Duster Ownership Review – Value For Money? Problems? (Dacia Renault)

Duster is one of the best budget crossover SUV available worldwide. It is known as Dacia Duster in some countries like UK, France, Russia etc and in India it’s called Renault Duster. Basically both are same cars  but in different brand names. With a little cosmetic change, the same Duster is selling as Terrano by Nissan. Apart from exterior cosmetic changes, Duster and Terrano have no major  differences. Nissan, Renault and Dacia are all same company. Duster has been my riding partner since last year and in this article i will give a detailed ownership review of this car and why i bought this SUV.

2016 Renault Duster Vs Dacia Duster(2018)

Nowadays, it is hard to buy a car as more options with different specs, features etc are available to choose from. I had the same dilemma when my father told me and my brother to choose a car under 15 lakhs. Even though the sedan cars(Volkswagen Vento, Honda City, Hyundai Verna)  looks great, in reality, it is not suitable for Indian roads . The only option came to our mind at that time was to go for budget SUV’s. From the time Mahindra XUV 500 was launched, i had a deep desire to own that one. It is a phenomenal car. But the price was out of budget as Mahindra increased around 1-2 lakhs for each variant after the facelift launch. Then our car options were narrowed to Maruthi Suzuki Vitara Brezza, S cross, Ford Ecosport, Renault/Dacia Duster, Hyundai Creta, Nissan Terrano.

The only thing that Brezza offers is resale value and good service. We were in search of a car that goes smoothly through all the road gutters and potholes in our road. First two options were cut from our list as i don’t find enough comfort driving those. Ford Ecosport  and Hyundai Creta are both good looking cars. Personally i liked Creta as it looks gorgeous on road but there were already two Creta’s nearby my home and Ford Ecosport was not the car for me as it lacked some driving pleasure. Then comes the Duster and Terrano. Except the exterior changes, Terrano has everything same of Duster under the hood.  Terrano is an elder sibling of Duster with only cosmetic changes but pricier than Duster. So i thought its better to buy the Duster than the Terrano as they are on same platform and cosmetic change is not a big deal for me. I researched a lot about Duster before coming to conclusion.

Renault/Dacia Duster and Nissan Terrano were the only proper SUVs among the ones i had in my list. They both offered a 4×4 variant. If you search Dacia Duster 4×4 offroading, you can see many videos of this car doing incredible stunts in many countries. I had also test driven the Duster in many off roads here nearby my area before buying it. It’s a drivers car. It gives immense pleasure when driving through off road. Even if you don’t brake in the potholes or humps, the car will easily go through it because of its excellent suspension. You won’t feel any tiredness after having long journey’s.  If you want to feel the riding comfort that duster offers, get into the drivers seat.

Moreover, the Duster has cheaper service rates and customer satisfaction is also high in service centers. First service, which is a full checkup, is totally free. Second service is in one year and costs around 4k INR only. After every service the Renault officials from the main company office will call you and ask about how satisfied you are with the service and service center. Till now i’m very much contented with their service and customer support. In addition to these, Duster also offers a great mileage around 20km+ per liter for Diesel variant.

The only issue that i felt in Duster was the AC cooling for rear passengers. Up to 2015 model, there was an ac vent for rear passengers and it was removed in 2016-2017 facelifted version as person sitting in rear middle cannot put feet comfortably. So in summer, the front AC needs to be put high in order to get cooling for rear passengers in current model. In the 2018 facelifted version that’s launched in other countries, Duster is bringing back the rear AC vent so it wont be a problem for new customers who are going to buy 2018 variant. Another issue i found in some forums is that there will be some wind noise/ annoying sounds(squeak,creek) etc from door side or interior for some cars. I never had that issue. It can be fixed with proper soundproofing and damping. It can be done yourself or from workshops. Many tutorials are available online. In 2013, some Duster owners in UK has reported rusting but it’s only because of their climate. Dusters that were manufactured in India were not suitable for the cold climate there and hence Dacia recalled the Indian made Dusters and gave free service/ parts replacement to them. Also manufacturing of UK-spec Duster was  moved from India to Romania from 2014 and the issue was solved for them.

Another issue which was fixed in current generation Duster was the hard clutch issue. Clutch was too hard for the 2015 and below models. For those models it was a burden to press hardly on clutch in order to shift gear. Some people had complained about leg pain due to hard clutch issue. But now the company made the clutch smoother and it’s not a thing to worry in modern Duster. Be aware of hard clutch if you are buying a used 2015 or below Duster. All these issues are either fixed or not happening for current generation variants. So Duster is a good option now who needs a proper SUV with offroading capabilities. I will be adding more details/issues etc to this article whenever I find one in my Duster so stay tuned to our website.

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