2015 Renault Duster : extensive review, specifications and price

Tech Rasta brings you the most detailed review, rating, specification and price of 2015 Renault Duster that you are going to find anywhere over the internet.


2015 renault duster review



It feels like meeting someone close after a long time. Duster is so amiable that even after a gap of over a year it does not feels strange. Getting used to the Duster is so easy it's like opening yourself up to a lost cousin. While I review the newer 2015 model of Renault Duster, it still fills me with wonder why are not other cars so spot on. No, this ain't no Land Rover but this is almost perfect at what it is. No wonder it has been selling over 3000 copies month over month from over two years. With the induction of the All Wheel Drive model in its line-up recently, it is giving the other AWD SUVs a run for their money. 

Price Rs. 8.26 lakhs - 13.59 lakhs (ex showroom, Pune)

Editor's Rating: 5  ★★★★★

Score: 83

Pros: Mileage &; Drivability

Cons: None in particular

Major changes: Rear AC tower is gone so it frees up rear leg room. Engine tuning for low speed torque. Interior color is darker now. Better braking with brake assist. 

 

Design and build quality



It's stance reminds me of the Puma. Ready to pounce on it's prey. It looks energetic right from the design, with the curves that sculpt it into the best looking entry level SUV in India. The 16" alloy wheels add even more glory and authoritative feel to the softroader appearance. The AWD model looks even more charming with smoky headlamp and bodywork upgrades in place. 

 
Image courtesy : Renault India Pvt Ltd


The entire construction is monocoque which brings a sense of stability in ride. In terms of safety too, the design helps a lot. The parts are of good quality. In the initial variants of the SUV, some people complained of non-premium feel to the interiors which has now, mostly been addressed. Still you can't expect this is feel like BMW X3. It feels just succinct in that regard.

 renault duster interior

It appears to be compact when compared to XUV and Fortuner but this is no drawback in my viewpoint. Duster never pretended to be a mid segment SUV and it is well under the line of budget segment size and cost. It's direct competitor is Scorpio and Terrano.

Performance


In the country where people prefer fuel efficiency over anything else, it is not a surprise that the auto-makers will focus on the mileage of the vehicle. With the focus on mileage, we tend to get lower power. Duster tries to keep the mileage as high as possible with the 1.5L diesel engine that is not all too powerful but achieves the class leading fuel efficiency. All said, it never feels slouch either. Even with 84bhp it feels peppy enough for the energetic city drive. It feels well planted off-road too. 

renault duster wallpaper


In the 2015 models, they have made changes to the gearbox and the new models have a shorter 1st gear. It means that it can climb gradients while off-roading with ease. In the soft offroad test, it felt better candidate than Tata Safari and XUV 500 as it has better suspension to eat up any undulations that come on it's way. The AWD version just flattens unlevel roads like a warm knife over butter. At the cost of entry level XUV or Safari model and at half the cost of Fortuer, you are getting an all wheel drive soft-offroader with hill climb assist, ESP and EBD. This is the Moto G2 of automotive world!

Image courtesy : Renault India Pvt Ltd


The best thing I liked about their design philosophy was the way they tweek things to keep mileage in check. Consider this: between 84bhp and 108bhp versions. They both have very similar mileage. It is because of two things the engine tuning and the extra gear in the 108bhp version (6 speed drive). Now consider the FWD & AWD models. They too have very similar mileage, now thanks to the tuning they have done on the engine mapping and the intelligent drive setting. You can choose between Auto mode, manual and AWD mode. It is quite foolproof in this regard that even if you set AWD and forget it and start riding on a highway, the drive will switch to FWD to save fuel as soon as vehicle touches 60kmph!

Handling and comfort


As I already mention how great the drive feels. It feels like "driving a car" as most of the people say after driving this. There are several reasons for this. One is the responsive electro-hydraulic power steering, which is gentle but gives proper feedback at when required. It has an ultra short turn radius of 5.2m.The seat position is 8 way adjustable giving every type of rider a good posture. It has good road visibility too, giving rise to a confident drive. The wheels are 215/65 R16 MRF Wanderers which do the job quite well on the tarmac as well as off-road. Not meant for serious off roading but works well on soft off road effortlessly.

renault duster space


The suspension is comfortable on the potholes and also on the occasional perfect driving 'roads' we come across. Front seats have enough leg room to fit an entire body. Rear legroom is ample too, thanks to the seat design which scoops in. Those reviewers who cry that there is less rear legroom seriously need some help!


Image courtesy : Renault India Pvt Ltd

About the jump seat now: since there are no third row in the SUV, they can give you an extra seat to be fitted in the boot. It is good only for a kid or early teenager. Moreover it would not be a safe thing to do.

boot space renault duster



 Boot space is ample with inclusion of storage pockets which are illuminated for ease of use during darkness. The Duster has 410L boot space with 60:40 folding second row seats. Plenty of space for four to sit down and play cards if you wish. As for the niggles, yes of course it does not have the default option for cycle carrier and you need to rely on third party fitments for the same. 

One major discontent earlier was the rear seat AC tower, which took up lot of space in the middle of rear row. Now that comes only as option. So now the vehicle is a true five seater. It looks good too.
  

Noise, Vibration and Harshness


The vehicle has average noise level in cabin. Lower than the Thar but higher than Tata Safari. We don't yet have numbers for those vehicles yet but here are the numbers for Renault Duster (110PS diesel version):


     Noise level
PositionLevel
Engine77 dB
1ft, bonnet open70 dB
Cabin51 dB

  Vibration level
PositionLevel
Engine4.5
Cabin2.1

Interiors and electronics


While the previous versions had only the beige color combinations, the new AWD model has the sporty looking burnt red color combination. It also gets a three spoke steering wheel. Even the instrument cluster is now a three dial design which is now analog.





The dashboard too, gets a sporty feel with a dual-tone grey finish which looks elegant and sporty at the same time.





The entertainment console is entry level but works fine. There is call connectivity though bluetooth. You can connect flash drive or external HDD to enjoy hours of music. Navigation system does the job and the maps can be updated via a pendrive. All good here. Just that the screen is too low to work as a perfect navigation system. And you have to move your hands all the way to change settings. It would be better if it was a little higher.

Safety features


Safety features like twin air bags, ABS, EBD and brake assist are all there in the basic form. The rear brakes are drum brakes as expected in this segment but the bite is good. Testing the older model, on a hard braking test at 50kmph, ABS shudder is felt. On the newer models of 2015 braking is smoother, thanks to brake assist. All safety features are in rudimentary form, no intelligent or sophisticated features here but it should be all right for road safety purpose. Brake assist will help when the driver panic brakes. Also the large size crumple zone makes this crash resist vehicle.


renault duster crash test safety
Image courtesy : NCAP


In the European NCAP tests, Duster scored a 74 rating for the adults and 78 rating for children, which is an above average score.


After market support & community


Duster has immense road presence and there are many groups out there that you can join on forums and social networks. Besides that there is the official "Gangs of Duster" network, which sounds like wannabe's gang. You can still check it out though.
As far as 24x7 support goes, there have been some complaints regarding the delay in reaching out to the customer care. In this regards Maruti still rules the game. Cost of ownership is moderate as reported by users.


Technical specifications

Model comparisons:
EngineModelFuelPowerTorqueTop speed0-100kmphTyresMileage


Engine
RxEPetrol102 bhp145 Nm175 kmph12.8 s215/65 R1613
RxLDiesel84 bhp200 Nm170 kmph13.9 s215/65 R1620.45
RxZDiesel108 bhp240 Nm182 kmph11.8 s215/65 R1619.01

Common parameters:


Dimensions
(mm)
Length4315
Width1822
Height1695

Ground clearance205


Capacity
Seating5
Fuel tank50L

Cargo space410L
  RangeHighway             900-950km
Warranty3 yearslimited warranty
Turning radius5.2 m



Thanks to : Mr.Sharath from Renault, Baner for all the insights and details about Renault in general and Duster in particular.

Review and pictures by  Arindra Mishra & Medha Shukla

Ratings and scores explained : Editor's rating is relative. Five star is for the best car in it's class. Overall score is calculated on the basis of a proprietary formula invented by Arindra Mishra. It takes into account the weighted mean of all the parameters important for a car. The readings for vibration and harshness is based on average instrumental readings.


Also Read: must have accessories for DUSTER


Arindra Mishra

A blogger, a photographer and an Engineer. I write about technology, engineering and photogrpahy.

1 comment:

  1. I really like reading this blog and got to many useful details about duster. The pictures are also good. Keep sharing.

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