Renault Duster feedback: Buyers react after test-driving the Duster

Renault recently launched their Duster SUV in the price range of Rs. 7.2 lakh to Rs 11.3 lakh, and it created quite a lot of buzz in the market. Initial bookings crossed 6,000 in no time, and many among the CarToq community took test drives, and booked the SUV also.

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Photo: The Renault Duster has received a lot of attention and has received both positive and negative reviews

Here’s what they had to say about it.

People who have booked the Duster

Varun Attrey said, “I had booked the Duster before the launch. I have taken a test drive of the 110 PS RXE model. I am quite happy with the car except the rear leg room. Though the 110 PS model was quick and I felt like I was driving a responsive engine, I also experienced a bit of turbo-lag up to 1600rpm,”

“I have already booked the Duster but am not really happy with the interiors & features. Also the waiting period for the car is too much, I had booked it on 5th July & approximate delivery time is 2-3 months. First I was waiting for its launch & now for delivery. This period is killing me!” said KD Baath.

Sarthak Rastogi said, “Test drove the Duster 110 bhp top variant and I’m booking it on Monday. The vehicle feels more like a Car than a SUV while driving. It is so controlled and precise as compared to the Scorpio and the Safari that it’s going to steal the market from them definitely,”

“The ground clearance of over 200mm is just superb. It won’t hit any of the potholes or the over-sized speed breakers. The engine is very silent on the inside, and the AC an absolute chiller. The interior plastic quality could have been better though, but the panel gaps are fairly narrow,” he added.

On features including optional jump seats

Venkatesh Yadav said that: “It becomes more attractive looking at the Indian mindset. I feel it’s a good move to offer jump seats as an accessory. It means more options for picky buyers.”

“Well it’s an inviting gesture from Renault, if you want to badge the car as a family car. But off roaders and enthusiasts would still want a 5-seater with good space (legroom) for rear seats. For the top end model with the extra air blower the space is pretty cramped for middle passenger in the rear,” said Jitheesh Nair.

He added that, “It’s good that Renault has kept it as only an option. It would be nice if these seats are also available in jeep seat format like that in the Safari so that it can be folded side wise to create luggage space. All in all a good move by Renault but I wished Renault India looked at the rear seat leg room and space.”

Prateek Batra had a different opinion: “The Duster is not going to change things much for Renault. They have overlooked many things; No centre armrest in front, cramped front and rear space, low seating both front and rear. Three people cannot sit abreast in the rear row,”

He went on to say that, “It has cheap plastics all over, very low height, rear AC Vent placement and size hampers space again. The unconventional placement of stereo controls (behind the steering), No cooled glove-box, all these are small things, but make a lot of difference.

Performance and off-roading ability

Prateek Batra felt that, “The 85 PS version seems underpowered while the 110 PS version seems overpriced, as one would be paying extra over a sedan for nothing.”

Siddhartha Mishra said, “I guess it’s a good vehicle for those who want a car that can handle rough roads and touring but are not confident with the quality levels of the Scorpio or the Safari and do not need those extra seats. For everyone looking for VFM, it’s not really the best.”

He added that, “I don’t think the 4X4 will be missed by the general public except enthusiasts like us. The Duster was never an SUV. It may be pricier than the Scorpio or Safari but then it’s also 25-30% more fuel efficient. The only negatives that I see are poor service network and 5 seats (but then it’s a wagon, not a van or SUV).”

“The point is most people in this country who buy SUVs don’t buy it for its offroading credentials but for the ‘masculine’ and ‘rugged’ image. I can bet more than 90% of the Dusters sold will never leave tarmac. The most trying conditions they will be exposed to are the potholes. So does 4×4 really matter?” said Pradipta Ghosh

Have you booked or test-driven the Duster? Share your views with us!