I have been using this petrol CVT Renault Duster for more than a month now. To take things further from the introduction of this SUV, let's address two important questions in this report. Has the petrol car burnt a hole in my pocket? And, has it made my travel hassle-free? Let's take a look at this answer with this month's drive mainly comprising of the city run-abouts.
My daily travel route includes some open straight patches on the Thane-Belapur road. Meanwhile, most of the other sections are always jam-packed. If you already know how heavily clogged these roads are, you wouldn't be taken aback to know that the Duster has been returning 9-10kmpl. Also, the Duster has covered around 1,500km this month in the maddening transit. So yes, a diesel car surely would have been a little less heavy on the pockets. But am I complaining?
Certainly not. One of the reasons being the 1.5-litre petrol mill mated to the CVT auto-box. This engine remains silent and is more refined than its diesel counterpart. Moreover, it isn't that quick off the mark, but then I've gotten used to the relaxed drive. Besides, whenever the need arises I’ve managed to time the manual shifts too. Otherwise, the gearbox is in auto mode for most part and even the rev-counter needle between 1,500-2,000rpm. And with no clutch, there's no stress on the left leg. What a big relief that is! It has made driving effortless and stress-free especially in traffic.
Also, getting in and out of this SUV is easy and so is finding a comfortable driving position. There’s excellent visibility of the surroundings, and the dashboard and bonnet aren’t too high. It’s a big car and yet judging how to fit it in gaps in traffic isn’t as difficult as fitting blocks in Tetris. Then, thanks to the stowage space high on the dashboard I can easily store and reach my wallet and phone. Still, this being a RXS CVT trim, the absence of power windows is felt especially at toll booths.
Now, I’ve also gotten used to every fuel attendant directing me to a diesel outlet as and when I enter a fuel pump. After all, in a market like ours a diesel SUV is the most preferred choice. Nonetheless, in the coming month, we have many outdoor shoots planned where this Duster will be my trusted mover. Let's see how this SUV performs out there on the network of Maharashtra's highways then.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi
Odo – 7,282km
Km this month – 1,582km
Fuel – 164.8 litres
Fuel Efficiency – 9.6kmpl