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Old 22nd July 2012, 00:19   #46
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It was a long wait but worth waiting.. So detailed and in depths. No comparison with other mag reviews. Felt as though im actually checking out the vehicle.
Big thanks to team bhp..
looking forward to a comparison between 110 and 85
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Old 22nd July 2012, 00:25   #47
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
In summary, those who buy the entry & mid-variants for 8 - 10 lakhs will learn to live with it. But customers spending 12 - 13 lakh for the higher 110 PS Dusters will inevitably feel short changed.
And how much more short-changed customers in Karnataka will feel when they pay no less than 12.5 lac just for the 85 PS one!!

GTO, your review exceeds expectations of even those that keenly waited for it. If I say it was worth more than all of the other reviews put together, you can take that literally (I'm sure you will if you've already read other reviews!).

The biggest disappointments for me (a few of which I realized through this review):
1. Hard clutch - this is a deal-breaker, because I know a hard clutch is enough to turn excitement to regret.
2. Closely placed pedals - absolute irritant
3. No dead pedal - One likely buys a workhorse to drive extensively, and if driving comfort is not one of his/her top priorities, then what is?
4. No seat height adjustment in the 85 - ridiculous omission, though not the only one
5. No arm rests - ...like I said, "not the only one"
6. NCAP rating of 3/5 for a 14 lac Duster when a 7 lac i20 is a 5 star...

Why did Dacia/Renault have to get extra innovative and have the fuel lid opener connected with the door locks? Over time, everyone will know that the best shot at a laptop in the rear seat of a Duster is at the fuel station!

Why do we need to have a hydraulic-strut-for-the-hood gimmick instead of a basic one-touch window up/down or a speed-sensitive auto-locking feature?

I am particularly unhappy with the hydraulic strut:
1. The good old method of lifting the bonnet and propping up the rod is so much 'cooler'; I want some old-school stuff to remain forever.
2. It is mostly unnecessary (except in certain exceptional situations maybe) just like those rain-sensing wiper-gimmicks in some cars
3. That's one more thing to go wrong and needing to be fixed; not particularly useful on the rare occasions of having to open the hood, and it turns out to be a liability when it stops working. Picture the awkward situation where you have someone holding up the hood for you!

Is it truly so difficult to make something really basic and normal that we don't realize? I'm now back to square one, keenly waiting for the Ecosport the same way I was waiting for the Duster a few months ago. Only, I'm pinning my hopes on Ford's ability to bring out good products and their fresh memories of the New Fiesta nightmare.

Last edited by skandyhere : 22nd July 2012 at 00:36. Reason: Added Content
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Old 22nd July 2012, 00:27   #48
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Ahhh...the long awaited Duster official review!! Nice one.
Of course like so many other members, I am going to patiently wait for the 85PS review.
It will be interesting too see how refined the engine is and how useful is the fixed geometry turbo charger.
I see a lot of complaint about the wiper blades. Is it possible to get them changed to better after market ones?
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Old 22nd July 2012, 00:33   #49
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Had read about the airbag. Another name is given than the usual srs airbag. Can i know the differences between the two types of airbags. Is it superior to srs or inferior to it.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 00:59   #50
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Nice Review GTO!!!
I am loving my Fusion more after reading the review. At the same time if had not owned and experienced Fusion earlier, would have easily been bowled over by the Duster like the juntaa.
At the same time, I am very happy that the ride quality is reported top-notch in the review. If only our juntaa can appreciate that.
I am surprised that you have not mentioned anything regarding few points:
1. Actual Mileage
2. Headlights/Fog lights performance
3. Wipers performance

I am surprised that the elastic bottle holder is a useful and innovative feature but won't be useful with occasional 5th passenger.
I can say that the pricing is 'clever' and comparing it with Yeti is not right. Yes it comes near XUV though.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 01:35   #51
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Great review GTO, as always.

I'd like to contribute with a few points.

- The 4x4 variant would be great, if it arrives soon.

- Quality overall needs to be improved. Especially the beading around the insides of the door-sills. I hope they address this issue in the face-lift a few years from now.

- Center-AC - delete option would be welcome, if people don't want it. I certainly wouldn't.

- Seat-adjustment levers are a huge let-down. Not expected in a car that costs in excess of 10 lakhs.

- 110 horsepower 6-speed Duster would be absolutely perfect for the frequent highway driver. I really can't think of any other car that offers such an all-round package.

- I positively loathe that faux wood trim. It's ghastly.

- The biggest USP of the Duster is it's SUV-like stance and appearance while delivering on car-like driving experience.

- Few months down the line, I won't be surprised to see 5/10 Dusters with knackered wheel-arches.

- Nissan's version of the Duster looks more appealing. Somehow.

This is a fine product. Sure, it's a little rough around the edges. But it should work. In a country where the Safari and Scorpio have sold by the truck-loads, the Duster should do reasonably well, if not exceedingly.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 02:17   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Other Points:

&bull; Thanks to BHPian MAS for pointing this out : In Tamil Nadu, the sales tax for cars costing <10 Lakhs is 10%, and that for cars costing >10 lakhs is 15%. As Renault chose to price the 85 BHP RxL+ Option Pack (and the 110 BHP RxL) 16,000 more than 10 Lakh, the customer ends up paying Rs. 50,800 additional taxes!
Hey GTO,

It's the same here in K'taka. Road tax is 15.5% for cars priced < 10L & it is 19% for cars > 10L. Guess what, the variant of the duster which seems most balanced in terms features & price a.k.a "85PS Rxl + Option Pack" costs 10.03 L ex-showroom BLR. Damn! just 3K less & the on road price could have been significantly lesser.

In fact, many car manufacturers tend to price variants @ 9.99L ex-showroom Delhi. Since the local taxes in most states & esp in K'taka are higher, it ends up in the higher tax bracket and results in excess payout to the tune of 40 odd thousand just as taxes.

Why can't manufacturers take this into account and price variants such that ex-showroom prices don't exceed critical price barriers (5L, 10L etc) anywhere in India. If only wishes were horses! Me thinks..

This if done, will surely benefit everyone & the govt doesn't loose out much either.

Regards,
Abhi

Last edited by naut : 22nd July 2012 at 02:18.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 03:02   #53
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Superb and much awaited review! Covers all the details, and i don't really have any questions left in my mind after reading it.
Thanks for adding the final touches to this review, Rehaan.

Quote:
As for the 85 PS version, just a one word confirmation that its in exactly the same state of tune as the Sunny will be enough for me.
Well, nearly the same tune as the Sunny D, but in the Duster, it makes max torque at a 100 rpm less! The difference in kerb weight is merely 90 kilos (or one really healthy passenger). I haven't a doubt that the Duster 85 PS will be far superior to the 110 PS in the city (unless our upcoming test throws some unpleasant surprises).

Quote:
Originally Posted by speed kills View Post
Got a quick question for you, if you had 12.5 big ones to spare at this point of time, would you pick up the Duster (85 O Diesel)?
I'd go for:

Diesel : Vento TDi Highline

Petrol : Linea T-Jet

Have always been a sedan guy. Get better quality, equipment, performance, handling, braking and driving pleasure for the same money (vis a vis SUVs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by adentist View Post
Finally a picture comparing it to another SUV.
Tell you a secret : The Scorpio is carrying 6 adults and some kids in that very picture. Can you tell? The black glasses are great at concealing who's inside .

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameerg001 View Post
Were the feel of brake pedal, similar to the sunny ?
The brakes were, overall, much superior to the Sunny.

Quote:
2- Do we get AC vents under the front seats, for rear passengers ?
AFAIK, nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Good to know about the absorbent ride quality and secure handling, i feel sick in constantly bobbing Scorpios' and Safaris'.
Believe me, the awesome ride quality is one of the most endearing qualities of the Duster. I'd rather be a passenger in a Duster with lesser space than a Safari or Xylo with more space (and more body roll too!!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
On the SLIDING REAR SEAT bit - I noticed that the seat back, in its current position, touches the rear wheel wells. Hence would a sliding option made any sense at all ? Unless of course the wheel well itself can be redesigned.
If you are selling a product for India, what's a little effort in making it better for our market? Indian customers emphasize on rear seat space & comfort. If Maruti can design a completely new car for India (i.e. Ertiga), a sliding rear seat alteration is a walk in the park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUXX View Post
Just 2 quick question- are you sure that the Duster 110 doesn't receive the new improved engine of the Fluence
The power ratings are different and the turbo-lag is more. Thus, I'm pretty sure they aren't running the same tune

Quote:
Originally Posted by micrographics View Post
GTO, did you checked the Wiper Blade size.
I didn't notice the size (and thus, assume that it was satisfactory). However, the shuddering blades reminded me of the cheap stuff that Mahindra used in my '97 Jeep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liferocks View Post
Just One question Was the primary AC good enough? Do we really need that Protruding AC unit at the back?
Already answered in my review. Please scan through again. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
If you were in market today for the Sunny, would you buy the Duster instead. Why or why not either way?
Comparing the ABS + Airbags variants, the Sunny is 2 lakhs cheaper. Thus, for a workhorse & rear seat comfort, I'd chose the Sunny. The Nissan has amazing ride comfort too and is unbelievably light & convenient within the city. Importantly, I just couldn't find a comfortable driving position in the Duster. In contrast, the Sunny is just immensely user-friendly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Was music system bad, because of a bad amplifier or the speaker?
My guess is on the speakers.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd July 2012 at 03:06.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 05:34   #54
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Excellent review GTO. The review was right on time. Thank you for including my observation on pricing strategy (or goof up) by Renault. Goes to show how much information you guys collect out of each post made here.

Cost cutting is evident on the interiors. To me, the fabric seats remind me of my military bag during my school days. I'm sure it is going to be a dust magnet. The audio controls are nicely placed, but look low quality.

The top of the line duster with leather seats would cost a whopping 13.5 Lakhs + in Chennai. I took your advice seriously and this week picked up a pre-worshipped 2010 Dec 4x4 Endeavour run 19K kms with 5 speed Automatic along with all bells and whistles and an extended 3 rd year warranty for 14.5 Lakhs. My requirements kept changing and the Duster's pricing strategy and your thread on lateral upgrades provided the much needed motivation.I guess I'm now equipping myself for a Leh visit.

That said, I wish Renault good luck with their no nonsense offering.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 05:42   #55
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

It is surprising that they haven't provided a rear door release lever on the floor below the driver seat for the Duster. It doesn't feel comforting to know that someone can just press on the back door button and take away the stuff from the boot(if the doors are unlocked). The driver should have control of the rear door opening through the remote lever.

For the passengers using the (dealer fitted) jump seats, is there a lever from inside to open the rear door, if they want to come out or do they depend on someone opening the read door from outside (by pressing the button on the door) ?
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Old 22nd July 2012, 07:58   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado
Does the rear parcel shelf fold in between? Is it a 2 piece parcel shelf ?
.
The parcel shelf is very deep with moulded recesses to place different bits and pieces of what one wants to carry. It is hinged along the centre line along its width for ease of mounting above the boot space. It is not a 2 piece flexible parcel shelf and nor is it retractable.

As a rough comparison, the depth of the Duster's parcel shelf is around 1.5 times the depth of the Skoda Yeti's parcel shelf.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 09:04   #57
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Fantastic review and writeup, sums up everything of what the Duster is made off. Photograph quality is very impressive. Placing it opposite the Scorpio is a brilliant idea, members get an idea about its respective size.

The things that got me going for the Duster 110PS (awaiting first lot delivery) are
1. Awesome ride quality.
2. Car like cabin but a massive GC and large Boot. (I don't mind a 5 seater, would be happy if the 5th person never sat.)
3. Smooth engine and expected reliability.

All the above three points never came together in either the Safari or the Scorpio, Xuv is no good either in terms of finess.

Thanks GTO for the review, it cemented my belief as I found the above points common. Rest, I can live with the short commings when I have managed the do the same with the Safari's and Scorpio's for the past decade.
Mind you, I am paying 11.9 On road for the 110PS top model. Five years back the top model of Safari was nearly 10L.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 10:32   #58
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Some are complaining about the 'oversight' by Renault to price their variants keeping in mind the various tax structures. I don't think this is limited to Duster. Almost all manufacturers 'overlook' this aspect while pricing their variants. Afterall, its not them who pays!

The differential road tax is similar in most states. In AP its 12% and then 14%. Here is how it compares to the competition.

Duster 85 PS RXL with option pack - 10.08 ex-shw
Safari EX BS4 - 10.02 ex-shw
Scorpio VLX BS4 - 10.09 ex-shw

Also, keep in mind the discounts you get, which can to some extent, make up for the higher payout. Right now, I think discounts would only be available on the Safari.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 11:02   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi.kedlaya View Post

In fact, many car manufacturers tend to price variants @ 9.99L ex-showroom Delhi. Since the local taxes in most states & esp in K'taka are higher, it ends up in the higher tax bracket and results in excess payout to the tune of 40 odd thousand just as taxes.

Why can't manufacturers take this into account and price variants such that ex-showroom prices don't exceed critical price barriers (5L, 10L etc) anywhere in India. If only wishes were horses! Me thinks..

This if done, will surely benefit everyone & the govt doesn't loose out much either.

Regards,
Abhi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Some are complaining about the 'oversight' by Renault to price their variants keeping in mind the various tax structures. I don't think this is limited to Duster. Almost all manufacturers 'overlook' this aspect while pricing their variants. Afterall, its not them who pays!

The differential road tax is similar in most states. In AP its 12% and then 14%. Here is how it compares to the competition.

Duster 85 PS RXL with option pack - 10.08 ex-shw
Safari EX BS4 - 10.02 ex-shw
Scorpio VLX BS4 - 10.09 ex-shw

Also, keep in mind the discounts you get, which can to some extent, make up for the higher payout. Right now, I think discounts would only be available on the Safari.
Hey Ice,

You are right. It's not limited to Duster. That's exactly what I was trying to say. Thanks for giving good examples of variants from other manufacturers priced just across the barrier.

May be it's too much to ask as with gradual price increases over the years price would eventually cross such limits anyway. What I am hoping for is if this can be considered at atleast at launch time, it could help significantly in reducing the OTR price of the car.

In fact something very similar happened with the new fiesta. 2 of it's top variants were just over the 10L barrier at launch. Athough this wasn't he only factor, but it was surely a significant factor in increasing the OTR price of the fiesta. We all know what happened next. After the price correction, ford discontinued one of the top variants and priced the other 9.99L ex-Delhi.

Similalry, the duster model in question would have come 40 odd thousand cheaper and I would have definitely considered an upgrade sooner than later. Now I am willing to wait till the ecosport is launched. May its just me and all this doesn't matter for most people in general.

Regards,
Abhi

Note From Team-BHP Support-Staff: Please stick to TWO emoticons. Thanks.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 22nd July 2012 at 11:35. Reason: see note in post :)
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Old 22nd July 2012, 11:14   #60
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Excellent review GTO. You've answered most of the points I was looking at.

I was thinking the Duster would be a sensible replacement for the Altis with good rear seat comfort, abuse friendly by chauffeurs and decent levels of equipment. From the review it looks like it will be too much of a downgrade from the Altis as the Duster has mediocre rear seat comfort and falls short on interior quality by quite a big margin.

However given a year or 2 it may just be the perfect replacement for the 2 year old Figo.

In short for a hatch owner who is looking for an upgrade, the Duster ticks all the right boxes.
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