The Renault Duster is the only compact SUV in its segment to be offered with an automatic gearbox in both diesel and petrol models. We've had the diesel AMT as a long term vehicle earlier, and now with consumers’ general inclination towards petrol powered/automatic cars, the petrol CVT Duster has joined our fleet.
I like the fiery red colour on this one. It looks better than the one which we had earlier sporting a cayenne orange colour. What's more, Renault has added some nice decals on the side with bold Duster badging and a similar X-tronic stickering on the tail-gate. The rest of the details with squarish headlamps and nice S-shaped LED lighting for tail lamps continue. Also, the alloy wheels, roof rails and body cladding remain identical to the facelifted Duster launched in 2016. And despite the long due update, it still remains to look macho and handsome amongst all compact SUVs.
However, what might work as old-school in terms of exterior looks might not necessarily amaze inside. The cabin still has the old design, and quality of materials isn't quite upmarket. Also, this isn't the top-end RXZ trim but RXS which is one variant lower. As a result it loses some equipment like a reversing camera and automatic climate control. We will see how much of a difference its absence makes in the ownership of this vehicle. Otherwise, it still boasts of a touchscreen and more importantly safety features like dual airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP and even hill start assist.
The biggest advantage I see is the ease it should provide with clutchless driving. This new 106bhp 1.5-litre petrol motor comes mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Regardless of the typical rubber band effect of CVTs, the refinement of the engine and smooth drive should take precedence. What I might have to take note of how is its fuel efficiency in chaotic and bumper-to-bumper traffic on my commute.
Otherwise, the mechanicals remain the same and I am confident the suspension and ride should help me on some broken roads. But, will the usage of this petrol car burn a hole in my pocket? Or will it make travel a hassle-free affair? All of this will be addressed in our upcoming reports in the coming months. Stay tuned.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi
Odo – 5,700km
Km this month – 745km
Fuel – 69 litres
Fuel Efficiency – 10.8kmpl