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Old 5th July 2012, 18:07   #106
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Hmm, nice car and good pricing of the base variants. But the diesel top end is a bit too expensive. It does not have too many striking features to talk about. The front end is ugly but the rear three quarter is great. A.S.S. is a suspect.

It all boils down to - @ 12.5-13 Lacs OTR, why buy this compact 108 bhp Duster when there are better options in the market?
Every one talks about options in 12.5-13lacs category. What are those? And how acceptable are they as compared to Duster?

No, am not in anyway justifying what Renault is doing. Its just that i don't see any other acceptable option. So our hunt for a respectable SUV with 4x4 and safety features at a decent price point continues?
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Old 5th July 2012, 18:28   #107
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Back after quick test ride this time of 110 ps. Have loads of pics, but saving for a bigger review after TBHP's official review is out. Here are quick review...

Exterior: At certain angles it looks small, but view head-on and you feel that its bigger/imposing than even CRV. This is pre-demoninantly the best aspect of the car and this and only this is the reason that folks were hoarding the showroom. The car looks butch for its price!
Renault Duster : Official Launch Report-img_0599.jpg

Start looking carefully and you can see some cost cutting. The car wipers are like that of M800, really sad quality. Door handles too are painted silver as Renault probably ran out of money to spend on the car to keep it at a price point, so painting silver is a new low in this segment, that is fake chrome!

Renault Duster : Official Launch Report-duster-3.jpg

The outside rear-view mirrors again painted silver on the top model and no side indicators.

Car looks best in white imho.

Rating: 4/5 -0.5 for quality (or lack of thereoff)

Interior:
Seeing the Fluence parked on the side and sitting in Fluence before sitting in Duster, you feel like you have come from Business Class to Mango People Class. To be honest none of the cars in this segment are good. In my personal opinion Swift has better interiors than some of the C-Segment cars and it most definitely has better interiors than the Duster. But you can find Swift interiors on all MUL cars and thats a big turn off.

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Coming to Duster, definitely a step up from Logan but the car has no theme in the interiors. Its like everything is designed seperately and botched together. Some bits are good and some are downright awful. Overall the least common denominator factor makes things look patchy at best!

The side panels on top model have fabric which looks good, but the fake wood and power windows button are cheap. The central dashboard itself in white is good but the central console is again shows its cost. No in dash informeter at the center of the dash rather a storage.

Handbreak assembly reminds one of its Logan roots. The electricals are all over, the windows from doors, the side view mirrors from center. There are no egronomics going on in the car. It looks like a cut and paste job of some good and some bad bits.

The steering is no nonesense and it has slightly wierd placement of audio-controls. It looks and reminds of an aftermarket pioneer steering remote.

Overall Rating: 3/5


Space:
The driver and passanger seats are imposing. Good space and thigh support. Though the rear seat bench is a different story. It doesnt have the space one associates with SUVs. This is cramped even if compared to Honda City or Vento (cars it will compete against), leave alone its distant cousin CAAAR which has oodles of leg room.

The boot however is a different cup of tea. Oodles of space. Again like before, the car has no uniform theme and there are too many compromises when you let the initial hype settle down and start looking closely at bits and peaces.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Engine/Drive:
Sit yourself in the driver seat and you feel wish it was higher. I am 5ft 8 but I didnt have a clear visibility and felt like sitting low in a BIG SUV. The clutch is hard. The engine starts up without any nonsense with the familiar diesel clatter. The 110 PS engine though refined feels out of breadth untill turbo kicks in. The vehicle is heavy and the turbo in the 110 PS variant kicks in a little late, and untill it kicks the car crawls. You could have even an Alto overtake you if you get your gearing wrong. You wouldnt 90% of the time, but when you are tired in a stop and go and lugging in 2nd, do expect a nasty crawl.

In the short drive I had many gear shifts. The clutch is hard but the gear shifts are smooth. No Mahindra like gear shifts that have a loong truck like travel. The travel is short and swift (car like). I wasnt impressed, it did the job, I got plenty of looks, but after the end of the drive I wasnt excited, nor was I dissapointed. But when you look at the price you are paying you really feel Renault should have done better.

Rating: 3/5

Overall:
There are too many compromises for a guy like me to really feel compelled to buy this car. If I was in the market looking for a car I would definitely consider it. Take multiple test drives and than make the decision. But for someone who is an *impulsive* car buyer and changes cars quickly my mind didnt wander. I didnt start conspiring on how I can afford this car and make a reason to buy it.

Swift/Fiesta/Jetta made my knees week after driving them. I kept thinking on how to buy them, but I didnt get this feeling at all (no way near) after driving the Duster. I am not saying its a bad car at all by any means, I am just saying its not a drivers (heart decision) car.

I know many of my friends who couldnt afford XUV W6 who would lap this one in a jiffy. It would have a mighty road presence as well. But when they drive it, they would know once the hype and excitement of the new car dies down, what they have bought. I remember there was a time when guys used to modify their Karizma's to look like SBKs and Duster too comes across as too much off show and average go go.

However if you compare it with Scorpio and you are in the market only for an SUV under 11-12 lakhs (strict budget) than Duster would definitely make more sense against aging Scorpio and Safari platform. However Indian auto industry has come a long way and buyers paying 10-12 lakhs demand more from their cars. Duster is overall in my books, a successful failure!

Last edited by aseem : 5th July 2012 at 18:49.
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Old 5th July 2012, 19:28   #108
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

I felt that renault would adopt a killer pricing. But was disappointed.

Each variant i feel should have been priced around 50k lower. ABS should have been made available even on lower spec variants without the option pack. Opting for the option pack, one will need to stretch a lot and have to go for alloys and airbags etc. Also, the price would come close to the 110 Ps variant and the customer would be confused again whether to for 85ps Rxl + option pack or the 110PS Rxl.

Guys like aseem felt considerable turbo lag even in the 110 variant. I guess the 85 variant should be the same or even poor. If the rear seat could have been moved couple of inches backward (compromising a bit on the luggage space), it would have created a great leg space. The best option would have been a slider arrangement like the ertiga.

To me only the entry level diesel Rxe makes most sense, where it competes with scorpio lx/ safari lx and other entry level diesel sedans.

My question is, does the duster 85ps rxe makes more sense over the safari lx & scorpio lx?

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 5th July 2012 at 19:38.
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Old 5th July 2012, 19:40   #109
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
Buy one when:

1. You have a tight parking space
2. You don't care for seven seats
3. You don't really want a heavy, large fuel guzzling SUV
4. You just want a comfortable five seater which can handle really bad roads or wade through Mumbai floods (not mud-plugging)
5. You don't want to be a guinea pig for Mahindra's experiments
6. You don't want the noisy, lethargic engine in the Innova beating against your eardrums on the highway
Honestly, if the above were the requirements, a premium hatch can solve the purpose. One really doesn't need a wanna-be SUVish hatchback over a fully loaded premium hatch. In fact the new Punto 2012 with its monster-truck like ground clearance and the efficient, tried and tested MJD fits all the above 6 points to the T. Or there is the new Ertiga with car-like length and MUV-like space with a humongous waiting period to solve your Dzires.

In fact I can really see Duster's competition with our hatchbacks considering they too are front wheel drive, have diesels which are proven and lie somewhere in the 8 lakh category offering much more and clearly under cut the Duster, which isn't an SUV but just a poser. And I still don't get WHY oh WHY would anyone but an early nineties looking vehicle in 2012.
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Old 5th July 2012, 19:44   #110
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

I rather like the looks from the pictures posted here. Especially the front view.

The curb weight of ~ 1200kgs seems a bit less - even the SX4 (that I have) weighs the same. I would have expected the Duster to have used more heavy duty components.

It is also surprising to read about the turbo lag in the 110 version. Would anyone know what the torque curve looks like?

While the company would prefer to focus on the 4X2 version that most seem to prefer (refer the threads on 4X2 vs. 4X4 here), some would miss the 4X4 version. Especially folks like me who prefer 4WD SUVs because of the go anywhere capabilities.

If Maruti launches the SX4 AWD hatch with all the bells and whistles that are found abroad, it could give the Duster and the upcoming vehicles a run for their money.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 5th July 2012 at 19:46.
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Old 5th July 2012, 19:48   #111
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

No rubber beading on the door.

Renault should have priced it better.

Last edited by GTO : 6th July 2012 at 12:52. Reason: Using the IMG tag for an attachment breaks the page layout (due to larger image size). Removing image
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Old 5th July 2012, 19:54   #112
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Am yet to see the Duster in flesh but from pictures i can say that it cant come close to neither Safari LX or Scorpio LX.

Space, Driving position, visibility, power and ofcourse the ruggedness.

infact Safari LX's interior looks very acceptable and handling and comfort wise aswel this vehicle has been very promising

I feel Duster will atract those who dont link big SUV's, and those who liked cars like Adventure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post

My question is, does the duster 85ps rxe makes more sense over the safari lx & scorpio lx?

Last edited by benbsb29 : 6th July 2012 at 05:27. Reason: Fixed broken quote tag.
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Old 5th July 2012, 20:31   #113
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
I feel Duster will atract those who dont link big SUV's, and those who liked cars like Adventure...
That is the exact market its trying to get into. Price and spec wise, we all debate where it falls into.
For example whether its costlier than Scorp/Safari or its better to buy an XUV or not.

But I guess there many people with specific needs like decent space, GC and acceptable power. They also are
not happy to lug around a big SUV through the city, just because thats the best one can buy for a given budget.
From that point of view I think Duster delivers.

The logan drives very well with same engine because its peak power is rated much lower.
(I think 65 or 70 bhp. Please correct me if I am wrong). So would be the case I suspect with the 85 bhp Duster as
well. I am curious to know about this aspect. Since the kerb weight is lower, I think we should have very nice city
product which also cruises easily
on the highway at just about three digit speeds (instead of ripping the road)

Price points can be debated, but from a niche requirement point of view I think its a different segment. Folks with
Adventure or Fusion (myself for example) would see this as a good upgrade.

Last edited by ampere : 5th July 2012 at 20:35.
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Old 5th July 2012, 20:47   #114
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Well, couldn't resist seeing Duster in flesh and hence drove all the way in peak Bangalore traffic from JP nagar to Palace Orchids showroom. There was quite a rush and I had to find a parking place a bit further away from the showroom. There were atleast 100 people in the showroom for Duster and a line outside for the test drives. Yes, they have started the test drives and I saw the Red one outside being driven away by one of the potential customers. looked good from the outside, however looked small from my expectations.

Got inside and had a close look at it. Here are my thoughts. I own a Skoda Fabia and was looking at Duster as a second vehicle (SUV) for my long trips with Family and comparing it to the other Indian SUVs.

- As someone already mentioned, the front view is the best view.
- Overall the vehicle is smaller than expected. Definitely not as Big as Yeti, maybe wider.
- Build is good but not great. Can compare it the build of Hyundai sedan
- Rest of the exterior is nothing great to talk about (average)
- Boot space is good compared to a Sedan (vento/rapid)
- Could see few cost cutting areas where the material quality and finish are just average (Door handles, Rubber sealing for the rear door, etc.)
- Interir plastics are again average.
-Interior design looks cluttered and the space is small compared to some of the sedans. Infact, the inside space for all passengers in my Fabia seems bigger than in Duster (i am not exaggerating)
- Leather seats are of average quality, and the finish leaves a lot to be desired.
- With the rear AC kit, you can only have 4 seated comfortably. That kit is a sore thumb inside the car and you wonder what was renault thinking.
- Doors dont close with a thud and my knees were touching the dashboard (if I have to leave room for the rear passenger)
- no dead pedal
- The dashboard design as we all know is just about fine. For the cost of the vehicle, you feel maybe you deserve more.
- Driver seat adjustments are good and gives a good visibility of the road and confidence

I have written most of the negatives, as I was expecting a SUV with good quality to be there. Then I realized the Renault marketing/advertisement. They never tried to sell Duster as a SUV, it is an alternative to your sedan in the same category. It gives you that extra ground clearance, bigger tires and a big boot. Beyond that everything else is just average. infact, for the same price, the features, quality and finish of sedans like Vento, Rapid and Verna makes more sense.

In summary I was personally disappointed with the vehicle ( I blame myself for setting the expectation) and probably will wait for the new Scorpio or something else that I might pickup from the used SUV domain. Infact, XUV makes more sense to me now (VFM)

Whoever is thinking of Duster as a competion to Scorpio, Safari or Yeti should set aside their expectations and see this as an alternative to your sedan. Comparing Yeti to Duster is comparing apples to oranges (yeti being the apple). Maybe I am biased as I love what Skoda offers for the money you pay, but again, that's me. I might consider the 2.0L 4x4 Duster as a replacement to my fabia in couple of years, but not for my family trip requirement. An Innova or XUV are now on top of my list.

Note: I have driven Renault cars in the UK and you can't compare the Indian launches to those in the Uk or Europe. Renault, you definitely need to provide more quality, features and finish for the money paid by the Indian customer.
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Old 5th July 2012, 21:01   #115
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Surely will bring in some numbers for Renault, but definitely not going to be a runaway hit like XUV500.

Pricing strategy is really confusing esp given the hype around this being a VFM SUV and all. Seems like the base versions are VFM whereas the top end versions are over priced (part of the blame due to increased taxes on >10 Lakh category).

Will wait for Ecosport before deciding.
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Old 5th July 2012, 21:38   #116
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Honestly, if the above were the requirements, a premium hatch can solve the purpose. One really doesn't need a wanna-be SUVish hatchback over a fully loaded premium hatch.
Unless one already owns a premium hatch which is diligently doing duty in the city. Our i20 has the most mediocre driving experience I have ever come across. Also, I forgot our appreciation for boot space.

Quote:
Or there is the new Ertiga with car-like length and MUV-like space with a humongous waiting period to solve your Dzires.
Ugly.

Quote:
And I still don't get WHY oh WHY would anyone but an early nineties looking vehicle in 2012.
Because it looks great
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Old 5th July 2012, 22:20   #117
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
5. You don't want to be a guinea pig for Mahindra's experiments
Absolutely agree. despite all the craze, I just wasn't comfortable with the ride quality of the XUV. The Yeti is a hoot to drive though. I am hopeful that the duster won't disappoint.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 6th July 2012 at 05:28. Reason: Fixed broken quote tag.
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Old 5th July 2012, 22:24   #118
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

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Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
a not-so-exciting Yeti
And I always thought Yeti to be a very good cross over. Looks might not be exciting, but believe everywhere else it trumps the others royally in almost every department (save for hard core 4X4 and people ferrying capacity)

Most ownership reports too seem to have fallen head over heels with the Yeti.
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Old 5th July 2012, 22:26   #119
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
Unless one already owns a premium hatch which is diligently doing duty in the city. Our i20 has the most mediocre driving experience I have ever come across. Also, I forgot our appreciation for boot space.

That is one of the reasons even I am looking at the Duster. Provides perfect upgrade to my petrol Fusion. High GC similar if not more space, a reasonably smaller foot print compared to the big SUVs, a diesel work horse and big boot space (which a hatch wont give).

Compared to the plastics that I am used to in Fusion, I am sure Duster would be similar !
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Old 5th July 2012, 22:40   #120
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Launch Report

Quote:
My enthusiasm has been dampened by the engine specs. The 110 runs out of breath so quickly I can't believe they tested it to be faster than the XUV which pulls like a freight train!
I do not agree.... I found the engine response to be great and real smooth. Did not find that big a turbo lag like u mention.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 6th July 2012 at 05:29. Reason: Fixed broken quote tag.
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