 15th July 2012 at 13:08.
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Old 15th July 2012, 13:41   #517
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by sa_kiran View Post
The most illogical placement is for the ORVM controls, below the handbrake! Pull up the handbrake and adjust mirrors!
May be it is designed to prevent the driver from adjusting the ORVM while driving
so that it can be operated only when the vehicle is stationary and the handbrake is up . Just a possibility but I don't think that is actually the case.
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Old 15th July 2012, 14:16   #518
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
So I toddled along to Palace Orchards first thing this morning.

I would definitely have considered this vehicle in its 110BHP avatar, if it had come with all the proper safety kit and 4WD. In fact if the Euro Spec had been available at about 14.5 to 15 lacs I would have definitely bought it in preference to the XUV and pretty much most others at that price because it meets my needs perfectly otherwise.
I was waiting for this, your iconic visit to TD the Duster. Will need to see when and how the 4x4 will be through your opinion. As you said even I am waiting for the 4x4. Since I am in no hurry right now, there is no worst time than this to sell my petrol Corolla and I am somehow happy with it. Bigger concerns for me are that I have always been a petrol head all my life with a powerful petrol sedan (road hugging, sure-footed, faster the better on the highway), but always missed the go anywhere character in my cars, don't know how I will respond to this new concept. Most reviews suggest Duster is car like on highway though.
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Old 15th July 2012, 14:35   #519
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by zulfi hansi View Post
Most reviews suggest Duster is car like on highway though.

I think it would be good even for the city, if we believe on the comments about the 85bhp Sunny.
And on top of it, if one is a cruiser on the highway, I think 85 would also be good enough for that too.

If we go by that Fifth Gear you tube video, which was shared few posts back, 85bhp should be really
good enough. The one in the review was a 4WD. So a lighter body with the same engine should be
even better than what was shown there.

Last edited by ampere : 15th July 2012 at 14:38.
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Old 15th July 2012, 14:52   #520
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post


I don't know what people are complaining about. The Duster i really good for what it is. Leagues ahead of Tata / Mahindra IMO.
Absolutely well said!!! I suppose you need to be driving an European car already to better appreciate Duster. I test drove the Duster yesterday and totally loved it. Yes, there's the initial turbo lag but once the turbo kicks in then there's no looking back. Ripped it till 100 and still the engine felt smooth througout. Also tried a quick lane changover at high speed and absolutely no body roll felt. Braking at high speed was also quite good. In short, felt comfortable througout the drive.
I have driven both Scorpio and Safari and none of the above things hold true for both the vehicles IMO. Never felt comfortable in these vehicles at high speeds (braking not up to mark, too much body roll at high speeds or while cornering or quick lane chageover...) The engine never felt refined at high speeds even at 80. Even my 15 year old W124 feels smoother instead.
As FlyingSpur rightly mentioned, Duster is miles ahead of Scorpio/Safari. I don't give a damn regarding the interiors as I believe Duster is a practical no-nonsense SUV as mentioned before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I would definitely have considered this vehicle in its 110BHP avatar, if it had come with all the proper safety kit and 4WD. In fact if the Euro Spec had been available at about 14.5 to 15 lacs I would have definitely bought it in preference to the XUV and pretty much most others at that price because it meets my needs perfectly otherwise.
I think we should wait for some more time when Renault is planning to launch 2.0L 4WD avatar @ 17L on-road which will just blow the other vehicles away in the same or slightly higher price range.
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Old 15th July 2012, 16:27   #521
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I think it would be good even for the city, if we believe on the comments about the 85bhp Sunny.
And on top of it, if one is a cruiser on the highway, I think 85 would also be good enough for that too.

If we go by that Fifth Gear you tube video, which was shared few posts back, 85bhp should be really
good enough. The one in the review was a 4WD. So a lighter body with the same engine should be
even better than what was shown there.
I did see that and in fact I was more keen on the 85 bhp 4x4 but chances are it will not be priced below 13 OTR and it may not come in the 85 bhp, more likely it may come only in 110 bhp version.
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Old 15th July 2012, 16:33   #522
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

While the Duster's handling is MUCH better than the traditional ladder frame SUV's, it still will not be comparable to your Corolla and any other low slung, fast sedan car.
However, YES, it will give you that flexibility and the go anywhere ability that you are seeking - for the most part even the 2WD will do that for you. But as you say, the 4WD would be "nice to have".

Quote:
Originally Posted by zulfi hansi View Post
I was waiting for this, your iconic visit to TD the Duster. Will need to see when and how the 4x4 will be through your opinion. As you said even I am waiting for the 4x4. Since I am in no hurry right now, there is no worst time than this to sell my petrol Corolla and I am somehow happy with it. Bigger concerns for me are that I have always been a petrol head all my life with a powerful petrol sedan (road hugging, sure-footed, faster the better on the highway), but always missed the go anywhere character in my cars, don't know how I will respond to this new concept. Most reviews suggest Duster is car like on highway though.

I can't really compare the Duster to my Yeti because the Duster is really a no nonsense, practical but bare bones sort of vehicle that doesn't cosset you much at all.

I still would feel that the 17 lac price to pay for the 4WD Duster is a bit high vis a vis their pricing in Europe. However, if the 2 litre engine is given to us to sugar coat the bitter pill of pricing, yes, it might be worth it. But this version had better have the works on the safety front - many airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP and all the acronyms etc!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd.bell View Post
Absolutely well said!!! I suppose you need to be driving an European car already to better appreciate Duster.
As FlyingSpur rightly mentioned, Duster is miles ahead of Scorpio/Safari. I don't give a damn regarding the interiors as I believe Duster is a practical no-nonsense SUV as mentioned before.

I think we should wait for some more time when Renault is planning to launch 2.0L 4WD avatar @ 17L on-road which will just blow the other vehicles away in the same or slightly higher price range.
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Old 15th July 2012, 16:45   #523
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Shankar Sir,

What about the quality of the interior? Worth the pretty packet? how does it compare to the Yeti? I've been in a Yeti only once and for a short while. Same with the Duster too. I found that the quality doesn't justify the price-tag. Otherwise it looks like a highly competent car. I'm looking forward to test-driving the car next week.
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Old 15th July 2012, 16:51   #524
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Nope the interiors cannot be compared with the Yeti at all. They are not as plush.
Nor can they be compared to the interiors of a 12 lac car because typically the car's focus are its interiors to cosset the consumer.
This vehicle's focus is the bare bones basic and tough rough use type SUV. For that purpose the interiors do the job.
And if one really were to compare, then frankly, in my opinion, the Duster's interiors are much better than the Scorpio, Force One and Safari - in terms of overall quality, fit, finish, finesse etc.
It is ultimately a matter of opinion whether this vehicle is worth it or not.
It will be worth it for some, who are looking for a good utility. It will NOT be worth it for those looking for a 7 seater or car like comfort and plushness.
But it IS a worthy competitor to Force One, Scorpio and Safari because it frankly, is far better than those!


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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
Shankar Sir,

What about the quality of the interior? Worth the pretty packet? how does it compare to the Yeti? I've been in a Yeti only once and for a short while. Same with the Duster too. I found that the quality doesn't justify the price-tag. Otherwise it looks like a highly competent car. I'm looking forward to test-driving the car next week.
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Old 15th July 2012, 17:30   #525
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
But it IS a worthy competitor to Force One, Scorpio and Safari because it frankly, is far better than those!
That’s what I think too – from what I have seen in the reviews and pictures.

Johnny Smith made an interesting comment in the Fifth Gear review (which someone shared earlier in this thread), that the Duster in UK will compete with the likes of Yeti, Qashqai etc., that too with an advantage of having a lower price point. But then the UK spec Duster should be quite different (from what we got) with better interiors, safety, 4x4 etc.
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