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Old 7th October 2012, 09:04   #1111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clouseau

Toyota positioned the Corolla as a premium midsize here and and in all major markets Toyota sells it as an entry-level midsize. This is because market dynamics are different here

The Duster was never meant to compete in the 6 to 8 lakhs category with sedans.
I agree with you about the Corolla, and even the Civic is the same. But that doesn't bother me because I'm never gonna buy either of those. More importantly, they are not manufactured here and sold for less elsewhere. On the other hand that's exactly the case with the Duster.

I'm a prospective Duster buyer and it bothers me no end just how skewed the Indian car market is - it has always been like that for the Indian consumer ever since the 1000 and the Zen were positioned at a premium considering what they offered the buyer vis-a-vis what the buyer had to shell out to get either of them. A lakh was worth a lot more then than what it's worth now.

I also agree with you when you say that "The Duster was never meant to compete in the 6 to 8 lakhs category with sedans" - there is no disputing that. On the other hand my main contention is that for the price the Duster commands, it should have come with some more equipment, specifically ABS with EBD & BA, and airbags starting with at least the middle variant.
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Old 7th October 2012, 09:31   #1112
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Originally Posted by snkjr

I agree with you about the Corolla, and even the Civic is the same. But that doesn't bother me because I'm never gonna buy either of those. More importantly, they are not manufactured here and sold for less elsewhere. On the other hand that's exactly the case with the Duster.

I'm a prospective Duster buyer and it bothers me no end just how skewed the Indian car market is - it has always been like that for the Indian consumer ever since the 1000 and the Zen were positioned at a premium considering what they offered the buyer vis-a-vis what the buyer had to shell out to get either of them. A lakh was worth a lot more then than what it's worth now.

I also agree with you when you say that "The Duster was never meant to compete in the 6 to 8 lakhs category with sedans" - there is no disputing that. On the other hand my main contention is that for the price the Duster commands, it should have come with some more equipment, specifically ABS with EBD & BA, and airbags starting with at least the middle variant.
Duster has hit the sweet spot in my view. It offers the sportiness of Scorpio (without much body roll), stance like safari(without being bulky), compactness of yeti (not pricy) and much more. Xuv is good for blings but I reckon xuv will age faster than these 4. Unless government makes safety equipment mandate across all segments, no manufacturer will bother much.
Duster has huge potential to stay successful for few years without doubt.
For me Duster is much vfm when considered to Scorpio as a package.
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Old 7th October 2012, 19:11   #1113
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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
If you're looking for a 5-seater , the Duster is still the better car. If you want bang for your buck though, the XUV makes a strong case for itself considering that the price-difference is not much.
It is not about the seating capacity as much as it it on the road presence as I want to upgrade from my Scorpio, and given the size and the price it makes more sense to go for the XUV.
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Old 7th October 2012, 19:14   #1114
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Originally Posted by raul View Post
I wonder however if there is any way to quantify the ride quality.
Actually, there is use a seismograph app on your phone and then check the mean value after driving for a while. if someone could actually check this on their duster then it would be great.
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Old 7th October 2012, 22:58   #1115
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Picked up my RXZ (O) Silver Duster. Thankfully at pre-price hike point.
Few pics of the drive attached.
Attached Thumbnails
Renault Duster : Official Review-20121005_155844.jpg  

Renault Duster : Official Review-20121006_063822.jpg  

Renault Duster : Official Review-20121006_090424.jpg  

Renault Duster : Official Review-20121006_090434.jpg  

Renault Duster : Official Review-20121006_172112.jpg  

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Old 7th October 2012, 23:07   #1116
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Duster 85 RxL. Test drive Kanpur 7/10/2012:

Leisure drive:
After some nice puri kachauri, lassi and jalebi at our noon brunch, my friend and I walked into the showroom for sunday afternoon leisure time Duster drive. Both of us avid fans of the package this car offers, but neither of us in any mood to buy it, yet.

Re-badging et all:
In front of the showroom we found 3 cars park next to each other. Now my friend is a psuedo car-enthusiast, meaning he is late to recognize the face-lifts and re-badgings.

To the first car he mentions, "Oye Micra", I immediately pointed out, "No, its a Pulse". To the next one he says, "Sunny". Again, I mumbled "No yaar, its a Scala". Perplexed and stumped, he says "yeh next wali toh i10 hee hai haina yaa isko bhi Renault ne re-badge kar diya". I walked out of our car laughing out loud.

Showroom:
The showroom being next to Swarn Ford dealership I had suspected common ownership. We walk in and see two nice looking Dusters and a black Scala (gorgeous).

We immediately walked to the Duster and opened the doors. To my horror, the door-handles felt as if they would bend in my hands. I am sure Renault saved Rs. 100 per handle! Micra's err Pulse's handles feel like Mercedes's compared to this one. Seriously! Even, Maruti 800 of the 80s must have had better door handles. Come on Renault. This is not cost cutting. This is outright cheap.

The gentlemen were err gentle and quickly arranged the test drive. However, poor chap who eventually helped us wasn't versed with the features yet. He kept referring to rear parking sensors as "river parking sensors". Poor old chap.

Turbo lag:
No turbo-lag on the 85. None whatsoever. My friend and I drove back to back with 5 people in the car. Slowed down the car to below 10-15 km/h speed where the rpm is hovering 1000-1200 clicks or so. The car picks up cleanly in 2nd gear. No need to downshift to the first. No jerks. Just like a petrol. Yeah that's how it felt.

Diesel clatter:
Very quite cabin indeed. Diesel clatter is greatly controlled. I floored the accelerator a couple of times to check the pick up. At least till the speed of 80 km/h we were unperturbed. Point being it did not bother us at all. It was a refined sound not a course noise.

Acceleration:
I wont say out of this world but decent acceleration. Very linear pick-up though. Again no jerks and no pushing you back in the seat feeling. By the way, other than a few 'boy racer' moments, we would all be wanting to the get the best fuel economy out of our cars. And I don't need to remind you how you will get that. Hence, this 85 is more than sufficient.

Ride:
Our car was a bit run down test drive vehicle. Yet, over broken roads it went well. While sitting in the back seat, I didn't feel uncomfortable in the short drive with 3 abreast. I won't mind long drives in the back or front seats. Good visibility all round.

Interior quality:
You do feel a little shortchanged by Renault. We are in manufacturing business and we know approximately how much parts cost. I am 99% certain, it wont cost Renault more than Rs. 5000 per car to better the quality of plastics all round and especially the door handles.

Delivery period:
As mentioned by the sales chap, it would be approximately 2 moths for the 85. 85 Rxl being the top seller I would say it isn't too bad if he keeps his word.

'Boot' moment:
I opened the trunk lid and thought it had good space. My friend immediately exclaimed, "Abey ismein 2 seats aur laga dete to 7 seater na ho jati".

Overall:
Yes, the 85 Duster Rxl is the car to get. In Kanpur it now costs 10.58L or thereabouts. The relatively low quality of plastics makes me feel that this is over priced. But then I will pay it when I want to get this car and then get alloys after-market. However, if Renault changes the first contact point of the car, door handles, and borrows them from the Pulse, I will have much fewer grudges.

Door-handles:
Is there a way to get door-handles changed to new ones?

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Last edited by moralfibre : 7th October 2012 at 23:44.
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Old 7th October 2012, 23:08   #1117
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Originally Posted by Clouseau View Post
Hey Jsing3, 19.2 kmpl is great considering how little your car's done . I've crossed 1400kms in my Duster but the avg is around 17kmpl. But that has been increasing from 11 kmpl since I bought the car. Any tips on how you got more mileage than others?
Hello Clouseau, I am keeping the speed below 90km/h mark as of now, maintaining the rpm around 2200. I've crossed 1200kms and you'll be surprised, i actually got the reading as 25 kmpl this time. I am a happy man. Now i actually got the answer to the question "Kitna deti hai".
Attached Thumbnails
Renault Duster : Official Review-img00078201210062131.jpg  


Last edited by moralfibre : 7th October 2012 at 23:46. Reason: fixing quote
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Old 7th October 2012, 23:10   #1118
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

While searching audio replacement for duster, I came across this link: (for DIY job)

http://www.tech-accessoires.renault....icule_flash=36

Good for people who want customize their duster.

Guys, I am in US now and planning to get 2 din audio system for my duster (which suppose to deliver end of this month)

Can we fit regular 2din system or we need to change enclosure, Is it too hassle to try out?
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Old 7th October 2012, 23:13   #1119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigid Rotor
Picked up my RXZ (O) Silver Duster. Thankfully at pre-price hike point.
Few pics of the drive attached.
Congrats on your new ride! Wish you a long and niggle free ownership. Please post a detailed ownership thread and more photos especially of interiors whenever possible.when was your booking done ? Whether there was any intimation from Renault side when your vehicle got allotted ? Have you done any mods / planned anything ?
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Old 7th October 2012, 23:38   #1120
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Default Re: Renault Duster : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigid Rotor View Post
Picked up my RXZ (O) Silver Duster. Thankfully at pre-price hike point.
Few pics of the drive attached.
Congratulations on your ride, silver looks awesome.

I am awaiting delivery on Tuesday of my white RXL 110 from Renault TVM, how was the ride to Silicon city ?
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Old 8th October 2012, 10:13   #1121
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Originally Posted by motorhead1981 View Post
Congrats on your new ride! Wish you a long and niggle free ownership. Please post a detailed ownership thread ....?
Thanks Motorhead1981! To answer some of your queries:Booking done on 08 July. Vehicle was available at showroom for collection on 03 Oct. So, the waiting period was just under 3 months.

Its a stock RXZ (Options-Leather) - the top variant. In my opinion, no further addition of interior accessories required (maybe a change of speakers later perhaps? I'm fine with the stock speakers for the time being, after having adjusted the Bass & Treble settings). On the exterior, it would be desirable to install the side cladding for the wheel arches, whenever available. Other than those, the vehicle in its top trim option is good enough for me.

The perforated leather seat covers, although not of the quality in the Fluence or Koleos, is good enough and in my opinion better than having the Beige fabric, which would be difficult to keep clean.

Dealer is TVS-Trivandrum. A fairly professional and no-nonsense team. They were courteous throughout and although they did not have much information on delivery dates early on in the waiting period, they updated me when the delivery week was intimated to them. I received the vehicle at the pre-price hike point.

Special mention for the Chief Sales Mgr Mr Ajaykumar and the Sales Rep Mr Vibin, they ensured the whole process of taking over and registration was hassle-free.

The second day of ownership was a 730 km drive from Trivandrum to Bangalore. It included phases of night driving (started at 4.30 AM), through the day and drive through a torrential downpour whilst entering Bangalore. No niggles, no problems whatsoever. No sign of niggles like AC duct leak, broken knobs etc, reported by early owners.

The twin-barrel head lights were good enough for the night drive through the twisty Tvm-Kanyakumari single lane rutted path called NH-47 with oncoming trucks and bus-wallahs bearing down threateningly with glaring high-beams and piercing air-horns.

The much criticised single door seals were effective - when the windows are raised at the vehicle moving at speed, there is a distinctive air pressure difference felt on the eardrums - indicative of good all-round cabin sealing.

The 110 PS Little Beast has long legs and keeping it at just within the run-in mandated engine RPM of 2500, gives a speed of about 110-115 km/h. It can maintain that speed all day long, with the engine ticking away and dispatches all older gen SUVs into the rear-view mirror with unerring efficiency.

Clutch action is fairly short-throw and is firm. I found it okay. For blokes used to only dainty, soft-action clutches from petrol sedans, I suspect this will aid in developing the Quadricep muscles of their right foot. Compared to older gen SUVs like the Sierra with its fairly long-throw clutch, this clutch is far better.

Ride quality, as already described, is outstanding. Handling at speed is good, and the vehicle is capable of fairly snappy lane-changes to dart between two lumbering slow-movers on both lanes of the road.

Gear action is okay and fairly firm. - the rubbery feel described earlier is more pronounced for slotting the 6th gear. 3rd and 4th used in traffic is more snappy and direct.

Turbolag? Well for old Diesel-nuts, it won't be a problem at all - for Petrolheads used to snappy response from the throttle at all RPMs and speeds - will need a bit of altering of driving habits.

Man Machine Interface (MMI) a.k.a Ergonomics - well there are more ways than one to approach and solve a problem and I believe its not fair to criticise if the approach is workable although not what one has been used to. For example - the mirror adjuster knob - its meant to be used with the vehicle stationary. The knob falls easily to hand, is intuitive to use and the placement under the handbrake is okay. So, why call it "quirky"? Another example - the audio control stalk - again an unusual approach, but fairly intuitive and easy to use. Yet another example - the audio system - that centre knob controls station tuning and not the volume. Its a very minor issue in my opinion as the control stalk in the steering already has well-placed volume control buttons.

MMI aspects that should have been improved - placement of turn indicator stalks as for Right Hand Drive vehicles and that blessed rear centre-AC pillar.

The much criticised wipers - I drove in rain ranging all the way in scale from light intermittent to torrential downpour. The wipers were effective, did not squeal or shudder and cleaned a good area of windshield. Someone here criticised the fact that the vehicle did not have intermittent wipe - well that needs to be corrected - it has a single speed intermittent wipe that is fairly well optimised for light, intermittent drizzle. Even when the rain stepped up to a torrential downpour, the wipers at max speed did a good job of clearing the windshield. The rear wiper and wash is effective too.

The wheel arches do need some compensation during drive in tight areas. However, the mirrors give good visibility and combined with the excellent reverse three-tone audio sensors, maneuvering is into tight slots is fairly easy.

In all, the vehicle appears to be a no-nonsense design with conveniences that are sufficient, stopping short of the 'gizmo' level.

Last edited by Technocrat : 9th October 2012 at 01:55. Reason: Removed aditional formating for better readability, thanks
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Old 8th October 2012, 13:44   #1122
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Originally Posted by snkjr View Post

I also agree with you when you say that "The Duster was never meant to compete in the 6 to 8 lakhs category with sedans" - there is no disputing that.
Their initial ads presented a very different picture of all newly purchased sedan owners crying All top end c segment sedans offer greater mileage and spoil you with plush interiors and electronic gizmos. Duster offers a greater ground clearance in comparison. Thats' all that it brings to the table which is enough for guys like me.But does it warrant that price is the issue here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigid Rotor View Post
In all, the vehicle appears to be a no-nonsense design with conveniences that are sufficient, stopping short of the 'gizmo' level.
Many congrats on your new ride. 730 Kms on the second day of purchase will do your engine a whole lot of good for the running in period.Intentional, I suppose.
Did the trip necessitate the Duster ride or was is it the other way round? Some how I am more inclined to believe that the trip itself was created for the new Duster.
Two questions.
What mileage? And more importantly, Does it feel like money well spent(Without giving too much emphasis on ride quality alone - honest answer)?
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Old 8th October 2012, 17:59   #1123
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Originally Posted by Neil Roy View Post
Many congrats on your new ride...
Did the trip necessitate the Duster ride or was is it the other way round? Some how I am more inclined to believe that the trip itself was created for the new Duster.
Two questions.
What mileage? And more importantly, Does it feel like money well spent(Without giving too much emphasis on ride quality alone - honest answer)?
Thanks Neil!
I took inspiration from your posts + opinions on your Duster and decided on the trip on the 2nd day of ownership.
The trip was for the Duster! And enjoyable throughout.
Regarding the mileage - I was not able to do a proper tank-fill to tank-fill method and so, am dependent on the MID data that shows 14.5 l of the sticky stuff burnt on the journey - which works out to about 17.5 km/l.

Q on the money well spent or not -
-Well my priorities are to emphasise more on the fundamentals and less on the peripherals.
-So, in my opinion, for the pre-price hike point and for the Tvm ex-showroom price level, I feel its money well spent. After the price hike and for the stratospheric Bangalore ex-showroom price point - well, I'm not so sure.
The other SUVs in the price bracket are older gen trucks with their attendant issues.
- So then what's the alternative? The Duster presently thrives on the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor. And I did consider the Rapid, Vento and the Verna. Unfortunately, I'm an SUV guy and I never felt at home in Indian road conditions driving a low-slung sedan.
- So I feel its a worthy and far better successor to the Sierra that I once had.

A correction to my earlier post - its the Quadricep muscles of the left leg and not the right, that would be strengthened for blokes used to only dainty action clutch releases of some sedans.

Last edited by Rigid Rotor : 8th October 2012 at 18:05. Reason: Addl info
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Old 8th October 2012, 18:32   #1124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigid Rotor View Post
The other SUVs in the price bracket are older gen trucks with their attendant issues.
- So then what's the alternative? The Duster presently thrives on the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor.
That is very true. And that's precisely why Renault is reaping the early mover advantage as much as possible.
Once the other guys roll in then it would be a price versus priority versus size game.

For example:

- Ecosport : Space : Some compromise on the rear; Boot : Much smaller; Priority : Drive and handling, city commute
- Duster : Space: Ample; Boot : Good; Priority : Space for 5 only, and Ride, city commute
- XUV : Spce: Huge and optional 7; Boot : Huge (for 5), Priority : Stance, presence, space, gizmos etc
- Yeti : Space : Enough, difficult for 5; Boott : Decent; Priority : Compact dimensions, city commute, quality of build


The above is just an initial thought. But what I meant to say if one is looking at any of them, based on his/her priorities, the person
would ultimately decide on one product, irrespective of price. When priorities are broader and not well posed, then we can witness decision
making to be difficult, and purchases happening across the spectrum.

Last edited by ampere : 8th October 2012 at 18:36.
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Old 8th October 2012, 21:00   #1125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigid Rotor View Post

Man Machine Interface (MMI) a.k.a Ergonomics - well there are more ways than one to approach and solve a problem and I believe its not fair to criticise if the approach is workable although not what one has been used to. For example - the mirror adjuster knob - its meant to be used with the vehicle stationary. The knob falls easily to hand, is intuitive to use and the placement under the handbrake is okay. So, why call it "quirky"? Another example - the audio control stalk - again an unusual approach, but fairly intuitive and easy to use. Yet another example - the audio system - that centre knob controls station tuning and not the volume. Its a very minor issue in my opinion as the control stalk in the steering already has well-placed volume control buttons.

MMI aspects that should have been improved - placement of turn indicator stalks as for Right Hand Drive vehicles and that blessed rear centre-AC pillar.

The wheel arches do need some compensation during drive in tight areas. However, the mirrors give good visibility and combined with the excellent reverse three-tone audio sensors, maneuvering is into tight slots is fairly easy.

[/indent]In all, the vehicle appears to be a no-nonsense design with conveniences that are sufficient, stopping short of the 'gizmo' level.

Couldn't agree more with your comments!

I have now driven my Duster 85 RxL (O) for over 1200 km and so far the ownership experience has been a real pleasure. Initially I too was freaked out by the comments in this forum on the "bad ergonomics" of the Duster. Maybe I have got used to the "quirks", but it really do not seem that much of an issue anymore.

And yes, those awesome wheel arches really give me the shudders, especially in narrow, crowded streets with bad-mannered drivers trying to cut in any which way they can!

And lest I forget, here's wishing you many many kilometres of happy and safe motoring in your new Duster RxZ!
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