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Old 23rd July 2012, 23:07   #136
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

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Originally Posted by crazyjeeperk View Post
Hi GTO
3. Is it really worthy to shell out 1Lakh for Air bags and ABS i.e Diesel 85PS RXL even then its only optional there so do please tell me how much more it really costs?
ABS lets you jam the brake and turn the car away from the danger simultaneously. I can count two occasions where I probably would have met with an accident without ABS. If you get Brake Assist along with ABS it is a huge advantage. Research is that too many people do not jam the brake hard enough under emergency conditions. Brake assist saves the day here. It senses emergency conditions and increases the brake input even if you fail to press the brake hard enough. If you get ABS + Brake Assist it is a no brainer to go for it. If you cannot afford consider waiting for an year or so to save more money to buy it. You may thank that you did.

ESP lets you swerve out and swerve in safely at speed. A fantastic safety feature. However, we have no luck in India as it is uncommon feature. While ABS, Brake Assist, EBD and ESP prevent accidents, airbag comes into play after an accident. You never know when you need one.

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Old 23rd July 2012, 23:09   #137
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

"I had a deal with the Scorpio owner. One picture and he can spend all the time he wants inside the Duster, checking it out."

Hahaha... man seriously if there was a like button, a la facebook... ignore me if there is... I would have 'liked' it instantly

GTO had it spot on... RXL 85 with ABS would be a bumper product for say 9.25L. The Duster with its spartan interiors (considering this price-point) works very well as a start-up SUV below 10L.

Someone wrote Figo diesel runs out of breath on hills. I happen to drive in the hills of Almora, Nainital and Mukteshwar. The engine never felt inadequate. I had a gala time with the Ford's point and shoot handling, and grip. I guess, the driving style could be a reason. As it is most diesels are short geared in this category of cars, so it is best to shift down ASAP on low speeds and steep inclines and you will be a happy cruiser even on those hills.

By the way as a side note.... can't we get ABS as a paid option on all cars and on all variants. It is a life-saver and life saving never be an option but a compulsion!

And yeah. GTO... You shame some of these guys who write for car magazines. The pictures and the detail. Sweeeeeet!

Thanks.

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team: Please take the time to use proper punctuation as per Team-BHP rules. Avoid...typing...like...this. Thanks.

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Old 23rd July 2012, 23:35   #138
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Yet another great review from GTO. Hope duster will beef up renault's sales figures. I'm just concerned about two things here.
1. Why do all those Renalt Nissan cars have those panel gaps and finishing issues ? Isnt RNTBCI doing enough to ensure that those shortcomings are checked ?
2. Again the same dealership issue.Some states like Odisha even do not have a single Renault showroom I guess.
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Old 23rd July 2012, 23:59   #139
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

The key for the Duster's success abroad is the no nonsense back to basics car utilitarian positioning along with a significantly lower price. There is no expectation mismatch. Folks will put up with its shortcomings, and Renault has provided things like ESP which they don't in India, so customers know what they are getting into and have paid less for it compared to more 'normal' options.

Here I am nor sure Renault have done that, and folks who pay 12-13 lakhs are going to expect stuff which the Duster by virtue of its origin may not be able to fulfill, we have already seen things like wind noise, switch gear quality, exposed metal bits, wiper quality and door handles come up. And the India version is the spruced up one, the interiors abroad is shockingly poor and I am sure no one would have bought it here. The Duster forums abroad reflect plenty of issues around comfort and refinement.

Folks make comparisons to Safari and Scorpio but a large proportion of Duster customers will be those who will not have considered those cars, so they are not aware of the poor quality interiors and other shortcomings.

The Duster is about basics which it gets right, engine, fuel economy, suspension, safety. Everything else is a luxury and we can see the cost cutting in the interiors but given the origins of the car they must be cost cutting in other places too which we cannot see, and will turn up after ownership. Hopefully in 6 months we will not have livid and disappointed customers.
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Renault Duster : Official Review-daciadusterdci4x4interior_55.jpg  


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Old 24th July 2012, 00:16   #140
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Thanks GTO - an excellent review, as always! Even God (aka SRT) hasn't been as consistent with his performances as you have been with your reviews' quality

But I should say I cannot share the same enthusiasm about the product. Is it so difficult to get basic safety features across variants, to start with? This is the most obvious of the cost-cutting measures Renault has resorted to, but there are other pain-points - like the rear doors don't have bottle or cup holders... My two brats have their Ben-10/Spidey bottles and other stuff all the time in the Scorp; what will they do? (I would suppose that elastic band below the AC vent will last all of one month if my kids handle it!)

The other disappointment was the passenger space. From the outside vehicle looks fairly large, but the rear seat space seems just passable - not even near the Logan/Verito (correct me if I am wrong). Like many have shared here, I would have preferred a wee bit less boot space or sliding rear seats.

Ride quality was expected to be good based on the Logan's feedback (and our own experience), so nothing new there.

Overall, I just get the feeling Team Renault was just playing around trying to get a right mix and launched 8 variants - and to think the basket does not even have AT or 4x4! They seem to have got it wrong, since majority of respondents here seem to prefer just one - the 85PS Option pack. Me thinks Bertie Wooster or even Mr.Bean would have drawn up a better price-features-variant matrix

PS: after going through GTO's review, my perspective on the Duster teaser ad - is it possible all those sedan owners are shedding tears of joy??

Ford: Get on with the Ecosport - and you better not disappoint!

Cheerio, folks!
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Old 24th July 2012, 00:24   #141
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

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Even if the manufacturer gives massive discount, govt. collects tax on ex-showroom price.
Not sure if it works like that in every state, but in Kerala, the road taxes (and octroi) are collected only on the actual selling price of the vehicle, which is whatever the dealer mentiones on the invoice. In my case, I got the Skoda Laura for Rs. 90,000 discount of the ex-showroom price and the invoice only showed the lesser amount.

So for e.g. if the car was 18 lakhs and the customer got 1 lakh discount, then the invoice price will be 17 lakhs and that would be what you would pay your road tax on (15% in Kerala for vehicles over 15 lakhs). The octroi will be 12.5% and is included in your invoice price, so that would be Rs.188,889 on Rs.15.11 lakhs, making 17 lakhs your ex-showroom price. I hope I got the calculation right.

And... the Government also collects excise duty (and probably 100 other taxes I'm unaware of) on the car before the octroi!

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Old 24th July 2012, 00:48   #142
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

brilliant review gto---- spot on

i have test driven the 110 diesel.

when micra is offered with a single airbag in basic variant what are we getting with duster?

braking is some thing which the company guys should inform every customer who buys or rather test drives the duster... they will not do the job when stamped upon, you need to press down the clutch as well to get the full bite. (just like sunny) i find that both the nissan and renault show room guys do not inform about this to the guys who are graduating from small cars!!!!!!! this could prove dangerous and one of these days we could hear about a serious accident happening on a test drive.

when ever you sit in a plane you get the same safety routine, why is it not done before a test drive/ at handing over new car? especially when your car has some thing different?

the exterior is very impressive, interior a couple of notches below par but livable.

jump seat in the boot would definitely be claustrophobic as unlike the safari/scorpio duster's not that tall.

i agree with every ones view about pricing/variants
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Old 24th July 2012, 07:05   #143
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Other Points:


4 year / 80,000 km warranty as standard. This is amongst the best factory warranties offered in India. IIRC, the only other manufacturer giving a 4 year standard warranty is Honda.
Honda offers it as extended warranty 2+2 (Sometime they give it as an offer). Not as factory warranties. Even Ford has the same
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Old 24th July 2012, 08:48   #144
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

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Originally Posted by docmech View Post
brilliant review gto---- spot on

braking is some thing which the company guys should inform every customer who buys or rather test drives the duster... they will not do the job when stamped upon, you need to press down the clutch as well to get the full bite. (just like sunny) i find that both the nissan and renault show room guys do not inform about this to the guys who are graduating from small cars!!!!!!! this could prove dangerous and one of these days we could hear about a serious accident happening on a test drive.

when ever you sit in a plane you get the same safety routine, why is it not done before a test drive/ at handing over new car? especially when your car has some thing different?
I endorse what you say about the technical briefing on the vehicle and its characteristics that "should" be done before handing it over for a test drive.
Abroad, when you rent a car, the attendant who hands it over to you, actually takes time to ask your permission and explains all the little details to you. Things like Electronic Parking Brake position, various fiddly dials and what they mean, location of the owners manual, position of the switches etc etc.
One may not experience it in the Budget Car Hire scenarios but certainly do when one is renting a "prestige" motor.

Here in India I think perhaps the showroom chappies are 'barely there' themselves, so in many ways their information can be more detrimental than positive. We all know that we guys know much more about the cars that we are test driving than the showroom guys do - at least in most cases.

There was a very smart young chap at the Renault dealership in Bangalore Palace Orchards, when I went to test the Koleos. He must have been either the owners son OR a smart college boy doing an internship or part time job. Unfortunately he is no longer there now.

An interesting snippet from one of the Mahindra guys as told to me some time back. He said that most of the fellows driving Scorpios have graduated from smaller petrol vehicles and hence don't know the first thing about the clutch and its characteristics. He said that clearly the number of Scorpios coming in for clutch replacements were driven by guys who had moved up the ladder from Petrol hatchbacks. There is no statistic to prove this but I guess a chap whose job is in the service centre ought to know what he is talking about!

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Old 24th July 2012, 08:53   #145
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Though I am pretty late to give my feedback on the much awaited TD & Review of the Duster, let me admit GTO, this is one of the best reviews off late that I have come across, fantastic . However we always want something more. Not to nitpick, but if you can address some of the points mentioned below, it would add the proverbial feather in the cap (my personal views, you may choose to address these in future or ignore them altogether, purely your choice):
  1. 5 adults (average weight) in the car with their holiday luggage in the boot, how would this SUV behave on the steep inclines of the ghats? Can it keep going on 2nd & 3rd gear or we have to downshift to the first on every hair pin?
  2. Can we get the 0-100 kmph timings & the in-gear acceleration (3rd & 4th gear) for both the versions (110 & 85 ps)?
  3. Did you get a chance to drive it during night time? How is the throw of light from the double barrel headlamps? Are stock lamps sufficient enough? Do the fog lights help in spotting the pot holes well in time?
  4. Though it has been mentioned by someone that the wiper has only 2 speeds, do they effectively swipe the full windshield at either of these 2 speeds? How many water jets in total? (I really appreciated the close-up shot of the Fluidic Verna showing 3 water jets for each wiper)
  5. Most importantly, I am missing the section on "Chief competitors", "Owners liked" & "Owners Disliked" or is it that there is no competition for the Duster as of now & would be added later. However an addition of Safari, Scorpio, Yeti etc would be much appreciated.
  6. Though everyone have been rightfully cribbing on the absence of rubber beading on the door, does is result in lot of dust settling on the door frame?
  7. Last (but not the least), please share many more pictures
Kindly excuse me if any of the above have already been addressed & I have missed out on those.
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Old 24th July 2012, 09:10   #146
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Here is an indication for you and I would love to have GTO's and other experts inputs on the same too:

We had gone to Ooty in my Scorpio and as usual, I used the Sigur Ghat because I vastly prefer the steep ascent and then time saving there.

It was loaded down with 4 Adults - me, my wife, my friend and his wife along with all our various bits and pieces of luggage. Suffice it to say that the vehicle was well loaded though not over loaded. The Crde 2.6 litre (115BHP) engine whose gearing is tuned typically for in city and plains highway usage and better mileage, requires that one has to necessarily down shift to low gear (read 1st gear) while attempting a steep hair pin bend, so as to allow the Turbo to spool up and take one through the bend more easily, without belabouring the engine. If one does the half clutch and second gear around those bends while accelerating hard to keep the revs up and the Turbo spooled up, one will strain the poor engine and ruin the clutch as well as put a lot of pressure on the Turbo charger too.

On other trips to Ooty with just me and my wife and our general luggage, I noted the same thing as I have tried to describe above.

Indeed, as a comparison, the old Scorpio with the Chain Drive Turbo seemed more powerful in some sense, than the Crde. I have chugged up the same Sigur ghats and have taken some of those hairpin bends in second gear in the old version, which I could not replicate in the newer version which I had.

Given this point of reference and background, you can draw your own conclusions on the Duster's capabilities.

Technically it should be better since this India spec Duster if I am right is a Front Wheel Drive Monocoque and very light too. Front Wheel Drive vehicles generally perform better in the steep hilly bits as proven in the old days by the humble Maruti 800 vis a vis the old Amby/ Fiat!

As another reference the Yeti which is also a monocoque and predominantly Front Wheel Driven and a little heavier than the Duster, performs deliciously in the hilly bits. Brilliant power. But 140BHP and 320NM of Torque does have its advantages I guess.

It would be nice to see how the Front Wheel driven 4x2 Yeti 110BHP version performs in the hills because this will be a more direct compare to the Duster top India spec.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoIndian View Post
[*]5 adults (average weight) in the car with their holiday luggage in the boot, how would this SUV behave on the steep inclines of the ghats? Can it keep going on 2nd & 3rd gear or we have to downshift to the first on every hair pin?

Last edited by shankar.balan : 24th July 2012 at 09:12.
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Old 24th July 2012, 09:40   #147
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Fantastic review GTO, I had been waiting for this. If I were in the market for a compact SUV and if the Duster had come with 4WD, I would have signed up for one immediately. The basics of the vehicle are good, and bells and whistles - e.g. for the interiors - can always be added after purchase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by docmech View Post
braking is some thing which the company guys should inform every customer who buys or rather test drives the duster... they will not do the job when stamped upon, you need to press down the clutch as well to get the full bite. (just like sunny)
Why does the Duster have such a set-up? Can anyone elaborate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
As another reference the Yeti which is also a monocoque and predominantly Front Wheel Driven and a little heavier than the Duster, performs deliciously in the hilly bits. Brilliant power. But 140BHP and 320NM of Torque does have its advantages I guess.
@ AutoIndian & Shankar: What the Duster does and how it does it, would depend to some extent on the torque curve. If one adapts driving style (hill climbing style) accordingly, there shouldn't be any problem. I do the Segur Ghats in 2nd and 3rd gears (e.g. the long steep stretch with many one sided bumps in 3rd gear) in the Fortuner. And the Yeti with its handling, power + torque and light weight would be a delight in the hills I am sure. In fact, I have done many Segur climbs in my petrol Indica with full load without any problem. One has to adjust driving style, how fast one can climb, which gear, which angle to take in a hair pin, whether one has the pulling power to quickly overtake or does one need to plan moves ahead etc. From what I have read about the Duster, it should be an excellent vehicle for those adventurous family trips - it won't take much time to get used to the vehicle's characteristics. IMHO, how does it matter if some hairpins need to be tackled in one gear lower?

Last edited by nilanjanray : 24th July 2012 at 10:09.
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Old 24th July 2012, 09:53   #148
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Seeing the rear seat and boot distribution, perhaps they could have reduced boot space a bit to improve rear seat leg room. Not sure if it is possible with where the rear wheels are.
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Old 24th July 2012, 10:29   #149
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

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Originally Posted by docmech View Post

braking is some thing which the company guys should inform every customer who buys or rather test drives the duster... they will not do the job when stamped upon, you need to press down the clutch as well to get the full bite. (just like sunny) i find that both the nissan and renault show room guys do not inform about this to the guys who are graduating from small cars!!!!!!! this could prove dangerous and one of these days we could hear about a serious accident happening on a test drive.
Are you sure that it is advisable to depress the clutch when braking? I have read many places not to depress clutch ever when braking and that one can depress only if the vehicle is going to stall.
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Old 24th July 2012, 10:32   #150
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

I totally agree with your point. Considering I learned my driving in the hills and was always taught to conserve the engine, clutch and gearbox by shifting down reasonably in advance when attempting a steep climb etc. It is always better to shift down before the curve rather than when one is already upon the curve!
I was, in my earlier post, just trying to give AutoIndian a comparative between the old Scorpio and new Scorpio so that he could surmise to an extent how the Duster would behave with a full load.
I think the Duster will be a delight in the hills, very much the way the Yeti is too. These vehicles score very highly on the handling aspect on account of the monocoque construction and overall lightness. Also, being predominantly Front Wheel Driven they will allow for some good fun in the hill drives too.
I am very clear that given my usage patterns and overall needs, I am MUCH happier with a Crossover than with a hard core off roader.
Both the Duster and the Yeti do that job admirably. As you said, I only wish the Duster had come with 4WD as an option and proper Euro Spec Safety kit too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Fantastic review GTO, I had been waiting for this. If I were in the market for a compact SUV and if the Duster had come with 4WD, I would have signed up for one immediately. The basics of the vehicle are good, and bells and whistles - e.g. for the interiors - can always be added after purchase.

@ AutoIndian & Shankar: What the Duster does and how it does it, would depend to some extent on the torque curve. If one adapts driving style (hill climbing style) accordingly, there shouldn't be any problem. I do the Segur Ghats in 2nd and 3rd gears (e.g. the long steep stretch with many one sided bumps in 3rd gear) in the Fortuner. And the Yeti with its handling, power + torque and light weight would be a delight in the hills I am sure. In fact, I have done many Segur climbs in my petrol Indica with full load without any problem. One has to adjust driving style, how fast one can climb, which gear, which angle to take in a hair pin, whether one has the pulling power to quickly overtake or does one need to plan moves ahead etc. From what I have read about the Duster, it should be an excellent vehicle for those adventurous family trips - it won't take much time to get used to the vehicle's characteristics. IMHO, how does it matter if some hairpins need to be tackled in one gear lower?
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