Posted Wed, 07/04/2012 - 19:41 by admin
"Duster would be the most aggressive product from our stable, so far” had said the Renault India spokesperson Rajiv Mitra. Renault India isn’t just saying it but is all set to prove it as well. The all new Renault Duster price starts at Rs. 7.19 Lakh for the petrol base variant and Rs. 8.19 Lakh for the RxL. The Diesel (85bhp) variant RxE starts at a price of Rs. 7.99 Lakh and the 110bhp RxL is tagged at Rs. 9.99 Lakh. The top variant RxZ pack diesel is available at Rs. 11.29 Lakh.After the break up between Renault and Mahindra & Mahindra, Renault India is all determined to make a stable position for itself in the Indian market. They seek to stand among the top 3 international car manufacturers in India. The strategy forward for Renault in India is simple; build the brand popularity among consumers, set up a powerful dealer network and build a wide spread and efficient service network. Whether or not Renault India will be able to fulfill its aim, we’ll have to wait and watch... because now it doesn’t have to deal with the Indian manufacturers but also world players like Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and the likes.
Renault’s latest Duster has been quite in news because of its aggressive pricing, efficient engine capabilities, looks and interiors. With the kick-start of the bookings of the compact SUV, the level of impatience of the consumers is at another level altogether. Well, at the price that it is being offered at, the looks it sports and the features that it comes loaded with, this enthusiasm is not surprising at all. Let’s take a look at what the car is all about and will it be capable to deal with the competition that it will have to face…
The Reanult Duster has looks that can make heads turn and jaws drop. It is tall, looks like a perfect Off-roader but at the same time, unlike most SUV cars, it doesn’t look bulky. It has large double barrel headlights and 16inch aluminum alloy wheels along with large protruding wheel arches, fine lines and curves, body colored door handles, two tone bumper and body colored wing mirrors. On the front, the three slat grille has the Renault logo embedded and at the rear end, the name ‘Duster’ is written over a large Chrome plate. The rear also sports vertical D-shaped tail lamps along with a windshield that is hexagonal in shape along with a rear wiper. The compact vehicle has an overall length of 4315 mm, overall width of 1822 mm, height of 1695 mm and a ground clearance of 205mm. The ground clearance of Duster is better in comparison to Mahindra XUV500’s ground clearance of 200mm and 195mm of Tata’s upcoming Safari Storme.
The SUV is sporty, masculine and very urbane. It has the design that would make onlookers jealous and is competent enough to be able to handle the city as well as rough roads with style and elegance.
Once you step in, the Duster is smaller than the other SUVs but in terms of styling and quality, it’s second to none. The dash adds to the sporty look of the cabin.In comparison to its closest competitors XUV500 and Tata Safari Storme, Duster is smaller and can seat lesser number of people. Duster is perfect for 5 people whereas the other two can comfortably seat 7. The compact SUV has cushioned seats with enough leg room, head room and shoulder room. The boot has capacity of475 litres which can go up to 1636 litres approximately by folding the back seats. Though the cabin is stylish and sporty, most of it has been taken from Logan.
Under the hood:
The small compact SUV is going to be powered by Nissan Micra’s 1.5 litre dCi diesel engine, mated with 6 speed manual gear-box and following this variant would be the 1.6 litre petrol car variant which is said to have a 5 speed manual transmission. The diesel variant will have four trims. The RxL would be capable of delivering a power output of 84bhp and the other trim of the same engine will deliver 108bhp. The difference is that the 84bhp comes with 5-speed manual transmission and the second comes with a 6-speed manual. The petrol variant will be a 1598cc I4 DOHC engine which will produce an approximate power of 101bhp at 5750rpm and a torque of 145Nm at 3750rpm. Duster has rolled out in the Indian market with a 2WD currently; a 4WD might be saved for later… or not. Among the XUV500 and Tata Safari Storme, Renault Duster delivers the best mileage. The former delivers 12-14kmpl, Storme is expected to be capable of rendering close to 15kmpl and Renault Duster will be capable of 18-21kmpl.
Handling, Comfort & Safety:
Duster has 16inch alloy wheels, which makes the vehicle look sporty and masculine. Along with adding to the looks, the big wheels also help balance the vehicle well on rugged roads as well as city streets. Macpherson type suspension in the front with double wishbones and deflected H torsion beam at the rear, gives added comfort to the Duster by making the drive as resistance to rough roads. Along with a good suspension system, the SUV would also be loaded with ABS, Emergency Brake assist along with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and a stability control module. Renault seems to have added a decent braking and handling system keeping into consideration the size and heavy weight of the SUV. In comparison to the bulky size of XUV500 and Storme, on the looks of it, it seems that Duster would be much more suitable for city roads than the other two. Along with ensuring safety with braking system, the Renault’s latest would come with two front airbags (front driver and passenger) along with three-point seatbelt pre-tensioners, a feature that might vary according to the variant. Keeping the recent NCAP ratings that XUV500 received for its safety features, it seems that Mahindra will take away the laurels in this section from the Tata Safari Storme and Renault Duster.
Value for money:
Mahindra has brought in a winner with its XUV500 and the market sales and enthusiasm of the consumers with regards to this vehicle reiterate the same. But at the same time, Tata Safari Storme also received a lot of acclaim during the unveiling at the Auto Expo 2012, New Delhi. It is said that this might actually be one of the best in the Safari lineage. However, Renault Duster doesn’t seem to be any less in any aspect in comparison to the other two except, Mahindra and Tata Motors are well established and trusted brands in India. Renault India is still very new and consumers are still doubtful about how well this brand can grip the automobile servicing sector.The final verdict however is far with but the battle for supremacy would be worth a watch…