If one is flying to Cochin, from the air as the plane begins its descent, all one can see below out of the window are what seem to be dense patches of broccoli. As you get closer to the ground the broccoli patches turn into a dense tree cover, and fleetingly the thought crosses the mind - if the plane were to fail to make the runway there is not too much by way of clear spaces around to land in. So why am I talking about broccoli patches and crashing planes (a fleeting thought only)? The fact is that Renault India had invited me along with a bunch of journalists from all over India to drive the recently launched Duster in Munnar in Kerala. Hence, the flight to Cochin.
What Renault invited us to drive was the K9K diesel version, an engine that is very familiar now in India, thanks to it being used by Nissan as well as Renault. For the Duster in India, (like the Fluence) there are two versions available – a dCi110 and a dCi 85. The 85dCi engine develops 200Nm@1900RPM while 110dCi develops 248Nm of torque. While the 110dCI has an ARAI-certified fuel economy figure of 19.01kpl, Renault claims 20.45kpl for the 85dCi.
WU Likes: The fit and finish, the handling on twisty roads, the comfortable driving position and of course, the dCi 110 engine has ample torque.
WU Dislikes: Bad road surfaces make themselves felt through the steering wheel when driving at speed. Taller passengers may have issues with the legspace at the rear, especially if the driver is tall too and pushes the seat back. The gearbox felt a bit notchy, baulking at times.