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Old 5th August 2012, 10:34   #451
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Even so, in the Duster, I am looking for 85 RxL with option pack vs. 110 ps minus the frills/safety.

I live in Siliguri where the hills (read bad roads) are nearby. Some of my friends live in nearby farms where I love to drop in for a beer or two, but this once every 2 months or so. Further with children (6 and 3.5) growing up, I will need a car which can pull up the hills, take the kids for a weekend getaway. And also do city duty. You can hardly call Siliguri a city though. The streets are narrow, parking is difficult, even for small sedans. A hatch is what is popular in this down; this is hatchback country!

Back to my requirements and I was torn between the two Dusters. However, I am surprised that none of the reviews, including the one on Team-bhp has one detailed review on the 85's performance. And if I correctly recall, team-bhp was supposed to get their hands on the 85 Duster soon and review it. But nada. Nothing. Nothing has come of it. I am not surprised.

On the same note, I have shortlisted sedans like the Rapid and Vento as well, and in the reviews oodles have been written about the diesel variants, but nothing much about the manual petrol. The automatic petrol, yes. Same case with the showrooms, you can find the automatic petrol and diesel sedans in both Skoda and VW, but no manual petrol. So that makes me think that is the way the automobile manufacturers have positioned themselves, and that is the way reviewers review them. No one (except the laity) seems to even question the absence of the 85 ps Duster for example.

I guess I will have to wait for reviews from regular users to come to a decision on this one.

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Old 5th August 2012, 11:12   #452
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Johy > Please don't lose hope. I can understand your feelings as many others in this forum are equally waiting for the official review of the 85ps Duster.

And i believe our moderators are working towards it as the 85 is now available in all major states across India may be they are waiting for the petrol to examined along with 85ps but, IMO as there are very few petrolheads for Duster i hope bringing 85 review is to be the first priority.

I have also postponed my decision in between Rxl85(o) & Rxl 110 as even though i rode 85 but could not take it for a long highway drive to know the exact acceleration or top speed of this vehicle.

I definitely don't like the Rxz110 priced 13.5 lakhsOTR with rear quirky AC is little bit too costly to invest in as i get good used 4x4 Endy with AT for 14lakhs as GTO has also advised to go for lateral buying instead of investing in new overpriced ones.

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Old 5th August 2012, 14:23   #453
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Sorry Boss, but I would have to completely disagree with you here. Its absolutely not meaningless or nonsense. My 1996 W124 Merc has the exact same mechanism and I quite love it rather than bending over each time to unlock the fuel lid. As it is, I stand out of the car while the fuel is being filled. So no chance of anything getting flicked away from my car.
I think this is a common design with some Euro manufacturers.
I agree with that view. The ARIA too has a similar feature, but the fact that ONLY the driver door and the fuel lid open on cutting the ignition is good thinking by TATA. In a fuel station, all I have to do is shut off the engine and the fuel lid opens (gets unlocked). The attendant then has to push the lid to open it. Needless to mention, a manual cord override is provided inside. I also have the habit of standing out and watching the fuelling process. That way, you cannot be cheated AND you can avoid spillage too. The remote unlock also features this two stage unlock !
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Old 5th August 2012, 15:14   #454
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I definitely don't like the Rxz110 priced 13.5 lakhsOTR with rear quirky AC is little bit too costly to invest in as i get good used 4x4 Endy with AT for 14lakhs as GTO has also advised to go for lateral buying instead of investing in new overpriced ones.
We are ready to settle for a used Endy but would not spend on a new ARIA for the same price, or for that matter a Scorpio or XUV. Why this "phoren" bias, may I ask ?

A Duster with poor ergonomics, cheap (read horrendous) plastics and switchgear, a "jugaad" rear AC that even chandni chowk manufacturers would frown upon, beading-less doors, unheard of service support, the list goes on ! Yet, many of us pin our hopes on these machines ! May I ask for what ?

The OVRM switch placement and the audio controls on the Duster also seem to be an after market / later thought / adjusted matter, not designed to be there. The same oddly-placed centre console placement of power window switches on the Indica / Indigo were frowned upon by many !

No wonder India is a much sought after market for the auto majors !
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Old 5th August 2012, 17:01   #455
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The OVRM switch placement and the audio controls on the Duster also seem to be an after market / later thought / adjusted matter, not designed to be there. The same oddly-placed centre console placement of power window switches on the Indica / Indigo were frowned upon by many !
Have you had a test drive of Duster? Guys who have started driving the Duster feel the placements are perfect and practical.All cars have minor nitpicks unless you design one with all your requirements into it.
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Old 5th August 2012, 17:06   #456
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Have you had a test drive of Duster? Guys who have started driving the Duster feel the placements are perfect and practical.All cars have minor nitpicks unless you design one with all your requirements into it.
I actually did not find the placement of the OVRM controls. Or the audio controls for that matter. I found them quite good below the handbrakes. Because one adjusts the OVRM before driving and before reversing (looking just besides/along the car for rocks), in both cases the car would be stationary.

Same with the audio controls. I found them quite a good location, contrary to what has been written about it.
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Old 5th August 2012, 17:41   #457
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifebuoy

We are ready to settle for a used Endy but would not spend on a new ARIA for the same price, or for that matter a Scorpio or XUV. Why this "phoren" bias, may I ask ?

A Duster with poor ergonomics, cheap (read horrendous) plastics and switchgear, a "jugaad" rear AC that even chandni chowk manufacturers would frown upon, beading-less doors, unheard of service support, the list goes on ! Yet, many of us pin our hopes on these machines ! May I ask for what ?

The OVRM switch placement and the audio controls on the Duster also seem to be an after market / later thought / adjusted matter, not designed to be there. The same oddly-placed centre console placement of power window switches on the Indica / Indigo were frowned upon by many !

No wonder India is a much sought after market for the auto majors !

Going for used Endy or a Fortuner over Aria or scorpio is a Personal Decision, which one can weigh over parameters like reliability , handling , value one perceives from the brand , niggles that are associated with Tata or Mahindra !!

Duster may have quirky ergonomics but plastics are not horrendous though cheap, Ovrm switch placement is not bad , AC is not exactly a jugaad !

After owning a Tata Indigo and numerous niggles and several trips to service centre, I would anyway prefer a duster over aria or even a Mahindra vehicle

Have driven Duster and loved the way it handles the Roads , so I can ignore a bit of quirkiness

cheers
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Old 5th August 2012, 18:27   #458
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

TD the 85 today.
Its good enough to drive in the city and there is no turbo lag. At one time, I was merrily doing 30 in 3rd.
Clutch seems to be a little different from the 110 and the Gearshift were not as good as the 110.
NVH levels were good, the engine does not get too strained under hard acceleration

Might I add, that later I went for a TD of the Sunny too.And I just couldn't believe that they both had the same engine in the same set of tune.
The Sunny was a real rocket! And I don't get it why people say it is not a driver's car.
This car had done 13k+ and it was FUN to drive. Brakes were a bit iffy.
And the rear seat. So much has been said about it, but I found it real disappointing. Very little under thigh support. Will be very hard in long drives.

Last edited by BUXX : 5th August 2012 at 18:34.
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Old 5th August 2012, 18:36   #459
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TD the 85 today.

Clutch seems to be a little different from the 110 and the Gearshift were not as good as the 110.
Buxx, when you say the clutch feels different, do you mean it was a bit less hard? Or ?
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Old 5th August 2012, 18:48   #460
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

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Might I add, that later I went for a TD of the Sunny too.And I just couldn't believe that they both had the same engine in the same set of tune.
The Sunny was a real rocket! And I don't get it why people say it is not a driver's car.
I think that is because, Sunny is lighter by 100kg on the kerb.
1097 to 1180 of Duster 85.

Also I am not sure if the gear ratios are same.
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Old 5th August 2012, 22:19   #461
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We are ready to settle for a used Endy but would not spend on a new ARIA for the same price, or for that matter a Scorpio or XUV. Why this "phoren" bias, may I ask ?
Products speak for themselves. The only way the makers count after they've let their product out is by way of influencing the ownership experience. When unscheduled service station visits exceed scheduled ones, or when you have to settle for running the vehicle with at least a few things broken at any point of time, THAT is a compromise. Nearly all makers seem to be deficient with their customer service levels (either quality, or pricing-wise or both) and that's why your best shot at a peaceful ownership is buying a car that won't ask you to take it to the doctor as far as possible.

Except for a couple of items, the rest of your comments on the Duster are downright untrue.

Horrendous plastics: Are you really comparing them with those in the Scorpios or Safaris, since you're talking about being readily 'forgiving' of flaws in foreign makes? I'm sure you're not because we've never seen good plastics in Indian makes anyway. As far as popular observation goes, plastics are not horrendously cheap and are better than those in the desi SUVs.

Jugaad AC tower in the back: Only in the RXZ, which doesn't matter to those who're eyeing the other variants.

Beading-less doors: Why fuss over beadings? Beadings on the door are a means to an end. When NVH control is reportedly much superior to the desi makes, should it really matter to me as a buyer?

OVRM control placement: People frowned upon similar power window switch placement in the Indica/Indigo, and they are certainly frowning upon the Duster too, aren't they? Will option-starved people strike off the Duster because its OVRM control placement is odd? The less-than-desirable reputation of Indicas and Indigos is not attributable to the switchgear placement, but to other substantial and less cosmetic reasons. I think we indeed are nit-picking here. We know there can't be perfect machines.

The Duster is cheaper than both the similarly specced Safari and the Scorpio too, and it has drawn very decent, in fact, surprised road test reviews by most testers.

Directly speaking to your point, I feel there's nothing foreign about the Fords and Hondas other than engineering and top management. Heck, they've been around for long enough for me to consider them as Indian as a Mahindra for all practical purposes!
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Old 5th August 2012, 23:32   #462
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Took an exhaustive test drive of the Renault Duster today- nothing new to add to an already superb official review but here is my 2 cents on why i feel it is the perfect car for an urban Indian family-

1. Exterior- It is a crossover but looks like a proper SUV. Big headlights, lots of chrome upfront, sporty underbody cladding, recessed fog lamps, roof rails, strong wheel arches and a wide stance gives it good presence. Excellent driving position that gives good road view and a bit more respect than average sedans from evil drivers who think they own the road. At 4.3 mts in length and a turning radius lower than many sedans, its just the right size for the city too and a 205 mm ground clearance just makes it the perfect vehicle to handle our screwed up roads, and the occasional jaunt into wilderness. I just wish they had put the spare wheel on the rear door to make it extra-SUV!

2. Engine- It is available in a choice of 3 engines- one petrol, and two diesels. I drove the top end 110 bhp diesel, and what petrol car owners wonít like is that the turbo takes its time to kick in. When i hit a bump, i had to downshift to 1st gear, which my iVtec would easily do in 2nd. But once the turbo spools up, it does so with style at about 1800 rpm- rest assured you can have a big smile plastered on your face when you ride the wave of torque. Refined, silent, i didnít feel i was driving a diesel, and has enough grunt for lugging it out on the highways too- if you have the budget for it, i would recommend this engine option over the others.

3. Ride quality- This is its trump card, and in typical European fashion, the Duster simply dismissed every bump and pothole i subjected it to. High speed or at low speed, I really didnít feel a thing. Negligible body roll, a super light clutch, and good steering feedback just completes the package.

4. Features- The top end model has it all- ABS, airbags, steering mounted controls, leather seats, power mirrors, Bluetooth and USB music system, rear AC vent etc. The only thing it is missing is climate control, but thatsí something we can live without.

5. Efficiency- The ARAI efficiency of the 1.5 Dci 110 bhp diesel is 19.4 kmpl while the 85 bhp diesel gets upto 20.4 kmpl- thatís mindboggling frugality for an SUV. To put things in perspective, the Scorpio has a ARAI efficiency of 13 kmpl- there again is the beauty of this segment, the Crossover- you get SUV swagger at sedan running costs.

6. Interiors- You donít get it all, and this is where the Duster falters. It is built to a cost it shows, but when i say falters it stays within the range of its immediate competition ie. Scorpio and Safari, but Renault could have just sealed the deal with a notch better stuff. The interior color combination is good- black and beige on the top end model. The leg space is good in the front seats and average in rear. The boot is humongous, and i hear Renault is going to offer jump seats to make this an occasional 7 seater. The gear knob thankfully does not vibrate. While it seems built to last, plenty of hard, shiny plastic around, and i hated the fake wood finish too. The rear AC unit intrudes into rear passenger space, and the seat height adjust levers seems from the 80s, and the silver painted door handles and mirrors are shocking. The button placements are typically French quirky- steering audio controls are in a lever mounted on the steering stalk, and mirror controls are in the center near the handbrake!

7. Price- Priced from INR 7.2 lakhs- 11.2 lakhs, the Duster goes head to head against established players Scorpio and Safari. What you lose out are 2 seats and a bit of butch, but what you gain is efficiency, practicality, and excellent ride quality. My pick of the lot is the 110 bhp RxZ variant, priced at INR 11 lakhs. You lose out on the substandard leather seats and tacky wood finish, but get every useful goody.

Crossovers are the perfect product for Indian roads as they give the best of both worlds. To sum up, if i were looking for a vehicle to buy in the INR 11 lakh range, it would be the Renault Duster that i would plonk my cash on. Even in its 4X2 version, the Duster has enough SUV creds, its packs in great efficiency, excellent ride quality, and most essential features and some. Renaultís India presence is improving and at the moment, service in atleast the metros will not be an issue. The Duster is the reason footfalls are happening at the Renault showrooms- i had to wait for about 45 mins to get a test drive, and the display vehicle seemed as if it had been through a nuclear war, such was the wear and tear of prospective owners on it.

I am not marketing any brand here, but kudos is due to Renault for introducing the first acceptable, and affordable crossover in India, and a great alternative to mainstream sedans. Its not perfect, but its closest to it- (The Yeti is overpriced). The Ford Ecosport and the Suzuki Alpha is on the way, there will be more and they will in all probability better the Duster, but till they come in, hereís to the current king of the urban jungle!
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Old 6th August 2012, 02:40   #463
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I know it's OT, but wanted a quick clarification: how is that possible?? Since the wheels and the engine are connected through a specific gear ratio, the relationship between the engine speed and the wheels becomes an unchangeable constant as far as I know.

Of course, we're veering towards a purely technical discussion that can be taken to a different thread if there's no definite immediate answer.
Makes me think. Mine is automatic so maybe a down shift happened from 5 to 4 even around 80 kmph & I assumed it is still in 5th gear. Or even measurement inaccuracies with naked eye. I will watch it again by driving it in paddle shift mode and see. Going down hill and up hill at the same speed in same gear - Do you think the rpm stays constant ? Or when there is head wind and tail wind ? Or when there is one person versus 5 adults in the car ? I'll make note of it next time.

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Old 6th August 2012, 03:58   #464
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I live in Siliguri where the hills (read bad roads) are nearby. Some of my friends live in nearby farms where I love to drop in for a beer or two, but this once every 2 months or so. Further with children (6 and 3.5) growing up, I will need a car which can pull up the hills, take the kids for a weekend getaway. And also do city duty. You can hardly call Siliguri a city though. The streets are narrow, parking is difficult, even for small sedans. A hatch is what is popular in this down; this is hatchback country!

Back to my requirements and I was torn between the two Dusters. However, I am surprised that none of the reviews, including the one on Team-bhp has one detailed review on the 85's performance. And if I correctly recall, team-bhp was supposed to get their hands on the 85 Duster soon and review it. But nada. Nothing. Nothing has come of it. I am not surprised.
I had read your previous thread but since you were spoilt with the balenos handling and I am not a sedan guy I kept shut.
Given your requirements. I think you should hold on for the Eco Sport. I think it's gonna be one stunning looking compact SUV which might fit the bill for you.
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Old 6th August 2012, 05:58   #465
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Makes me think. Mine is automatic so maybe a down shift happened from 5 to 4 even around 80 kmph & I assumed it is still in 5th gear. Or even measurement inaccuracies with naked eye. I will watch it again by driving it in paddle shift mode and see. Going down hill and up hill at the same speed in same gear - Do you think the rpm stays constant ? Or when there is head wind and tail wind ? Or when there is one person versus 5 adults in the car ? I'll make note of it next time.
Under the important assumption that the clutch is completely engaged (meaning, pressure plates are coupling the input & output shafts with full pressure and zero slippage), I'd think any external influence/resistance can only lead to a drop in wheel speed, which forces engine RPM down through the inflexible gear relationship.

As you say, perhaps it needs closer observation, due to the reasons you mentioned. Sorry for the brief 'off-roading'!
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