Saturday, January 5, 2013

Renault Duster

Priced between Rs 7.19 lakh and Rs 11.29 lakh, the launch of the Duster represents an important landmark not just for Renault's otherwise limping sales conundrum in India, but also a very discoloured entry level SUV space at large. The Renault Duster has made its debut at a very lucrative price point and has served a solid wake up call to the domestic players.

Duster spans a wide market range and with its three engine offerings, it caters to different audiences as well. As a product, the Duster is a typical urban SUV that offers the quintessential butch looks, imposing stance, spacious interiors and a quality fit and finish.It’s a striking looking SUV that boasts of clean lines and dimensions that are perfect for the urban environment.

It features a modern monocoque construction, smart technology, quality interiors and offers a fuel efficiency that is comparable to some high end hatchbacks! The competition doesn’t quite measure up on most accounts. While the XUV 500 is a monocoque shell as well, the Scorpio, Force One and Safari feature a more archaic body on ladder frame construction. The 8 way adjustable driver seat means that fatigue has a much lesser chance of overtaking you on a long drive.

The Duster is available in eight variants -- two petrol, four diesel and two optional diesel packs. Powering the top-end diesel RxZ variant is a 1.5 litre DCi engine that churns out a healthy 110PS of power and 248Nm of torque. The Duster is also offered with a 1.6-litre petrol engine that puts out 104PS and 145Nm torque as well as a detuned 1.5 DCi diesel pot that churns out 85PS and 200Nm of torque. Only the top end diesel variant gets a 6-speed gearbox. All others feature a 5-speed tranny and no automatic option.

Despite being slightly smaller in size than its competition, the interiors are well appointed and rather comfortable. Driver and passenger comfort features include power windows, power steering, electrically adjustable ORVMs, an audio control stalk (mounted right behind the steering on the right) and a powerful HVAC unit for your desired temperature. The 470 litre boot is a delight and if you need more space, the rear bench does a 60:40 split for increased versatility.

The petrol Duster delivers a claimed mileage of 13.24kmpl according to ARAI test figures. The 85PS diesel model is touted to return as much as 20.45kmpl while the 110PS diesel avatar delivers 19.01kmpl.
The car is available at a base ex-showroom price of Rs 7.19 lakh for the 1.6-litre petrol, Rs 7.99 lakh for the 85PS diesel and Rs 9.99 lakh for the 105PS diesel engines.

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