Renault Duster Second Long Term Report
The Duster has a sturdy build quality and is a durable machine

Renault Duster AMT Long Term Review

Long Term Test No. 126

Car Tested: Renault Duster AMT RXZ

Kms Done: 6103 kms
Test Started at: 13,262 kms
Test Concluded at: 19,365 kms
Mileage: 12.29 km/l, 15.31 km/l (best), 10.95 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 496.58-litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 30,540/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 5.00/-

The Duster AMT is a perfect package for those who seek a practical compact SUV which is tough and engaging to drive

Back in 2012, I met Marc Nassif, the CEO of Renault India at that time, at an award function where the Duster was awarded the ‘Car of the Year’. The casual conversation led me asking the question if Renault was considering an automatic option for the Duster. He politely denied stating that Indian market is still not ready for automatics and the Duster will only be coming with the MT. Yet in 2016, when Renault launched the much-needed facelift of the Duster, they did have an AMT on sale. So, was it just the Creta effect or the Indian consumers had started developing a newfound love for automatics? It was time to find out when the Duster AMT came to the MotorBeam garage. We have driven this through thick and thin and challenged it in unimaginable conditions. Did the Duster AMT (EASY-R in Renault speak) cut the mustard, read on to find out.

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The Duster’s 205 mm ground clearance is seriously a boon in a city like Mumbai

I simply love SUVs and when a new long termer comes into the MotorBeam garage, I usually have my hand up even before the car arrives. My routine makes me drive to offbeat places for video shoots where there is literally no road, places where it would be a sin to take sedans and hatchbacks and in these conditions, high ground clearance vehicles are the stars. But majority of my running is in Mumbai city which goes through flooding every year. Naturally, SUVs find it easier to tackle such conditions. An added advantage of the big boot is that heavy camera equipment and tripods fit with ease and if you need to occasionally pick up relatives from the airport, the boot can swallow a great deal of luggage. In fact, the last time I had the Duster (pre-facelift) at my disposal, I had done Mumbai-Goa a full three times.

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Quality of materials inside the cabin has improved, but isn’t on par with the competition

If you recollect, Faisal had borrowed the Duster from me last time when he needed to urgently go to Lonavala. Since his Ford Figo had a flat tyre, for the love of driving, I was happy to oblige. I was surprised that Faisal actually liked the Duster AMT and he had some good things to say (which you have already read in our first report). When Renault launched the Duster in 2012, I felt it was overpriced for what it offered but Renault did address a bunch of issues when it launched the facelifted version. The interiors, now, feel a much better place to be in. The quality has improved and the exteriors look a little more macho, thanks to that intimidating chrome grill on the hood. From the aesthetic perspective, the Duster screams SUV and there is no denying that everybody in my team just loves the way this SUV looks.