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Old 12th October 2018, 00:00   #1
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Default Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Presenting our 2018 Renault Duster RXZ AWD.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-1.jpg

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-66.jpg

Index

1. Why a new car & the test drives
2. PDI & delivery
3. Exterior
4. Interior
5. Features
6. Lights
7. Handling, Engine, Mileage, Gear shift, Braking & Ride quality
8. The AWD
9. Pros & cons

Last edited by Samba : 14th October 2018 at 00:08.
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Old 12th October 2018, 00:16   #2
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Default re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Why a new car & the test drives

Actually there was no need to buy a new car, neither there was any plan. I was happy driving our Etios petrol & Figo Diesel.

Somewhere at the back of my head, i had a feeling that my next car should be an SUV/crossover with a budget of around 12 L. I was okay with a petrol but a diesel will be more preferable.

We never had any concrete planning or dead line to buy a new car. We were like, lets test drive several cars and if we get a good deal, will pick it up.

Now the question was, which car to trade off for the new one! The 7 years old 86,000km done Etios or the 3 years old, 35,000km done Figo. The answer is quite easy! The Etios should go!
But for me it was a heart over the brain decision and i kept the old Toyota! I just love my Etios too much!

The ownership report of my Etios- https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-...000-km-up.html

My first preference was a Scorpio S4+ 4wd. That was available at 12L on road. But Mahindra decided to withdraw the model and keep their 4wd option only for the S11 which was around 17L+ on road. So Scorpio was no more an option for me.

Then i decided to take Td's of the crossovers.

Tata Nexon Diesel-

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Loved it! Punchy diesel motor, good brakes and handling.
On the flip side there were few rough edges though i was not bothered about them. Slotting the 5th gear in the TD vehicle was a bit tricky and slotting the reverse gear really required some pressure. The sales guy told its an issue with that vehicle only. I reluctantly believed him and had a doubt on Tata QC. There were no lucrative offers too. So came back undecided and kept things open.

Ford Ecosport Tdci-

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One fine day i gave my Figo for servicing and test drove the Ecosport Tdci. Engine was smooth. Great NVH. Good brakes and excellent handling. The ergonomics were spot on. I almost zeroed on this car. I was like, let me use the Figo for some more time, then will exchange it with the Ecosport. The only negative was its cramped rear space.

Toyota Yaris-

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-4.jpg

Yes, i know it's neither a Suv nor a crossover! Gave my Etios for the 80,000km service and i saw a red Yaris parked. The service advisor asked me, if i would like to test drive the Yaris and my answer was yes! He promptly called a sales guy and arranged for a test drive.

Its a good car! Wife loved it a lot and wanted to buy the Yaris! She love sedans. I didn't find much reason to buy the Yaris when i was retaining the Etios. Keeping two petrol sedans would have been pointless for me. So had to let it go.


Honda WRV IDTEC-

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Honda showroom is just next to Ford showroom. So on another occasion when i gave my Figo for servicing yet again, i decided to test drive the WRV.

The car drives well. The engine is punchy. The handling felt very neutral. Its extremely spacious and feature loaded. It has got a sunroof too! Wife was excited seeing the sunroof!
Few downers for me were -
The air-intake pipe was placed quite low, the nvh was just okay. Overall i had a very neutral feeling.

Hyundai Creta petrol -

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-6.jpg

Creta 1.6 diesel was out of my budget and i didn't want the 1.4L diesel. So took a test drive of the Creta 1.6L petrol.
Great interiors, full of features, comfortable seats and great looks impressed me in the beginning.
Went for the test drive. The initial was a bit weak but the engine is extremely rev happy and its a fun to drive car when revved hard. It can do 60, in 1st gear. Launch in high rpm the wheel spins like crazy! The 1.6L petrol engine was awesome.
Now the handling of the car was not to my liking. The car was bumpy over bad roads and i felt the brakes to be a bit over assisted.
Another downer was, the sales guy quoted me Rs 46,000 for the insurance. I told him, if i buy a Creta, i will get it done by my own source but he simply refused! When i searched the ownership reviews i could find the city mileage of the petrol Creta was in single digit. So at the end decided to let it go.

Mahindra Thar CRDI

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I have a crush on silver Thar! I often go for off-roading events, so a Thar was always in my consideration. Never went to Mahindra for a Test drive as i have driven Thar during Offroad events. I was okay with it but mom and wife were against the Thar. They wanted something with a proper rear seat and rear doors! So had to opt out the Thar.

Renault Captur Diesel-

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Heard there were some mouth-watering discounts going on for the Captur. So visited the Renault showroom. I was immediately offered Rs 2L discount for a 2017 Captur. A test drive was promptly arranged too.
The interiors were nice, supremely comfortable on bad roads, the engine was quite responsive. The handling was nice. Its nothing but a Duster in new looks! The only point was, this car hardly sells! Else with the deal everything was perfect.

Reluctantly i asked the sales guy, is there any Duster AWD from the 2017 stock? And the answer was yes!
He quoted Rs 13.50L for a 2017 Duster AWD. It was like 1.5L over my budget. I bargained with him and it came down to Rs 13.20L. So its around Rs 1.20L over the budget. Then I already knew, what's coming!

But again a twist in the tale. Dbhpian SS-Traveller and Bhpian 1100D told me not to go for a 2017 model. They insisted me to go for a 2018 model. My dad wanted a 2018 model too. But frankly i was okay with the 2017 model. So again went to the Renault showroom and took a test drive of a Duster AWD. Did some mild off-roading and asked them, what offer they can give me on a 2018 Duster AWD! They quoted Rs 14.5L as the on road price. The best they offered was Rs14L on road.

So from there i started to bargain and included the following in Rs14L.
Bumper to bumper insurance.
Extended warranty till 4th year.
Mats and mud flaps.
Steering cover.
Side skirting.
Fancy number.

The deal was done! Paid them a token advance and booked a Fiery Red Duster AWD! Booked on August and i wanted a car which should not be manufactured before July! They agreed and kept the promise.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 28th March 2019 at 10:48. Reason: Corrected 'hardly sales' to 'hardly sells'.
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Old 12th October 2018, 00:23   #3
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Default re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

PDI & delivery

Paid the booking amount on 9th August and on 18th August i received a call from the sales person that my car has arrived in their stock yard. He texted me the VIN and its a July 2018 make.

I was happy and told him, once i do the PDI, he can come and collect the cheque.

The first eye to eye contact!

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-1-1.jpg

Checked the VIN no which my sales executive texted me. It matched and its indeed a July 2018 make.

The tires given were MRF wanderer. They were from the 25th & 27th week of 2018.

Followed the Team Bhp PDI check list and the car passed all the parameters.
The ODO showed 21 km which was fair enough.

Put the car up on a ramp and checked the underbelly and the AWD system. Everything was working properly.

Few pics from the PDI -

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The peace of mind badge!

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The interior. Ah i love the smell of a new car more than any perfume!

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The underbelly

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After the PDI, the very next day, the sales guy came and took the cheque from me.

I told him, i wont take delivery of my car before he gets me a valid temporary registration and insurance.

Took delivery on 1st September.

The delivery was smooth. We were asked to come by 3pm. By 4pm the delivery process was complete. Renault Rajarhat fairly did a good job. There were some minor goof ups but they were sorted. No complaints against the dealer. Over all it was a pleasant experience.

On the delivery day -
Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-btno3705.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 13th October 2018 at 20:18.
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Old 12th October 2018, 20:55   #4
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Default re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Exterior

There is nothing to write on how the Duster looks. Its an age old design and looks dated. But i do like the overall stance of this car. In red the Duster looks a bit gorgeous, though its not a head turner.
The Duster may not look big in size due to its low stance but actually, its wider than a Scorpio!

The paint quality seems to be good in the beginning. Lets see for how long the shine and the depth of the color lasts. Surely after being weather beaten, this red color will start to fade after few years.

The front three quarter look. The side skirting was fitted as an accessory.

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The side profile

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The rear three quarter look

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The frontal look

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The rear

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The rear camera is neatly hidden just above the rear number plate.

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The roof rails are tough and useful

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The Orvm's are wrapped by black vinyl. The turn indicators are neatly placed.

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The alloy.

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Last edited by Samba : 14th October 2018 at 00:27.
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Old 12th October 2018, 21:43   #5
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Interior

From out side this is a big car, but do not expect ample of space in the inside. The seats are very comfortable in front and rear but the rear legroom is just average. The car is just fairly spacious.

In my car the seat covers are from Auto Form and have got the work done from Road Star in Kolkata. Bhpian Sayata referred me to Road Star and they did a neat job. Got the mats from there too. The mats provided by the showroom guys were practically cheap and useless.

With the red car with black alloys and orvm, i went ahead with red and black seat covers. Plus the door handles and the door pads are stitched in red and black too. So overall these seat covers compliment the overall red & black theme.

The front seat

The front armrest has been designed excellently. Its very comfortable for long drives.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-1.jpg

Front seats have generous legroom.
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The handle in the extreme left is the seat height adjuster and just beside that the handle is used to move the seat front and rear.

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The rear seat

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Its a comfortable place to be in.

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The rear legroom is just okay. The front seats are adjusted to my driving position. I am nearly 5 feet 10". Do not miss out on the bottle holder!

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With two person and the armrest open, the seats are extremely comfortable. Rear passengers get two cabin lights on both sides which are quite useful at times.

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The front dashboard has nothing fancy, but its useful.

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The red color door handle looks okay with the red Duster, but with other colors it just looks out of place. A silver would have been a better choice.
The front speakers are placed on the door pad. The power window console looks good. The door pocket can accomodate a 1L water bottle.

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The rear door pad looks bland. The rear speakers are neatly placed. The arm rest has been placed ergonomically.

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The rear door child lock

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The power window switches are back lit. The front drivers seat power window console has the electric orvm adjustments, auto folding orvm, auto up/down for the drivers side window & the power window lock.

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The rear boot space is fairly large to gulp up our holiday luggage. The boot light is fairly bright at night.

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The spare wheel is placed below the boot carpet. (The spare is not an alloy, its a steel rim)

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The rear 12v socket is placed just beside the rear parcel trey on the left side.

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The OBD port is located inside the front glove box.

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The glove box lacks space. Giving a light inside the glove box is a nice touch though.

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Last edited by Samba : 14th October 2018 at 21:52.
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Old 12th October 2018, 22:30   #6
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Features

I wont say it's feature loaded but has got more than enough useful features to satisfy me.

The steering comes equipped with buttons to control the cruise control and the speed limiter. The steering is height adjustable.

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The useful center console.

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This space is quite useful to keep the toll tickets, purse/ mobile phone or any other small things.

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Just below the Ac vents the flasher button is placed with the central lock button. This central lock button locks and unlocks all the 4 doors + the boot lid.

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When the Medianav player is off, it displays time over the whole screen. Below right is the switch for cruise control & speed limiter.

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When the Medianav is switched on, one can select from the given option's. The bluetooth works fine unless i try to sync my iphone with it. If i try to sync with my Iphone it simply hangs. My phone has got more than 1,000 contacts so it just cant take it. It syncs flawlessly with my wife's phone or my other phone.

The Fm/Am works fine.

The aux and usb works without any problem. One can select songs as per liking.

The integrated map is so complicated, i didn't dare to try it out!

From the settings the sound adjustments can be done.

The sound from this player is okay for normal music lovers. Music enthusiasts need to upgrade!

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The reverse camera view at night is more or less clear. It beeps when one is nearing the red line. In day time when there is excess light in the cabin, it gets difficult to see the screen.

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The volume & call receive buttons are placed on the right side of the steering wheel for the drivers usage.

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The AC

It has climate control, rear defogger & a heater. The AC is not a chiller but it keeps the cabin fairly cool. The max heat i have encountered with this car was at 39 degree C with 3 person on board. With the fan speed at 4 and temperature set a 20C the cabin was quite cool and comfortable.

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The extreme left button is to select between 2wd, Auto and 4wd lock.
Next to it is the front 12v socket.
Followed by the ESP and the Eco mode on/off switch.

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The headlight/fog light on/off stalk seems to be hardy but the quality of the stalk used in my Etios is superior.

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The front & rear wiper on/off stalk. The button at the end is to toggle between different features of the MID.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-11.jpg

The meter console looks neat. No redline given in the rpm meter!
In my car the fuel indicator bars have a mind of their own! With more than 30L fuel, the fuel gauge showed an empty tank. This happened twice & it gets corrected of its own. If this persists, then i have to get it checked.
The fuel tank can hold 52L of diesel as specified by Renault. It do give a decent range.

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The MID provides 9 different information's- Its quite informative.

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The key.

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Boot lock/unlock button is missing. Its operated from the center console.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-16.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 15th October 2018 at 01:02.
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Old 12th October 2018, 23:42   #7
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Default re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Lights

Headlight & fog light.

Coming to the headlight later on.
The fog lights do their job. The beam is wide spread though not very bright. I have kept the stock set up. With better bulbs, it should be good enough. It uses H11 bulbs.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-1.jpg

The headlights do not have projectors but the seal-beam has separate slots for high and low beam. The bulbs used are H1 & H7. With high beam, both the low & high glows together.
The throw of the original bulbs were good but they lacked brightness. The stock bulbs were from Osram Germany. Later i changed to Osram Nightbreaker unlimited for the low beam and Osram Nightbreaker laser for the high beam.

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The brightness improved after the up-gradation of the bulbs but now am not satisfied with the focus of the high beam. If i focus the low beam at a perfect position the high beam is going up. I have checked with both the adjustments, the internal one and the one above the headlight by adjusting the screw. The problem is, there is only one screw to adjust the whole seal beam, one cant adjust the low/high beam individually.

The low beam
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The high beam. Check out the road after the reach of the low beam. The visibility is not great on road. The light goes till far but its not on the road.

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With the parking light on.

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With the low beam on

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With both high & low beam on

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The led tail lamp looks stylish

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-8.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 14th October 2018 at 00:39.
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Old 12th October 2018, 23:50   #8
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Handling, Engine, Mileage, Gear shift, Braking & Ride quality

Is it a driver's car?

Yes by crossover standard! I sold my old gen Figo to buy this car and my other car is an Etios Petrol! So its a bit difficult for the Duster to satisfy me in terms of driving pleasure. In the very beginning i was not liking the bulk of this car, but later on am quite happy and comfortable with it. Am specially liking the high seating position with the view of the full bonnet.

Handling-

In the beginning when i used to attack the curves which i used to do with my Figo or Etios this car disappointed me. I was stupid enough to drive a crossover like a hatchback or a sedan. The tires squealed and i needed to back off in few occasions.
Later on with the ESP on in Auto mode the handling characteristics changed a lot. I could take the same turns much faster. Being an Suv body role is more than a sedan but no way near to the body on frame suv's. This car can be driven fast on the curves but the Ecosport is more poised.
Overall am happy the way this car handles. Now after getting more used to with the car, i generally drive it in the 2WD mode with the ESP on.
On straight roads the car is rock steady and the speed masking capability is good too. This car can confidently cruise at triple digit speeds for the whole day.

On bad roads the 210 mm ground clearance is quite effective. The under belly looks neat and well protected too.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-6.jpg

Watch out for the silencer while off-roading

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The car runs on 215/65/R16 MRF wanderer. Till now the tires did a decent job. My hunch is, they wont be that good for off-roading.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-5.jpg

Engine-

The engine bay looks neat and lacks a engine cover. Opening the airfilter is easy too. Its just like the old school clip system. The air-intake pipe is placed quite high, so water wading wont be a problem.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-4.jpg

The K9k engine is know to be reliable. I didn't expect much performance from this engine but i was proved wrong. This engine is quite refined and can be easily revved till 4.5k rpm in initial gears! Its not as fast as the Creta 1.6D but this engine do its job in a nice way. In 6th gear the car cruises at 100 km/hr at just below 2.5k rpm. In 6th gear this car can be revved all the way till 4k rpm and that takes you beyond 100 miles/hour.

The engine has an Eco mode too but i am yet to drive this car on Eco mode.

Mileage-

With Eco mode off, this car returns a mileage of around 11-12km/L in city with AC and 16+ km/L on highway with AC.

Gear -

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-2.jpg

Driving this car can be fun if one gets to understand its gear ratio's. The gear shift is precise but the throw is not very short.
The 1st gear is too short and is good for off-roading only. Its good for crawling in off road situation's. The owners manual suggests to start this car from 2nd gear itself.
The 2nd gear is okay to start the car, but still its short. One can engage 3rd from 20 km/hr and this gear is quite effective for driving inside city.

The gear shift indicator suggests to shift to 4th from around 40km/hr. The 4th gear is good for overtaking in single lane roads. One do not have to shift down to 3rd for that.

The 5th is like the 4th gear in a 5 speed gearbox car!

The 6th is for cruising and surprisingly the 6th gear is quite peppy too. For a planned overtake maneuver, one do not have to shift down.

Its best to up shift between 1700-2000 rpm.

To engage reverse gear, one has to pull the ring up and slot it.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-3.jpg

The steering is a hydraulic unit and is neither light nor heavy. The feedback from the steering is good.

The A B & C pedals are well placed. Dead pedal missing!

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-1.jpg

The clutch throw is long & the pedal is on the harder side compared to the clutch of the 1.3L Fiat diesel engines.

Brakes-

The brakes are good. The ABS works well. While braking from high speed the car stops without any drama. The brakes are not over assisted like the Creta. They have good bite and is predictable.

Ride quality-

This is where this car scores full marks. It dismisses bad roads with aplomb. Just drive over the bad patches and the passengers on board will hardly feel anything. I just love the comfort, this vehicle offers.

The NVH is acceptable for me, though i wont rate it high. Ecosport or Creta has better NVH level.

Last edited by ajmat : 26th June 2019 at 17:51. Reason: corrected as per RP
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Old 13th October 2018, 00:36   #9
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Default re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

The AWD

I have not taken this car much to off-roading.

By default its on 2wd mode.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-1.jpg

One can drive it in auto mode too. When front wheel lose traction the power is automatically shifted to the rear wheel. In auto mode the dashboard shows no sign.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-2.jpg

For serious off-roading, shift to 4wd lock. With 4Wd lock power is supplied to front and rear constantly. One is not advised to drive with 4wd lock on tarmac and at speeds above 50km/hr, it automatically gets transferred to Auto.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-3.jpg


I have not done much off-roading till date. Last Sunday i took it to Pandua where we generally go for Offroading with Kolkata Offoraders. Since i went alone and had no recovery vehicle i have not taken much risk.

Few observation's-


Where the Auto mode fails, the 4wd lock mode takes you through.

While Off-roading keep the ESP off, else it cuts power when you need it!

The low range is missed but the short 1st gear compensates it to some extent. It can crawl.

Duster is not a heavy duty offroader, it will take you to places where 2wd vehicles wont go but then, do not compare it with a Thar in terms of Off-roading capabilities!

This car is good in slush and loose sand.

The hill hold assist works like a charm.

Few pics from off the road.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-4.jpg

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Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-6.jpg

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Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-8.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 15th October 2018 at 01:49.
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Old 13th October 2018, 00:47   #10
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Default re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Pros & cons

Pros -

1) The engine is quite fun to drive with no turbo lag.
2) Its fuel efficient.
3) Extremely comfortable ride.
4) Handling is good.
5) Safety features like- ESP, ABS, EBD, Hill hold assist & dual air bags.
6) 210 mm Ground clearance.
7) The AWD gives extra confidence or rather peace of mind!
8) The car is ergonomically sorted.
9) The build quality seems to be good and abuse friendly.
10) Small DIYS like changing the head light bulb or cleaning the air-filter do not need much effort. They are easily accessible.

Cons-

1) Looks outdated in today's date.
2) Niggles.
3) The Renault service is a hit or a miss. (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offic...ml#post4471159 (Renault Duster AWD : Official Review)
4) Not very spacious inside. The rear leg room is just ordinary.
5) Stock headlights are poor.
6) The AC is not a chiller, but does its work.

Few random pics before signing off.

The first diesel filling.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-1.jpg

The first drive in the rain

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-2.jpg

The first mild off-roading

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-3.jpg

The first long drive.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-4.jpg

The second long drive.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-5.jpg

The first 1000 km on the odo.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-6.jpg

& a parting shot.

Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view-img_8313.jpg

Jotted down this review after driving this car for around 2,500 km in 1.5 months.

Thanks for reading

Regards
Samba.

Last edited by Samba : 15th October 2018 at 02:47.
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Old 15th October 2018, 08:35   #11
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Default Re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th October 2018, 09:08   #12
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Default Re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Congratulations Samba for your new Duster. Thread rated 5stars !

Good thing you didn't let the Etios go, it is legend here at TBhp and I for one, would have been heart broken to see you let it go.

Duster does make a strong case for itself, and to me it is the only alternative to the Creta.
However, in your evaluation of Duster vs Captur, could you highlight the points which shifted the choice towards Duster, as the Captur is a newer (and supposedly) better Duster?

Red car with red and black interiors are a classic and can never go out of style.

PS - Awesome pictures as always.

Last edited by drive2eternity : 15th October 2018 at 09:10.
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Old 15th October 2018, 09:27   #13
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Default Re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Congratulations Dada on your new ride. Hope this will serve you as well as your previous rides did. Now go on and utilise that AWD and provide us with those awesome pictures and travelogues of your. Wishing you many more miles with this vehicle.

Regards,
Subhra
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Old 15th October 2018, 10:15   #14
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Default Re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

Congrats on your shiny new Red n Black machine !
Eloquently written review with stress on details, and peppered with top quality snaps.
Considering the terrain(s) you have conquered with your 2WD sedan, my imagination fails me to come up with the possibilities of what next you are going to conquer with this 4WD high GC machine at your disposal !
Wish you thousands of happy miles ahead.
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Old 15th October 2018, 11:05   #15
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Default Re: Renault Duster AWD : An owner's point of view

First of all congrats and the car looks stunning in Red, the refreshes Renault has done over the years and this colour doesn't make it look its age at all, the pictures are stunning too, you have got an eye for good visuals.

The gear ratios caught my attention though, are they this short to mask the turbo lag? 2500 rpm @ 100 km/h is too high in 6th gear, i thought Creta's 6th gear was short (which it is, it does the same speed at 2000 rpm), our Cruze did it at around 1600-1700 rpm, secondly the owner's manual suggests to start from 2nd gear? Is this just for the AWD version, i wasn't aware about this at all.
I drove my cousin's 2WD Duster once, i don't remember the gears being this short, but then again i don't remember much from that drive at all.
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