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    Thread: Renault Duster RXL 110PS - The Road Runner

    1. #1
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      Renault Duster RXL 110PS - The Road Runner

      Note : Please note that this is just my opinion and please feel free to correct any point mentioned.

      It has been 3 years since the time I got involved in searching for cars which actually started off while a friend of mine started searching for a new car. We had a good time in researching about different cars available in the market, test driving them and comparing them. He finally ended up buying a Mitsubishi Cedia Sports which is running fine till date. This triggered my search for a new car and I kept following all new launches and comparing with old cars. Almost all new cars launched had something new to offer and exciting to check. Every time I almost decided on a car it did not seem logical for me to spend around 10 Lakhs for a car. I didn't want to go for a hatchback again as I already had an Alto with which I had no complaints.

      I was excited with the launch of Vento but was hesitant initially on VW's reliability and servicing costs. By the time I decided to go ahead with it, its prices were already beyond reach (launched at 9.23 Lakhs and went beyond 10 Lakhs) and was not Value for Money anymore.

      I used to follow thread of Fiat Linea which felt underpowered on paper but had beautiful looks and features to compensate for. There was always the diesel tuning box which would add more power and the Fiat engine was a tried and tested one. This is probably the only car that always came back as a good option whenever I compared Sedans. The spares were surprisingly cheap and was sold along with Civic in Brazil. (although a better engine)

      Another beast was Chevy Optra Magnum which had old looks but a fantastic engine coupled with a good chassis. But it was already aged and was inline to be taken off the sales. The spares were also costly and would probably be difficult to find if it was taken off shelf. But one had to agree that this was a D class sedan being sold at C class prices and would comprehensively beat any other car on performance.

      Then the New Ford fiesta was launched which had a lot of hype surrounding its launch. I had fallen for its pre-launch advertisements and was following it keenly and was amazed by the technological advancements it projected. Everything was let down when the prices were revealed. It was overpriced and the demand showed it. I was sure that if the lesser demand continued ford had no options other than to cutdown the prices which they did. By then it had lost its charm and comments that the classic looked more car than the new fiesta (which I did not accept) made this car not a first choice.

      There were too many new car releases coming up and you always had something to desire and wait for. The Skoda rapid launch pushed me to think again but I did not want to face the skoda service issues. Another thing was that the Skoda was a lesser priced sibling of Vento which meant that there was something "considered superior" in the same market. However, Skoda Rapid and Fiat Linea were at the top of the list for me. I started looking for used Fiat Linea as I thought that would be the best way to get benefit out of low selling Fiat cars but never got a single option which was worth the deal.

      Then the duster was launched and I went to check it out. The Duster was very butch looking from the front whereas the backside did not have much going for it. The ex-showroom price of RXL 110PS in Bangalore was 10.03 Lakhs (falls in a different tax bracket) and I didn't want to go with the 85PS model. Reason being the frustration I had faced during highway trips in the Alto feeling the loss of power available on the tap. The topend was almost touching the XUV500 W6 which seemed value for money and I took more time to think. I also felt that if the demand was not much then Renault would see some sense and would reduce the price. But counter to my thoughts, the booking count increased and it did not look like Renault would adjust the pricing to suit the tax brackets in Bangalore. The ARAI mileage of 19 Kmpl finally made me take the bait as I am yet to hear a SUV with similar mileage.

      Guess enough has been said about my search and I should now go into the Car itself.

      I like in Duster
      - High seating to get a commanding view.
      - Dismisses small potholes and road humps with disdain. Infact my driving style has changed as I no longer slow down due to small potholes.
      - Large Boot space - meaning always enough luggage space.
      - Very High ground clearance - 205mm.
      - 6 Gears + 110 PS on tap
      - Low turning radius + light steering helps driving in city roads.
      - Rear Seat backrest and headrest at comfortable positions.
      - Light in Glovebox + Boot
      - Looks you get on the road - I can probably make some money advertising some stuff until the excitement lasts.

      Things I don't like in Duster
      - The very basic interior plastic quality doesn't give a premium feeling. Sat in a Skoda immediately after sitting in a Duster and the quality difference is so noticeable.
      - No rubber beading on the door. Come on Renault, even Alto has it. I have observed that the doors shake when closed which might be due to absence of the beading.
      - Turbo Lag makes driving not easy in citry roads. Although I and getting adjusted to it new drivers will definitely feel it.
      - Rear seat knee room. I think it could have been better if some of the boot space could have been allocated to rear seat or a sliding option like the Ertiga would have been excellent.
      - Price - somehow I still feel that it should have been lesser.

      To Continue with photographs..

    2. #2
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      You could have put an introductory image. Duster looks very solid from outside. What is the price difference between a 85 & 100 bhp similar variants? Waiting for the updates

    3. #3
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      Good Idea to put an Image. I will do that. The price difference between 85 and 110 PS almost similar variants is 1 Lakh (Ex-showroom).

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      Part 2 : Interiors. I will let pictures do the talking

      Uncluttered Instrument Cluster
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      Centre Console with Music System
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      Door lock, Hazard lights, Rear Defogger, AC controls, 12V Power Socket
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      Driver Side Power Windows
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      Steering Controls Or should I say behind steering audio controls. Easy once you get used to.
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      Seek rotator on steering control.
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      Keyhole
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      Wiper + Rear Wiper control stalks
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      Steering Wheel
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      Extended Centre Console with Handbrake, Electrical mirror adjustments and ash tray.
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      Gear knob
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      Left side interior panel
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      Passenger side Door pad
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      Front Lights with each of them getting individual switches. All of them can be made door activated as well.
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      Passenger side Vanity Mirror to keep the better half happy.
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      Rear seat lamps. You get two of them.
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      Rear seat door panel. Sore point is that the power window switch on the rear seat does not seem to be in a right position although there is a place marked to have them which seems more proper.
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      Rear seats. Apologize as I am yet to remove covers.
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      Driver side gets ticket holder.
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      Centre storage pocket.
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      Left Storage pocket.
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      Deep Glove box but not big.
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      Some accessories got with the car.
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      Electronic Mirror Controls
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      Fuel Lid opener
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      Head lamp height adjust + Bonnet Opener
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      Footwell
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      Steering tilt adjust
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      Worst and Best Rear seat space.
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    5. #5
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      Interiors (Continued)

      Rear Seat space with 6' 1" seated and front seat moved totally forward.
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      Rear Seat space with 6' 1" seated and front seat moved totally forward giving some average indication about space. Excuse me for the measurement method used.
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      Rear Seat space with 6' 1" seated and seat moved totally back. It is just enough and no free room to stretch.
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      Rear door pad.
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      Rear Side and centre head rests.
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      Big Parcel Tray
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      Height Adjustable seat belts.
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      Door gap.
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      Locking mechanism.
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      Door Lever.
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      Rear floor hump.
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      Boot Space.
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      Jack, Level & triangle shaped hazard reflector.
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      Boot Light on the left side.
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      Tool Box when closed.
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      Clamps to hold luggage I guess.
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      Boot with parcel tray removed.
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      12V Power socket for the back benchers.
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      Boot door lever for some to close from inside although there is no way they can open it from inside.
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      Front panel view.
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      Light control + Fog lamp control stalks.
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      MID - Trip meter Reading.
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      MID - Litres consumed so far.
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      MID -*Mileage from the time MID was reset.
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      MID - Distance to empty.
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      MID -*Distance covered from the time MID was reset.
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      MID -*Average Speed. Thanks to Bangalore traffic.
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      MID - Total Distance covered.
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      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    6. #6

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      Excellent review, bring up some exterior pics,too

    7. #7
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      Interiors (Continued)

      The front seats provides good support although I feel lack of under thigh support probably due to my height (6' 1"). The steering is light and comfortable for city drives. I had no problems in adjusting to the "behind steering" controls and now think that they are the proper way similar to the indicator and wiper stalks. The mirror adjustment is a little quirky but one can adjust them with the hand brake lever down as well. The rear view mirrors although look small were enough for me to get a comfortable view. The storage in the front have been planned so that things kept there will not fall down easily. The Glove box though deep is not big enough but has lights. The front door panel has huge storage but the entry space is limited. The rear seats have excellent incline and hear rest position although the knee space could have been better. Rear power windows positioning - lesser said the better. It comes in the way of resting your hands and usage is not in a comfortable. Rear seats are wide enough. Even had 4 people sitting at one time for a short drive. Pleaser don't blast me for this.

      Music system quality is strictly average. It is a little better after the audio adjustments done. Will have to get the speaker updated sometime in future (budget issues).

      Will add exterior photos and driving impressions later.
      Last edited by naveen.maverick; 23rd Sep 2012 at 12:27.

    8. #8
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      Congrats on the Duster and thats an excellent exhaustive review there
      "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
      -Calvin

      Dai!!!

    9. #9

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      Congrats. Love the detailed way in which you've taken pics. Wqaiting for similar pics of the exteriors.

      Shoddy interior quality is quite apparent from the pics - especially glaring is the door levers. What are white speckles on the stalks?

    10. #10
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      I had heard a lot about this Duster. this is my first experience reading a review.

      Looks like a typical french car.. Good looking from outside lookwise, typical "beater car" interiors.

      how much is the On Road Price in Bengaluru ?


      Congratuations on buying a new car.
      Last edited by Nomad; 26th Sep 2012 at 17:32.

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