The popular Renault SUV has just joined our fleet, and after its first outing, it’s easy to see why it is such a hit.
Ever since the Fiery Red Duster dCi 110 entered our fleet last month, it’s been pressed into long-distance duty. Two round trips to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai and a couple of trips to Pune have put over 2000km on the odo in the space of a few weeks. There’s nothing like a long drive to intimately get to know a car and we’ve already warmed to the honest, no-nonsense character of Renault’s hot-selling SUV. In fact, it’s not hard to see why the Duster is so incredibly popular. It’s not just the price (which is creeping up, by the way), but its sheer practicality that makes it such a good all-purpose tool. And driving this point home is not just the fantastic fuel economy, which makes the Duster the most fuel-efficient SUV in the country, but the terrific range, thanks to its 50-litre tank.
A trip to and from Mahabaleshwar extinguished just three bars on the digital fuel gauge, which suggests a good 720km between refills is possible. Regular Mahabaleshwar visitors will find this a boon, because attempting to tank up at the hill station is a good way to spoil your holiday. The only two pumps in the vicinity are usually dry, and if they aren’t, there’s a queue long enough to make you miss your evening walk. You would expect the compact 1.5 K9K to sip diesel efficiently, but you wouldn’t expect it to cruise with the ease of a 2.0-litre motor. That’s exactly what the Duster does.