Got to finally try out the Renault Duster. My love affair with SUVs (I would slot Duster in the MUV category, but I will be a bit generous in this blog), brought the Duster right up to my doorstep. Good old Uncle Olav decided to drive down from Kollam to visit his sisters in Mangalore… in his new Renault Duster.
Now, I am not a big fab of the colour white, but surprisingly the colour looked good on the Duster as it drove into our yard.
Looks-wise, I have to say the vehicle is pretty neat. But for me the real deal has always been under the hood and getting behind the wheel. Sliding into the drivers seat, the Renault Duster actually feels much lower than it appears from outside. The interiors have a feel of a sedan and you don’t realise that the clearance is more than what it actually is.
The interiors are a standard fit. The seats are comfortable, though I am not too fond of the seats sinking in too much as they do here. The gear shift is a little dodgy, in the sense it reminds me of the hard case Wagon R gear shift which is not so smooth.
Spaciousness in the Renault Duster is limited to the front row. The second row cramps up a bit, but still scores over the Mahindra Scorpio in this regard. The boot space is decent enough.
Driving a couple of versions of the Scorpio for the last ten years, and Mahindra vehicles since the nineties have definitely made me a competent off roader to comment on utility vehicles and drive home the fact that Renault is no match for the power emanating from the Scorpio.
Looks-wise, the Duster scores well and I would be partial in saying that it’s a decent city vehicle, but definitely a let down for an off roader or even a long distance highway roller. Handling is in the Maruti mould which puts it at avarage and for the price you are paying a Scorpio would be value for money rather than this. Overall a below average experience, but hey a first time SUV user may find it interesting and exciting for starters.