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Old 20th July 2017, 17:36   #5626
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My first car was a Hyundai Santro Xing 2009, bought on 29-Nov-2009, and has served me well for 8 years and 97K kms. And I really loved it due to fact that it was my first vehicle, and also has never ever let me down. Though I have always been particular about getting it serviced regularly at H.A.S.S.

Come Mar 2017, I relocated from Delhi to Bangalore, and since we were new to the place and did not want to invest in a new car immediately, as our beloved Santro was doing great, we took the decision of taking it along. As my relocation expenses were paid by my company, it didn't hurt either to tranport it via Agarwal Packers safely to Bangalore. We had decided to keep it for another year or two, so initiated the RTO formalities of paying the LTT for Karnataka. But at the back of my mind was this constant itch to upgrade and I started the plans by taking with my family on the same. Since our hometown is Kerala, there will regular travels of 1200+ kms and family was also convinced on getting a better vehicle in terms of safety and space.

The search begins:
With a budget of 12 lacs, we started our search and narrowed in only on crossovers, as I do not like sedans, and SUVs were out of reach. Shortlisted S-Cross, Brezza, Duster and Creta. Dropped Ecosport altogether as somehow I didnt the overall looks and size, though my wife was very much interested in this.

Took test drive of S-Cross first and we were impressed with the overall space and comfort. But we both didn't like the looks at all.

Then came in the Brezza. Though the test drive was almost similar to the S-Cross in terms of power, the wife liked the looks and overall package. We were looking at the ZDI+ variant with all the bells and whistles which came to 12.8 lacs for the dual tone RED+BLACK variant (ridiculous that the dual tone variant commands 80K additinal just for the colour theme). But the biggest let down was the waiting period. Every other dealer in Bangalore was quoting 4-5 months of waiting period. Then I got a call from Kataria Automobiles and they commit 1.5 months. I clearly told them that I am going ahead with the booking only because I want the vehicle by mid of June as I will be travelling to Kerala on 1-July. They were very confident and assured me that the vehicle will be delivered by mid of June. So, on 28-Apr-2017, I went to Kataria showroom and booked the Brezza ZDI+ Red-Black by paying the booking amount of 21K.

Now the wait begins, and I was constantly in touch with the SA, though there was no proactive communication from their side. By first week of June, I still don't have any information of allotment. I started checking every alternalte day, but everytime I get one reason or other, but no information of the car.

In between, we took a look at the Duster and Creta. Creta was ruled out due to the following:
  • Firstly it was out of budget
  • Still I tried to strech a bit more as I really liked the looks, but even the top-end model didn't have cruise control which is a must have for me as I will doing regular drives to Kerala which is 600+ kms one side.

Then came in the Duster. Eventhough I heard bad reviews about the bland interiors, somehow for me they were not such a big deal. As soon as we took the test drive, I just forgot about any other bad reviews. I just fell for the ride quality. And the family was impressed with the space and comfort too. We decided to check on the deal and then finalize.

Had some discussions with my SA (Thushar) and came to know that Renault was offering close to 1.1 lacs discount on the Duster (in terms of Insurance - 45K, Exchange bonus - 35K, Cash discount - 15K and some carnival discount). But since I already went ahead with the exchange of my Santro with the True Value people at Kataria, I could not avail the exchange bonus part. So, the final quote came out to be 14.25 lacs OTR for 85PS RXZ MT model.

Finally after lots of discussion with family, went to Renault Silk Board, and booked the Duster 85PS RXZ in Slate Grey on 11-Jun-2017, with a promised delivery of 19-Jun-2017. On the 15-Jun-2017, went to Kataria and cancelled the booking for Brezza and got the full refund within a week.

Delivery:
As promised, got the delivery of my new Dusty on 19-Jun-2017.

Renault Duster : Official Review-grey-dusty.jpg

Now, coming to my thoughts about the vehicle after taking delivery

Interior design & quality
As stated earlier, the interiors are not much to talk about, but serves my purpose. Somehow, I ;have started liking the dual tone Black+Brown colour combintaion, though I initial wanted all black

Interior space & comfort
Duster offers plenty of space in the front seats. The rear seats are supremely comfortable as well. But the seat are not up to the mark. They could have done a better job here.

Driving position, ergonomics, controls & MID
The driving position is definitely commanding and give a good feeling while behind the wheel. I am still getting used to the control stalk layout, as its the opposite in Hyundai.

Air conditioner cooling & effectiveness
Since the RXZ model has ACC, its quite powerful. Cools the cabin in no time even in the hot climate which I experienced in TN during my trip to Kerala.

Audio system & sound quality
The built in Media-Nav system is quite good and has everything which one would need. Though I still wish if it could have Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. The rear camera quality is also very crisp and clear

Interior storage, practicality & boot space
The one big complaint on the pre-facelift model was that the Duster did not have enough spaces for knick-knacks which has been unfortunately carried over to the 2016 facelift. It simply cannot hold any bottles in convenient locations. For that matter, it doesn’t have any bottle holders on the doors. The only bottle holder present is in between the front two seats which is covered anyways by the aftermarket hand rests that people put up anyways.

Boot space
If you need a car/SUV for boot space, Duster is your answer. It can gulp huge loads of luggage even with the parcel tray in position.

Engine performance & Driveability
85ps K9K is known for its low speed drivability. If it is city runabout with occasional highway trips and you are a sedate driver, I would happily recommend the 85ps. Saying that the 110ps is much more comfortable at highway speeds and also it does have a 6th gear for a smoother cruising at highway speeds with lower rpms. 85ps would obviously do highways speeds but it isn’t at its smoothest best at those speeds.

Gearshift & clutch
The 5-speed Gearshift on the 85ps version Dusters has sort of a mid-ranged throw and you could probably call it notchy. The clutch is much lighter on 2016 Facelifted Dusters now. You wont have to do a leg workout in stop-go traffic.

Overall NVH levels
Pre-facelift had below average NVH insulation and the same unfortunately seems to be the case with the 2016 facelifted version. That wind noice is present >110kmph and the engine is fairly audible inside the cabin at anything above 2000rpm.

Fuel efficiency: City and Highway
I have so far completed 2500 kms and currently getting aroung 15 kmpl in City and around 18kmpl in Highway.

Suspension & ride quality
Well, suspension and ride quality is what makes a Duster what it is and how many it sold. It is extremely comfortable and pliant both in the front seats and rear seats. Nothing comes even close to beating it. You can nonchalantly dismiss road irregularities.

Handling, on-road behaviour, grip levels, stability, body roll & turning radius
Duster inspite of its tall boy SUV looks has tremendously low body roll. Handles and turns pretty good. Turning radius also I believe is slightly lower than the Ecosport. My Duster came shod with Apollo Apterras, but I am satisfied with the grip levels.

Visibility & size of mirrors
The ORVMs are decently sized and offer a good view of the rear but a size bigger would have definitely helped as well. The IRVM has a clip on display in my Duster for the aftermarket rear view camera. It is pretty wide and offers the view of the entire rear windshield. I wouldn’t be able to comment on the OEM IRVM’s view as I have never used it. The visibility outside is great due to the large window area. There is slight blind spot due to the A pillar but it isn't as bad as the Ecosport.

Steering
The facelifted Duster does not seem to have the aggressive turn back of the steering that the pre-facelifted Duster seems to have had. I remember holding on pretty tight when going through the Chickmagalur ghats on the pre-facelifted Duster. Steering feedback from road undulations has also reduced a bit which is good. Duster’s steering has always been a little on the heavier side which is good and this seems to be the same with the facelift as well. Parallel parking sure does take a little more effort than say a Creta or Ecosport.

Braking
I have no complaints on the braking capability on the Duster. It has enough bite and the pedal has a nice feel.

Ground clearance
You get 205mm on the regular and 210mm on the AWD which remains the same in the 2016 facelift versions. That is more than enough for any road in my view.

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2017 at 17:37. Reason: Adding your post to the official review thread :)
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Old 26th July 2017, 00:12   #5627
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review - Mudflap Repair

Hi everyone,

Tried my hand at plastic welding for my Duster. Results are very satisfying mainly due to the DIY process. Could save some money which I would have to shell out for a new set of mudflaps.

-The Incident-
While driving in a narrow gully, I had to take the vehicle over a covered drain. The concrete slab failed and the Left Front Tyre fell into the drain. The vehicle on the LHS was resting on the sub-frame. Tried slotting it in reverse and got the vehicle un-stuck but the spinning tyre somehow caught the mudflap and ripped it apart. Picked it up and kept it thinking it was salvageable.

-Service Center Episode-
The duster went for its 1,10,000 km service last month and I asked for the mud flaps to be replaced as a set. I was told they would cost about INR 1,700/-. Later after the service was over thhey said they only had stock of the New Generation (>2015 manufactured) model mudflaps.

-Resourceful Youtube Video-
I have subscribed to this channel Moonfleet41 putting up videos by the name Delboy's Garage. They guy there has a lot of resourceful videos on how to work on motorcycles and do metal working and using power tools to do your garage projects. You all might want to check this video which I watched before the next step:

https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rc...1G6v9_QhKjy2hg

-Soldering Iron-
As per the video went on to buy the lowest wattage soldering iron available on amazon. Got hold of a Stanley branded soldering iron delivered free for INR 210/-
http://www.amazon.in/Stanley-69031B-...ilpage_o05_s00

Apart from this used a bit of steel wire for making a sort of staple for added strength and used old zip-ties as a filler after completing the welding process for a somewhat flush finish.

-End Result-

Back
Name:  IMG1038.JPG
Views: 1450
Size:  107.1 KB

Front - You can see the tyre rubbing marks in this picture which ripped it off.
Renault Duster : Official Review-img1037.jpg

Back where it belongs
Renault Duster : Official Review-img1039.jpg

Using the same process and a little improvisation repaired the rear mudflap as well which had a broken tab.
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Old 26th July 2017, 07:34   #5628
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Congrats on the car! Looks like you are all set for the road.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Repsol View Post
Air conditioner cooling & effectiveness
Since the RXZ model has ACC, its quite powerful. Cools the cabin in no time even in the hot climate which I experienced in TN during my trip to Kerala.
This is definitely good. The first generation Duster has pretty weak AC. We need to push it way high to get good cooling for the cabin. Looks like this has been fixed? Or do you still experience the unit putting in more effort even for mildly warm scenarios?

Quote:
Audio system & sound quality
The built in Media-Nav system is quite good and has everything which one would need.
How is the audio quality? Again for Gen-1 it was nothing worth talking about. I got it changed within a week of getting the car.

Quote:
Boot space
If you need a car/SUV for boot space, Duster is your answer. It can gulp huge loads of luggage even with the parcel tray in position.
The dual folding parcel is a neat idea!

Quote:
Engine performance & Driveability
85ps K9K is known for its low speed drivability. If it is city runabout with occasional highway trips and you are a sedate driver, I would happily recommend the 85ps.
Very true. You stay at just about triple digits on the highway and the car works wonders for you. Beyond that the engine strains and so does your FE.

Quote:
Overall NVH levels
Pre-facelift had below average NVH insulation and the same unfortunately seems to be the case with the 2016 facelifted version.
If you dont do too much rough roads (I dont mean Bangalore roads! ) next change of tyres you can try Micheline Latitude. A softer tyre but definitely gets the tyre noise down. Wind noise will persist. I could feel this change.

Quote:
Fuel efficiency: City and Highway
I have so far completed 2500 kms and currently getting aroung 15 kmpl in City and around 18kmpl in Highway.
Again this is what even I have seen. But some have reported 20+ too. I could never get that levels of FE. Its always been 16-18.

Quote:
Suspension & ride quality
Well, suspension and ride quality is what makes a Duster what it is and how many it sold. It is extremely comfortable and pliant both in the front seats and rear seats. Nothing comes even close to beating it. You can nonchalantly dismiss road irregularities.
Do I even need to say anything? !
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Old 26th July 2017, 08:15   #5629
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

A quick question :

Has any one tried retro fitting the Lodgy 2nd row a/c on a Duster? Can you share your experiences /cost etc if you have?

The thinking is that since both cars share the platform and what seems to be a lot of sheet metal it should be possible for a good interior guy to do a good job even if it is not a drop-in fit.

Thoughts / opinions?

Last edited by sridhu : 26th July 2017 at 08:17.
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Old 26th July 2017, 10:39   #5630
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Congrats on the car! Looks like you are all set for the road.
Thanks @ampere

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
This is definitely good. The first generation Duster has pretty weak AC. We need to push it way high to get good cooling for the cabin. Looks like this has been fixed? Or do you still experience the unit putting in more effort even for mildly warm scenarios?
Yes, Renault has definitely worked on the AC bit. I am normally on ECO mode most of the time, especially during highway runs. And in ECO mode, the performance of AC is lowered a bit is what Renault says. But to be honest, even on ECO mode, I always find it very effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
How is the audio quality? Again for Gen-1 it was nothing worth talking about. I got it changed within a week of getting the car.
I am not an audiophile, so for me the audio quality is not bad. But I have to admit that, at higher volumes, there is a bit of vibrations coming from the speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Very true. You stay at just about triple digits on the highway and the car works wonders for you. Beyond that the engine strains and so does your FE.
True. During my recent trip from Bangalore - Alleppey, I was using Cruise Control most of the time @ 110 and it was just sailing without any issues. And the FE at the end of the trip was 18 KMPL (tank-to-tank).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
If you dont do too much rough roads (I dont mean Bangalore roads! ) next change of tyres you can try Micheline Latitude. A softer tyre but definitely gets the tyre noise down. Wind noise will persist. I could feel this change.
That's the tyre I will be looking for during my next change.
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Old 30th July 2017, 20:42   #5631
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Exclamation Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Hi Bhpians,

I need an urgent advice on a Petrol Duster. Is it worth buying a pre owned 2014 petrol duster. Has the engine changed now for petrol dusters? How about the parts? If in case I end up buying. I am confused between an Eco boost and a petrol duster that would be worth picking up?

I already paid a token to confirm the petrol Duster done about 39k RxL, interior needs a desperate cleaning and Tyres not that great would last 5k more. But started researching and found that the engine is now updated to 1.5L. If the parts for petrol 1.6 aren't an issue I don't mind but don't want to end up hard-earned money in drain if it is a changed engine and later I loose all my money.
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Old 30th July 2017, 21:40   #5632
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster2 View Post
Hi Bhpians,

I need an urgent advice on a Petrol Duster.
How much you are planning to shell out for this vehicle? The new Duster Petrol 1.5 RxL manual is available at OTR 11.06 lakhs in Hyderabad and CVT one lakh more as per cardekho.
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Old 1st August 2017, 14:52   #5633
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repsol View Post
My first car was a Hyundai Santro Xing 2009, bought on 29-Nov-2009, and has served me well for 8 years and 97K kms. And I really loved it due to fact that it was my first vehicle, and also has never ever let me down. Though I have always been particular about getting it serviced regularly at H.A.S.S.
Congrats for your new car.. you have described it in apt words.. I own the same model for past 11 months and have recently completed my 2nd free servicing for 10,500 kms; Have driven it on long drives on good aswell as rough roads and it has come out quite well.. have no complaints so far (keeping my fingers crossed while I say this ). Am getting fuel efficiency between 15 to 17 in city conditions..
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Old 3rd August 2017, 21:22   #5634
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Hello
Have booked a Duster AWD and waiting for it since past 10 days but in the mean while lunch of Jeep Compass at such lucrative price is alluring and forcing my mind to rethink. I certainly can't afford the 4x4 limited model but may be the base sports model with additional 2lakhs. Am totally confused now. Most of my friends suggesting to go for Compass base model by cancelling the Duster AWD.

I some how still find Duster more appealing then Compass as far as features are concerned. I don't believe in procuring a vehicle just for the sake of its brand. I am looking for a vehicle that has good GC which I believe Duster (210mm) has but jeep people say the Compass GC (178mm) is after loading so the actual GC of Compass is more. This is so confusing, if it's more then how much more? Does GC of Duster AWD will go down below 178mm when loaded?

The other issue is I wouldn't get 4x4 but have to live with 2x4 if I go for Compass that too after pay some additional 2 lakhs. I wouldn't get cruise control, navigation or other frills I would get in Duster.

What I find most lucrative in Compass is the 2l engine that give 175+ PS. The question is do this extra power is worth compensating the features of a Duster ADW? Please guide.

Just to let you know about my requirements
1. I drive for 70 to 90 kms every day on all kinds of road. At times in place where road may not be there at all.

2. By profession am in architect and a nature photographer. I mostly shoot wildlife and nature. So a powerful vehicle with good GC is a must. A 4x4 is certainly luxurious.

3. My budget is 15-17 lakhs. Am not looking for a fancy vehicle that will burn my pocket afterwards in maintenance.

Kindly help in making a decision.


Kindly advise
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Old 3rd August 2017, 23:33   #5635
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaktinanda View Post
Kindly help in making a decision.
Kindly advise
With your sort of driving I thing you are very much dependent on your car to get around. Going off road for a bit of photography and travelling to sites for your work would need a good ground clearance too.

Here is my opinion considering just the two vehicles you mentioned.

Jeep Compass:
+Solid build
+2.0 Engine + Manual Gearbox
+Brand new Launch, will age well

-Unknown Maintenance Cost (service, fuel and insurance)
-Out of reach 4x4
-Below par level of equipment
-stiffer ride (based on initial reports)

Duster AWD:
+Benchmark Ride Quality and Fuss Free performance
+AWD
+Known maintenance costs

-Newer model (<2 years)
-Poor Resale

FCA have really surprised us with the pricing but they have to prove themselves by providing reasonably priced after sales services. That is what will give the product a true VFM status as in the course of wining the vehicle with your sort of usage the difference of 2-3 rs.km of upkeep cost would mean a difference of 2-3 Lac rupees in a time frame of 3 years.

Other Points:
* You will learn that cruise control on our roads is quite a show off sort of feature. Its good to have but not a necessity.

* I wouldn't fret much about the laden GC of the Duster, the underbody is well protected and very flat. Have never scraped the two dusters we own in a combined running of 1.7 Lac kms and we have done fully laden trips on kuchcha roads as well.

* Friends will say stuff and pump you up since they wont have to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle after its bought.

* I would give the Compass at least two years in the market before even considering it as a replacement for the Duster. On paper it looks good. But Jeep has no past track record in terms of anything (reliability, build quality, parts availability, after sales support etc.) in India.

* The last 2.0L Diesel I have driven was the Cruz and its fuel economy never bettered the figure of 12 kmpl. In comparison, the 1.5L Duster engine will be more frugal.

*Take a Test Drive if possible in the time frame.
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Old 4th August 2017, 00:21   #5636
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
Benchmark Ride Quality and Fuss Free performance

This is spot on. Thank you so much. I leaned towards DUSTER AWD more and would wait for its delivery.

After study of specifications and reviews Compass, I believe, Jeep has only worked upon selling its brand name at an affordable price in India then making an affordable feature rich vehicle.

Thank you so much

Last edited by ampere : 4th August 2017 at 04:50. Reason: Trimmed quoted post
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Old 4th August 2017, 09:49   #5637
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Default Renault Duster : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaktinanda View Post
This is spot on. Thank you so much. I leaned towards DUSTER AWD more and would wait for its delivery.

After study of specifications and reviews Compass, I believe, Jeep has only worked upon selling its brand name at an affordable price in India then making an affordable feature rich vehicle.

Thank you so much

Believe me. I got mine Duster AWD RXZ Adventure edition last week. And it's worth. I also thought when compass came. I was already feeling regret. But once I got to know about the features and base sport model is petrol ,which is in our range. I had a grin on my face for having Duster AWD. More over it was a December 2016 model so got it for awesome 14.86L on road in Bangalore. So no regrets at all.

Just wait for the Duster AWD and enjoy its ride.

Just work on the headlights once you get the car. They are not good at all. And for you driving requirements you need better lighting.

----
Giri

Last edited by girishar : 4th August 2017 at 09:52.
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Old 4th August 2017, 12:15   #5638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girishar View Post
Believe me. I got mine Duster AWD RXZ Adventure edition last week. And it's worth. I also thought when compass came.
========
Just work on the headlights once you get the car. They are not good at all. And for you driving requirements you need better lighting.

----
Giri

Thank you so much sir. Even I was looking for that adventure edition but unfortunately it's not their anymore. Am going for Compass TD today but don't think anything is their in Compass that can distract my mind now from having and AWD
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Old 4th August 2017, 12:19   #5639
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

I have an AWD bought in December 2015 and have driven 33000 km. It is a fantastic vehicle and I love the drive. I have scraped the bottom on a rock during a bit of off roading, but the underbody was so well protected that only some scratches remain. The power delivery even in 6th gear (only used outside Kerala) is phenomenal so overtaking is a breeze. Good roads, bad roads and even no roads are no problem. The mileage is also decent.Owners of AWD do not sell their vehicles unless there is some compelling reason. The service centers are fairly good and well distributed. So you will do well to stick with the AWD. The only let down is in the interiors, which once you are on the road, who cares!
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Old 4th August 2017, 13:21   #5640
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Dears, I need a suggestion/reference to install an In-Dash DVD/GPS unit in my Terrano. Any place around Bengaluru south would help. I want to be careful as it requires skin-out of original wires, drilling hole etc. I will check with Nissan service center also.

Got this unit from US through my friend, it has a rear view cam as well. Do you suggest to make a hole on rear bumper OR mount it on the number plate? I heard it will be difficult to review during rain if installed on bumper, but some say view is not great from number place. Please suggest the right location.
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