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Old 19th April 2015, 20:13   #1
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Default Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Here comes my first thread on TEAMBHP in the form of an ownership report of my Duster AWD! It has been 6 months since our journey started. An ownership review should have come earlier, but I was too stretched for time and so - better late than never! This being my first thread, I expect many mistakes, but with the guidance of senior members and moderators, I am hopeful that it will graduate from the Assembly Line. The ownership reports that I have read are of such high standards that I am not sure if anyone would read my thread at all! I would, therefore, humbly request all to look past my amateurish writing and give me feedback on how to improve upon my ownership review style!

On a different note, I guess my Duster has already made the headlines on TEAMBHP after BlackPearl’s post on whether the AWD can scale Sandakphu!
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...st-bengal.html (Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?)
Well, here’s the story before it made to Page 3!

Introducing - Chameleon (aka Girgiti in Bengali), my 6 months old Duster RxZ AWD. Well, the name came from rather funny scenarios. In almost all pictures taken by me, the colour appeared to be almost brown instead of the Amazon Green, and no one would believe me that it was green until they saw it first hand – thanks to my mobile camera! Everyone was pleasantly surprised when they saw the car in person and I started calling it Girgiti in Bengali (common garden Chameleon that can change colours)! Also, some BHPians pointed out that the name might be apt as it can change its colours effortlessly from a city car to a capable soft roader, with the flick of a dial!

Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD-img20150329wa0071.jpg

My quest for an SUV

My first inkling for an SUV started after my first long road trip to Uttaranchal with fellow BHPians Sabyasachi (XetaGLGRocks), Debdeep27 and Anirbanz. This was in early 2012. My Swift VDI was then around 3 years old and had a heart big enough to conquer any terrain. But it was tested to its limits during our second road trip to Madhya Pradesh (oh, the fabled NH7 stretch!). Anyway, by beginning of 2014, I had completed several other medium sized road trips across India and had started to become slightly bored with the long plain stretches that I had to stick to with my Swift. Several plans of trips to the high Himalayas fell apart due to various reasons. I had always been fascinated by Himalayan trips and had spent endless nights reading through travelogues to Himalayas by BHPians. Not that I could not do the trips with the Swift, but I wanted something that could take me to the less travelled roads.
By March-April of 2014, I had made up my mind to get myself an SUV and had started to get my finances ready.

Contenders

From the very beginning I had made up my mind that I had to get myself a 4WD. I had, by then, decided that I will someday travel to the Spiti Valley, had made the picture of Chandratal my wallpaper and was dreaming of driving to Sandakphu someday. I wanted a 4WD even if I had to pay a few lakhs more for it. Also, there were 2 options for me – Keep the Swift VDI or sell it off. If I were to sell off my Swift, I could afford a 10L plus SUV, but it had to be my daily drive too

1. Thar – This was my first choice, beyond any shade of doubt! I had always been fascinated by Jeeps and always dreamed of owning one. There were countless arguments made against it in the forum, by senior BHPians in our meets but I was steadfast. However, my home department decided to draw the line and my wife, even after 2 test drives, firmly decided that we are not buying a Thar. Several pictures of the Hyderabad hard top, explaining how Janniah leafs will make it as comfortable as the Swift (!!) fell into deaf ears. (With the Thar I could keep the Swift, but the cost of a proper hard top, better suspension, liveable interiors and basic off-road styling of a Thar was pushing the total cost up to almost 11L)

2. New Scorpio 4x4 – I had been waiting for the new model to launch for more than a year now and getting almost frustrated with Mahindra for delaying it. It almost ticked off all the boxes for me. Ruggedness, go anywhere capability, reliability. But when it did launch, somehow I did not like the look. It had too much plastic and the fact that city driving with such a big vehicle is a bit cumbersome. I do not need a 7 seater for my daily drive or for highway runs either, rather I could use a better mileage.

3. Safari 4x4 – It was somehow too big for me and quite expensive also. I also had a negative feedback on the TATA after sales service and spare parts in Kolkata.

4. Skoda Yeti – Too expensive again and ground clearance is a big negative. Also Skoda after sales service had many nightmare stories

5. Duster AWD – I had been watching the off-road capabilities of the Dacia Duster AWD on YouTube for a while and was quite impressed. However, it was yet to be launched. Also, the interiors of the existing Duster was still shabby for a 10L plus car and I being a novice in 4WD vehicles was not sure enough that this can take me to the High Himalayas. But everything changed, once it was launched in October 2014. The interiors were vastly improved giving a distinctly premium feel. Burnt red stitched seat covers looked – oh so good! The smoky headlamps and nice alloys looked nice too. I liked the fantastic ride quality, and found that the low end performance is way better than the 110 PS Duster thanks to the short gearing. I also liked the light clutch, the handling, ride quality and overall practicality. All this and finally one test drive with my wife sealed my dream of getting the Thar

Somehow, I don’t know why, I did not consider the Bolero LX 4x4. May be I dreaded to even mention a leaf sprung vehicle at home when my wife had already negated the Thar! Plus there was the registration issue of a BSIII vehicle. I also ruled out the Gurkha (did not like the looks), Aria 4x4 (mainly because of the price), XUV W8 AWD (price factor and reported issues on the electronics) and TATA Xenon (I was sure to be thrown out of the house if I got a pickup truck).

Final Decision

One fine weekend, I and my wife Sarmistha decided that we had spent enough time pondering and decided on booking the Duster. Points that led to this decision were-
- I never leave any of my cars to drivers, so the new car might remain unused most of the time as the Swift would be the first choice in the city given the mileage and smaller size. (Also I would need to pay rent for an extra garage space)
- Good feedback by BlackPearl and other BHPians after a test drive in slush
- Too much plastic on the Scorpio!
- All round capability and practicality of the Duster AWD. Excellent ride quality & handling, good mileage, excellent turning radius (5.2 metre), safety features – ABS, EBD and Traction control, competent 4WD with an excellent 1st gear ratio (traction control/torque distribution system doubles up as a brake based locker) and a solid GC of 210 mm.
- And finally, the Boss’s decision on not letting me buy a Thar!

But there was something else too. Quite a few people had taken their Scorpios, Bolero, Safari and Thar’s to extreme places in the Himalayas. I secretly wanted to be one of the first to take the Duster to those fabled places!

Booking and bargaining

So one Saturday evening we decide to get the thing done and called up the friendly guy at the local Renault dealership (New Alipore in Kolkata). They cooperated and happily invited us on a Sunday morning! Thankfully, they accepted the booking with an advance of just ten thousand. I do not have a colour preference so I let my wife choose the Amazon Green. Sanctioning the loan at SBI was a breeze (this was my second time). We were supposed to get the vehicle within 2 weeks. However, as in case of all dealerships, it took more than 3 weeks. Luck played its part and my wife had to leave for the UK for a decently long period.

I was initially bent on the RxL model (mainly due to the price), but finally chose the RxZ (thanks to advice by XetaGLGRocks and Anirbanz). The RxZ made sense as it had a premium interior more in line with a 14L car, had two airbags (which was imperative), had a reversing sensor, cool matte finish alloys, smoky headlamps and good touch screen head unit with built in navigation. The dashboard and seats looked really good in the RxZ. Overall the package offered by the higher trim offered better overall value.

The ex-showroom price was around 13.35L. I am not very good at bargaining but managed to get an on road price of 14.37L inclusive of comprehensive insurance, road tax, registration, handling cost and HSRP cost. Accessories included were floor mats, OEM mud flaps, OEM car cover and underbody coating. 4 year warranty comes as a standard.

Delivery

Finally, November rolled in, the air got a bit nippier, and the Amazon Green Duster AWD RxZ finally reached Kolkata. All was not well though, as I found to my utter dismay that the car was on display in the showroom, when I went to have a look at it in the morning (after I got a call the previous evening that it had arrived). People were trying out the stereo, frolicking around and what not. I bluntly demanded a new car (and even lied that I want to cancel the booking). However, the sales person promptly took notice and got the car brought down and sent to the workshop immediately. I had the TEAMBHP checklist with me and did a PDI as thoroughly as possible. The vehicle was sent for registration on November 14th - I finally got my hands on the keys! The delivery process was smooth and the Renault representatives were extremely courteous and helpful. The only thing I saw missing was spare headlamp bulbs which I thought should come included. I pointed it out and within a few minutes and some internal calls, they gave me spare set.
Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD-img_20141107_165247_resized.jpg
Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD-img_20141107_165334.jpg

Aftermarket fitments

Tyres were the only change I introduced. MRF Wanderers Sports came as the stock tyres. They seemed quite good and even proved to be competent in slush during test drives by BHPian BlackPearl. But I had plans for rougher terrains latere and was considering a good exchange price for the new tyres. During my R&D process before buying, I had researched the tyre department as well. I don’t want to go into minute details here, but not many manufacturers have AT tyres or this size in India. Michelin sells AT tyres of this size only in UK. Continental Cross Contact AT seemed to me as the best option since I did not want to change from the stock size (215 65 R16) – as I was not sure how an European company would react to upsized wheels in terms of warranty. Our trusted tyre dealer at Indo Radial gave me a fair deal and I got all 5 tyres replaced. The aggressive tread patterns looked awesome! (I found that the spare wheel is not an alloy and that the supplied jack can take a while to figure out how it works.)

The Continental Cross Contacts AT tyres have proved to be excellent all round performers for me so far. Yes, the high speed handling gets impacted a bit, and the mileage surely drops, but it provides excellent grip in loose soil. I was confident to take my Duster up a steep incline in 2WD mode just because of the Continentals. So far it is too early to comment, but I will post a more detailed feedback after around 10000 kms and more varied terrain experience. I am also planning to fit a pair of Hella Comet 500 fog lamps in the near future.

Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD-img_20141108_135216.jpg

Service reports and issues encountered

The first one and half months saw regular sedate driving for running in the engine – mainly office commutes, a few lonely stretches - and covered close to two thousand kilometres. After that I had to take a trip to the UK for 3 weeks. I got the first service done a day after I returned, which was due by a couple of days. It was a normal service. I got the engine oil replaced at my own cost since that was not in their schedule. The service staffs were courteous and completed service on priority since I had to attend office. They also patched the ECU firmware setting the service interval to 10000 kilometres instead of the 20000 kilometres that came as the factory setting. Since delivery, the average mileage had climbed up from 11kmpl to 14kmpl and I was thoroughly enjoying myself, but who knew that it was not to last for long!

I was to take a 3 week trip to London again towards the mid of February. 2 days before I was supposed to fly, one fine morning, on my way to office – I noticed that car was not responding to the accelerator the way it should. The response was delayed, similar to cars with faults in fuel pumps. Within a few minutes, some lights on the dashboard flashed intermittently – causing a bit of concern. But everything was still normal – lights went out, and the car kept its tone. But after 2-3 kilometres the light (resembles an ECG graph – I presumed it would be the check engine light) came up, and the car began to lose power distinctly. I decided to take it to the workshop and switched to slower speeds (and turned off AC etc.). But alas! The car suddenly started to beep with the check engine light flashing and started to stall without accelerator input. I decided not to push it further and pulled over.

I was completely at a loss at what to do – this is the first time in my life a car had given up on me in the middle of the road! My first idea was that of a faulty fuel pump but decided not to try my knowledge and called the Renault road side assistance and the workshop. Roadside assistance was prompt and helpful and sent a flat-bed truck within 30 minutes. I found the workshop manager waiting and they immediately got to work. (I guess the TEAMBHP sticker played its part!) They tried the manual fuel pump, connected the diagnostic computer to figure out fault codes but could not keep the engine on. The fault codes were indicating codes related to rail pressure sensor apart from others. After a while the engine would not start at all.

I didn’t know what to make out of it. I could not miss my business trip and had to take care of the logistics as well. I realised I may have to leave my new car at the workshop and remain in London. I was in touch with the workshop regularly from abroad. I also notified the Renault Customer Care by email and got an acknowledgement call from them. The ECU was the suspected culprit. Long story short – It took a while, and a week after I returned, I got back Chameleon humming again. I did not notice any perceivable difference in performance after I got Chameleon back.

A few days back, I noticed some strange internal scratches (looks like transparent fungus growth!) on one of the headlight reflectors (after getting a pointer from fellow BHPian DriveTrain). It was almost unperceivable and did not interfere with illumination at all. But I still called up the workshop and they reported that it was a known issue with the smoky headlamps of the AWD and Adventure series. The workshop guys told that it was almost like a recall scenario and I soon got a new pair installed.

Daily use, features and driving dynamics
Chameleon is my only ride and I use it every day for commuting between office and home. On an average it runs at least 50 Kilometres daily. The new ECU is still adapting and so far the average mileage has climbed up to around 13 KMPL (from 11 KMPL) within a month with AC always on. I am yet to take Chameleon out for a highway run. I have Himalayan road trips planned this year and next, both long and short and I expect Chameleon to clock at least 15000 Kilometres each year.

Handling and ride quality
The handling and ride quality is probably the best in class. The independent suspensions on all 4 wheels help it to swallows potholes (even big ones) nonchalantly. The steering (hydraulic) feedback is excellent and very precise indeed.

Driving modes
The car has 3 driving modes accessible by a rotary dial – 2WD, AUTO and 4WD LOCK. The 2WD mode gives power to only the front wheels. AUTO decides for itself when the rear ones need power and LOCK mode gives a constant 50% power to the rear axle. The LOCK mode automatically shifts to AUTO after 60 KMPH. This is useful to save the drivetrain from damage from errant drivers and inept service centre people.

Others
The Duster is loaded with safety features – ABS, EBD and Traction Control (this also functions as Understeer control - provided you are in AUTO mode. I have seen the Understeer control system working under wet conditions). Ideally a climate control system and auto folding side mirrors might seem as big omissions from a 14L car, but I am not so fond of electronics in cars so I don’t miss them that much. I do miss an arm rest though and am hunting for aftermarket ones that do not foul seat movement. Nifty little features like glove box light and trunk light are really useful (I did not have these in my Swift). There is almost no turbo lag due to the short gearing. The engine is potent and powerful. I have pushed it till about 110 KMPH and it looked like it had not even pushed it at all.

Feedback on driving dynamics

NVH levels are well controlled but the engine gets a bit noisy at higher RPMS. Considering that the peak torque band is between 1700-2000 RPM, I often need to shift more frequently to higher gears to keep the revs from shooting up. There is hardly and usable torque left post 3000 RPM. 0-100 figures in this will be slower as you will need to shift often. There is a gear shift indicator, but personally I find it a bit irritating (it cannot be turned off). 3rd and 4th gears are mostly used during my city runs. The gear shift indicator keeps coming up post 2200-2300 RPM but I have got a feeling that it might adjust according to driving styles.

During my city runs, I exclusively keep the car in 2WD mode though the manual says you can keep in AUTO mode at all times. The manual recommends starting from 2nd gear in an unloaded car under normal terrain. You can usually tell when the car is straining to start from second gear and that the clutch is slipping. In a fully loaded car (passengers and luggage) I often switch to AUTO mode. I found the drive to me much smoother in AUTO mode. You can feel the power going to rear axles for a second when the car starts moving.

There is an ECO mode which I keep turned ON for most of the time. There is a perceptible difference in response when you switch to ECO mode. I am yet to find out how much it boosts the economy. The ECO mode will not hamper overtaking moves even on highways. But in some cases I found that in a hot summer day with a car full of passengers, the ECO mode can struggle a bit to keep everything running optimally. With 2 full size passengers and AC on, the ECO mode can also make you think about starting from the 1st gear in 2WD mode.

The drive selection dial (2WD and AUTO) with the ECO mode toggle gives a lot of permutations to try out!

Audio system and others features

The speakers are good enough for me and the head unit is competent enough. It can play my IPOD without any fuss and can connect to my phone as well. I would have liked the screen to have been placed slightly higher and you might need to take your eyes off the road in some cases. Personally I like hard buttons instead of touch screens. The Steering mounted audio control stock lets you control all functions though (volume, selecting source, change tracks, receiving calls etc). The navigation system worked fine during my test runs (There is nothing in the manual on how to update the maps though). The system pauses the music being played in case a voice call comes up or in case of an upcoming voice instruction.

There is speed sensing auto lock that is not enabled by default. The auto lock will let the front doors to be opened from inside even when it is engaged.
There is an additional 12V socket with the rear seat also – a feature that is often used. The driver seat has adjustable lumber support along with height adjustment. The burnt red stitched fabric seats (with art leather sides) look excellent. I did not fit seat covers but I do clean them every week.


Off road performance

The off-road baptism of Chameleon was done under the supervision of BHPians - BlackPearl, HimadriMondal, Avrendu, PSurelia, Avrendu, JKDS, ShuvC, Debdeep27 and others. The performance with the relevant statistics has been well documented by senior BHPians in the thread -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...st-bengal.html (Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?)

My feedback is that the AUTO mode works efficiently and the torque distribution system aka traction control is probably one of the best things to have in slush. What also helps is the torque/weight ratio and power/weight ratio of the Duster. The ratio reverse gear is the, what I feel, the single handicap that the car has and one needs to be careful not to burn the clutch if one needs to reverse up a steep slope from dead stop. The crawl speed in first gear is just above 5kmph. One will need to tap on brakes when coming down a short steep slope. On a slightly longer slope, however steep it might be, I found the speed to be slow enough to control. The torque delivery is excellent in the first gear, it almost like a low range and with the ECU working intelligently - the car will not stall no matter how much you brake.
I am yet to find a scenario where I would need to engage 4WD LOCK, the AUTO mode works perfectly well for most cases. I found that the torque delivery pattern changes slightly between the modes (but I may be wrong). The manual says that the ABS changes its mode depending on which mode the drivetrain is in. In 4WD lock mode, it changes to off-road option where the wheels may lock up intermittently.

There was only one occasion when I had to drive through deep slush (through a metro construction site to save myself a 15 min detour). I being experienced was quite tensed but the car came out without batting an eyelid – more due to the electronics than my skill. In case the car tilts to one side The traction control system works efficiently to apply brakes to a free spinning wheel and routes the torque to the other wheels. The traction control can be switched off for most advanced off-road applications which I am yet to encounter! The lowest point of the car is the bend in the exhaust (sorry I do not have a picture of it). But there is an extended chassis element at the same level in front of it for the sole reason of taking the first impact and warning the driver. There is solid engine and drivetrain covering sheet. But for extreme offroad applications a rear differential guard and a fuel tank guard are recommended.
Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD-img20150329wa0022.jpg
Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD-img20150412wa0003.jpg

Summary

The Chameleon has just touched 4000 KM on the odometer. My previous vehicle was a Swift VDI and I have not driven too many SUVs apart from little test drives – so my comparisons may not be accurate. The Duster AWD is a good urban commute SUV for those who do not need a 7 seater and will get you across 90% of the terrain. It is an excellent highway vehicle, practical and loaded with safety features. It will be more than capable if you need to get down from the highway drive through adjoining farmlands to get past a jammed up truck halt. It will probably take you to most places in Ladakh and Himachal (hope to give first hand reports!) and other Eastern Himalayan spots. You would be able to drive across slush with a lot of confidence. With its superb handling, excellent ride quality and precise steering it is a joy to drive. One just needs to be careful off the road and respect its limitations.

What I liked
  1. Excellent handling and ride quality (independent suspensions on all 4 wheels). Precise steering.
  2. Smooth and powerful engine, zero turbo lag, efficient city and highway cruiser.
  3. Looks great - with the smoky headlamps and a nice grill.
  4. Good ground clearance of 210 mm and a competent soft roader (1st gear ratio is excellent)
  5. Powerful brakes and loaded with safety features
  6. Electronic traction control, decent approach, break over and departure angles.
  7. Good mileage
  8. Double barrel headlamps are quite powerful.
  9. Enough space in the rear seat for 4 people, a big enough boot
  10. Competent entertainment system with navigation integrated HU.

What I did not like
  1. The ECU going caput (well obviously!)
  2. Reverse gear ratio is not confidence inspiring
  3. Crawl speed on the first gear should have been lower.
  4. Gear shift is not as smooth as my old Swift.
  5. No arm rest or one touch window for driver
  6. Front seats could have been better with more under thigh support.
  7. Some ergonomics are wrong like positioning of ORVM controls, no switch for opening the trunk from the console.
  8. No temperature gauge on dashboard.
  9. I would have liked a rear differential cover and a fuel tank guard
  10. Renault after sales service is known for delays in procurement of spare parts

Acknowledgements
Big thanks to -
  • To TEAMBHP moderators for approving my membership
  • To BlackPearl, Debdeep27, XetaGLGRocks and Anirbanz for helping me out during the buying process and decision making.
  • To BHPians BlackPearl, ShuvC, XetaGLGRocks, Debdeep27, Anirbanz, PSurelia, SouraC, HimadriMondal, JKDS, Avrendu, Samba, Cloudmobile_deb, DriveTrain, 1100D and others who had helped me out at different points and were part of our little offroading excursions (apologies to those whose TEAMBHP handles I'm am unaware of)
  • Picture credits for the offroading snaps goes to the BHPians who were part of our Shukno Pukur group!
  • Special thanks to BlackPearl who had painstakingly answered my questions on the Duster's capability, tolerated my stupid questions on Sandakphu and invited me to the offroading sessions!

Last edited by GhostRider28 : 20th April 2015 at 00:45. Reason: Editing and Finishing - updated title
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Old 24th April 2015, 16:20   #2
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 24th April 2015, 17:28   #3
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
But there was something else too. Quite a few people had taken their Scorpios, Bolero, Safari and Thar’s to extreme places in the Himalayas. I secretly wanted to be one of the first to take the Duster to those fabled places!
Many congrats and wish you miles and miles of safe motoring.
And, yes, i will be keenly tracking your Himalayan exploits - especially Sandakphu!

Much like you, me too, a Swift owner, is in the process of gathering my pennies and stocking up the piggy bank, before indulging in a AWD Dusty!

Enjoy your ride!
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Old 24th April 2015, 18:32   #4
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Probably one of the rarest occasions where the ownership thread comes after the car is famous. Chameleon is already a celebrity. Fantastic choice and wish you many more happy miles with the SUV.

And also, waiting anxiously for your trip to Sandakphu !
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Old 24th April 2015, 19:03   #5
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Congrats on the purchase!

After reading the entire review, I went back and read the first paragraph again. Amateurish writing, mistakes... Bah! Rated the thread a well deserved 5 stars.

For whatever reason, I haven't yet seen the video of your Dusty scaling Sandakphu yet. That will be the first thing I'm doing after typing this post.

With respect to the NVH, is it the engine noise that is well controlled, or is it the insulation doing a good job? Or is it both?

Hope you enjoy her to the very fullest for the years to come!
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Old 24th April 2015, 19:38   #6
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Congrats on buying the Girgiti. Nice ownership review.

Regarding ride quality, you can safely say that the Dusty rivals cars <50 lakh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_asd View Post
Congrats on the purchase!

After reading the entire review, I went back and read the first paragraph again. Amateurish writing, mistakes... Bah! Rated the thread a well deserved 5 stars.

For whatever reason, I haven't yet seen the video of your Dusty scaling Sandakphu yet. That will be the first thing I'm doing after typing this post !
Chameleon hasn't scaled Sandakphu yet. All debates and discussions were based on a small off roading meet arranged by Kolkata BHPians. Please read thoroughly before posting.

Cheers,
petrolhead_neel

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 24th April 2015 at 19:43.
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Old 24th April 2015, 19:57   #7
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Congratulations GhostRider28 for the Chameleon and what a lovely write up!! Rated 5 Stars. You call yourself an amateur and then come up with such comprehensive review - very unfair to a certain person who has been a bhpian for almost 10 years and still dreads to write ownership reviews. Anyways, wish you miles and miles of happiness with the Duster AWD!!

Last edited by BlackPearl : 24th April 2015 at 20:03.
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Old 24th April 2015, 20:36   #8
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Hello GhostRider28,
Congrats for the Chameleon. That's a brilliant write up you've posted. This is indeed the best shade on a duster IMO. Have already seen your duster in action at SP and looking forward to watch more of it. Once again, congrats and wish you more and more happy miles with the Chameleon.

Regards,
Swapnil


Here's a pic of your Charmeleon in action from my side. Excuse me for the poor quality pic. Clicked from crappy phone cam.
Attached Thumbnails
Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD-1429887898383.jpg  


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Old 24th April 2015, 20:36   #9
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Brilliant review GhostRider28. No wonder others are rating it 5* and am no exception! Duster AWD is really one capable vehicle and you have proved it again and again at 'sukno Pukur'.

I always love the Duster AWD for its all round performance. The car like handling, extremely comfortable ride, good off-roading capabilities are hard to ignore by any prospective owner. In nut shell it can be a perfect tourer for a small family. Wish you thousand's of happy miles ahead.

Last edited by Samba : 24th April 2015 at 20:39.
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Old 25th April 2015, 13:11   #10
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Congratulations bro. I too bought a 4WD Duster and will post my review at some point. The only gripe I have is that the interiors are not worthy of the price, we pay for it. But other than that, it is a truly fantastic vehicle. We have an SUV with high ground clearance that can be chucked around like a sports sedan....

I am getting avg mileage of 14 to 14.5 kmph, with brisk driving and lots of ussage in the hills.
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Old 25th April 2015, 18:08   #11
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Congratulations! What I like about Duster is the rock solid engine and ride quality. Adding to this an Awd is like Icing on the cake.
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Old 25th April 2015, 19:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
H

1. Thar –. Several pictures of the Hyderabad hard top, explaining how Janniah leafs will make it as comfortable as the Swift (!!) fell into deaf ears. (With the Thar I could keep the Swift, but the cost of a proper hard top, better suspension, liveable interiors and basic off-road styling of a Thar was pushing the total cost up to almost 11L)
As an owner of a Thar and a 2WD Duster I can say that you made the right choice. No amount of suspension mods will make the Thar as comfortable as the Duster or even the Swift{Have replaced the shocks and switched to CFLs}. Same goes for the Scorpio.
I have taken both the Duster and the Thar to Ladakh. While it was a piece of cake for the Thar,the humble 2WD Duster did it without any major hiccups. Only problem was the turbo lag on inclines which your vehicle wont face.
Plus the fuel bills wont make you cry.
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Old 26th April 2015, 09:31   #13
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Nice review. I have a 2WD 85 ps Duster, about 50K on it, and love it. Have been tempted to upgrade to the 110 AWD, and this makes it even more of an appetizing though.

Sweet choice of name. Even after your clarification that the colour is green, it looks like the metallic brown to me. If you float this on the internet, you may have on your hands a worthy sequel to the is this dress blue/black or white/gold question.
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Old 26th April 2015, 16:50   #14
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Thumbs up Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks GTO for promoting my thread to the main section! And I am really happy that it is on the main page!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Many congrats and wish you miles and miles of safe motoring.
Thanks arjab!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burn_out View Post
Probably one of the rarest occasions where the ownership thread comes after the car is famous. Chameleon is already a celebrity. Fantastic choice and wish you many more happy miles with the SUV.
Thanks Burn_out. I was really hard pressed for time for the last couple of months, but I'm happy that I was able to finish it at the end!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_asd View Post
Congrats on the purchase!

After reading the entire review, I went back and read the first paragraph again. Amateurish writing, mistakes... Bah! Rated the thread a well deserved 5 stars.
Thanks Turbo_asd!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_asd View Post
With respect to the NVH, is it the engine noise that is well controlled, or is it the insulation doing a good job? Or is it both?
I think the engine is almost as silent as the Swift when idling, but not exactly so when running. Insulation levels are quite good though. NVH is actually quite a relative matter but I have been driving diesel cars for quite a long time now, and I think I have gotten used to the clatter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Congrats on buying the Girgiti. Nice ownership review.
Thanks petrolhead_neel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Congratulations GhostRider28 for the Chameleon and what a lovely write up!! Rated 5 Stars. You call yourself an amateur and then come up with such comprehensive review - very unfair to a certain person who has been a bhpian for almost 10 years and still dreads to write ownership reviews. Anyways, wish you miles and miles of happiness with the Duster AWD!!
Thanks Sumitro da!
Honestly, I would not have been able to write this review by myself had I not read the awesome thread on The Sherpa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swapnil_Alto View Post
Hello GhostRider28,
Congrats for the Chameleon. That's a brilliant write up you've posted. This is indeed the best shade on a duster IMO. Have already seen your duster in action at SP and looking forward to watch more of it. Once again, congrats and wish you more and more happy miles with the Chameleon.
Thanks Swapnil!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swapnil_Alto View Post
Here's a pic of your Charmeleon in action from my side.
That image is a dramatic one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Brilliant review GhostRider28. No wonder others are rating it 5* and am no exception!
Thanks Samba!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Congratulations bro. I too bought a 4WD Duster and will post my review at some point. The only gripe I have is that the interiors are not worthy of the price, we pay for it. But other than that, it is a truly fantastic vehicle. We have an SUV with high ground clearance that can be chucked around like a sports sedan....
Thanks; and you are definitely right on the interiors part; the features offered are definitely on the scanty side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
I am getting avg mileage of 14 to 14.5 kmph, with brisk driving and lots of ussage in the hills.
Just curious - do you generally keep the car in ECO mode? (and in 2WD?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave5 View Post
Congratulations! What I like about Duster is the rock solid engine and ride quality. Adding to this an Awd is like Icing on the cake.
Thanks Dave5!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomraven99 View Post
As an owner of a Thar and a 2WD Duster I can say that you made the right choice. No amount of suspension mods will make the Thar as comfortable as the Duster or even the Swift{Have replaced the shocks and switched to CFLs}. Same goes for the Scorpio.
I have taken both the Duster and the Thar to Ladakh. While it was a piece of cake for the Thar,the humble 2WD Duster did it without any major hiccups. Only problem was the turbo lag on inclines which your vehicle wont face.
Plus the fuel bills wont make you cry.
Thanks tomraven99!

Quote:
Originally Posted by srgntpepper View Post
Nice review. I have a 2WD 85 ps Duster, about 50K on it, and love it. Have been tempted to upgrade to the 110 AWD, and this makes it even more of an appetizing though.
Thanks srgntpepper! I read somewhere that Renault is launching a facelift with new grills, headlamps and arm rests. You might want to wait for that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by srgntpepper View Post
Sweet choice of name. Even after your clarification that the colour is green, it looks like the metallic brown to me. If you float this on the internet, you may have on your hands a worthy sequel to the is this dress blue/black or white/gold question.
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Old 26th April 2015, 18:24   #15
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Default Re: Introducing Chameleon - My Renault Duster AWD

That's a really good write up for a newbie first thread! I congratulate you on an excellent choice of SUV, variant and colour
Wish you many safe and exciting miles!
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