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Rs. 7,95,000 (Ex-Showroom)


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Almost all that you want to know about R. DuStEr
Jul 25, 2012 03:53 PM 90886 Views
(Updated Oct 15, 2012 11:37 AM)

Leg Room:

Dealer Satisfaction:





Posting this after a test drive and found a lot of details thats hard to notice for the first time... But useful for those who consider buying it...

Detailed Pros of this compact SUV

1) Price. Its a VFM SUV. Those who blame the 5 seater option - don't worry. You have a dealer fitmet option from Renault to add 2 more seats in the big boot area. I heard the seats may be around 6, 000/- each. Also I heard they would be more like child-seats...

2) View from the cockpit; driveability- The road view is superb. My wife was able to comfortably drive the car. So even, ladies out there can consider it as its unisex friendly

3) Promised diesel mileage of 14 / 19 for 110 PS - if met is a big Pro...

4) Great Ground Clearance of 205 mm. Better than XUV500

5) Very low cabin noise. Well insulated. The NVH is so low that you wouldn't feel the diesel engine noise inside at all. This is great comfort, atleast for me.

6) Rear seats are hugely comfortable and the driver seats lumbar support is great

7) Smaller in Size for easy city drive BUT looks quite SUV-ish from outside and does not look too much like a mini / compact SUV like Yeti etc... PLUS a turn radius of 5.2m quite easy to maneouver & make quick sharp U-turn. The big advantage of this vehicle is, it looks big from outside - as most men who want the macho feel love the big boy style SUVs. This gives a good macho like look from the front - due to project front fendors and the skid plate and is almost 6 feet wide BUT is not really too long unlike the Innova(MUV), Xylo(MUV), Safari(SUV) etc...

8) SUPERB BRAKING. Could brake the vehicle from 80kmph to 30kmph in 2 / 2.5 sec without downshifting.

9) Style : The front look; Rails on top; DUSTER stamp on the rear door; all look perfect for attracting people around. Even the base model gets the top rails but the color is black where as the top variant gets the silver chrome look.

10) SUPERB Wheel base - would increase stability on long drives. However, has some bodyroll on turns - see my cons-comment

11) After the turbo kicks in, the power could be felt. Though its not as good as the mHawk engines like XUV, its not terrible

12) Awsome Suspension - The suspension effects were superb. I purposely drove on some bad roads and ditches and the vehicle did too good - much better than I thought. My test on XUV500 failed the suspension test but this one was a big winner in this area...

Detailed Cons

1) The top end 110PS versions come with a rear AC unit vent which is highly annoying for the middle person in the rear to move his legs and for the driver sometimes whose hand would probably hit the rear AC. When asked, they said, its not just a blower but a dual AC so the unit itself has a compressor which makes it big. BUT thats a big design flaw from Renault. They could have just had a higher capacity AC with just rear blowers in the pillars as the cabin is quite small

2) No climate control AC

3) The gear knock back can be felt in the 3rd gear. Hold the gear while the car is moving without pressing the clutch. Just remove leg from accelerating the gear stick moves backward can be felt. Then press down the accelerator, the gear stick moves forward. THIS IS ANNOYING TO THE CORE. However, I am not sure if it was just the test-drive vehicle's fault of if its a manufacturing defect

4) IP is not that great. Does not have 2 DIN / GPS / proper reverse sensors(just makes noise) / voice activated control / video player etc like the XUV.

5) Though monocoque design, has a lot of body roll - felt a little unsafe to turn in 50kmph on a circular ramp with speed limit of 50kmph. When I do this with sedans like D'zire, I feel quite safe. However, 205 GC may be the reason. I do read in reviews that the body roll is not much for this vehicle and its designed very well. So maybe, my test was a little too much ??

6) Poor plastics - Especially the color of the chrome handles inside and out; inside handle looks like it would break any minite; the fuel opening level plastic was poorest.

7) The front wheel fendors look amazing and bulged out BUT they may prove difficult to drive in city as judging corners may be hard as they are projected out of the view frame. This is a big dis-advantage for small & / busy streets but has no significance on hi-way drives...

8) Low gear power was a little underpowered until the turbo kicks in.

9) CLUTCH iS HARD. May get knee pain - if driven in city for long time... Most Renault engines have this problem. Had noticed it in Logan very much and now this one. So people who have weak knees, stay away from this vehicle. No option for Automatic transmission either. Also, be ready to take the car to the service station once in a while for bleeding the clutch to make it softer (Which will be = atleast the same hardness as you test-drive as I am sure it will get too worse...)

10) No 4*4 option. So its not a real SUV. - atleast not for off-roading. Its more of 'car having some of the SUV looks'. You can take this car out to places where roads are bad with bad bumps and are uneven as it has beautiful ground clearance but that's about it. You can take it for a drive in the beach sands / off-road tracks as its not really an Sports utility vehicle...

11) Reverse sensor does not give out the distance or the area under risk. It just beeps higher. So this doesn't help much. Being 6 feet wide, it has only 3 sensors which is also bad. I would replace it with something outside which would do a much better job.

12) Distance between Clutch pedal, brake and accelerator is not much. This can be annoying sometimes. Also there is no 'dead pedal' for long comfort... OOPS again...

13) TeamBHP review found a very good but rare to notice point which I would like to mention. It seems that the rear seat ingress is quite comfortable but egress / getting out has some issues. To use their words exactly, it is " The gap between the large rear seat & the B Pillar is limited, thus interfering with an effortless exit. " - Hmm so this could be a con. However, I am not too bothered of such finer cons as a whole...

14) Weight of the whole car - MAN I am too concerned about this vehicle in this aspect as I noted that this is the least weighing vehicle compared to all the cars of its class right from Yeti to Scorpio to Innova to XUV to Safari. So light is good for better mileage but about the safety/stabilty - I am little concerned as its a 205mm GC car which is too light in its category. The only good aspect in this angle is that it has a good wheel base but all other aspects affect the car's center of gravity a lot. So, I am a little too concerned in this area...

--- Note - This is not an SUV but most is very well thought and built for Indian mentality where we need good mileage, should look like SUV, should make eyes turn back at the car, should have great engine/gear box and run for atleast 100, 000kms without issues etc. This satisfies all this as the company gives warranty upto 80, 000 kms which is nice and the less powerful but fuel efficient engine will satisfy many. When I say less powerful, its not under-powered, Infact its better than Innova (102bhp) whereas this is (109bhp) - with a better mileage as its 1.5L whereas Innova is 2.5L engine and overall the vehicle is lighter than any other of its class.

MY DECISION :I had been looking at XUV500 (see my review in, under title "Beauty in this beast" in link BUT it has 2 main disadvantages which are the brand-name and after-sales PLUS the annoying nut of the steering column hitting my foot on clutch when turning the steering AND the suspension is not that great. Otherwise its powerful beast with all features and specs more perfect than any SUV in its class / price.But now that I tried DUSTER, I feel it doesn't match

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