First Drive: Renault Duster Adventure edition
Ever thought the Duster needed to be a bit sportier in the looks department? Neither did we, but the latest trim adds an extra layer of machismo to Renault's SUV
We recently got behind the wheel of the Renault Duster Adventure edition while on the Gang of Dusters first Desert Odyssey – in Rajasthan.
Yes, it's the crossover's variant we witnessed Renault brandished for the first time at auto expo earlier in Jan. This variant basically looks an accentuated version of its otherwise casual self, with its darker shade of alloys, blackened headlamps, bolder front bumper, additional plastic cladding on the doors and some funky upholstery and interior trim. And yes, these are the same trim features that Renault already had available as add-ons to the outgoing model, and have just fit them to a variant which caters to a livelier taste.
Though the exterior bits look good, they're not exactly head-turning material. And if your head did in fact turn to that effect, you'd notice the familiar rear end design of good ol' regular-face (with an Adventure sticker slapped on).
The dual tone interior colour scheme on the dashboard has given way to some darker shades of grey, which add a touch of sportiness to the darkened out cabin. The Adventure edition doesn’t house any additional features to the outgoing 110bho Dusters ABS, ABD, reverse parking sensors, USB and aux-in touch-controlled entertainment system with sat nav.
Out on the sweltering sand-filled streets, the air-con unit also functioned very well in keeping the entire cabin cool – with just the four vents up front. Although the car looks more 'ready for adventure,' it feels as capable as the regular 110bhp diesel Duster to drive. That's mainly due to the fact that there're no mechanical changes in or around the 1.5-litre motor - which isn't really a bad thing.
Those who ventured out onto the soft dunes in the two-wheel-drive Adventure edition were left dusting sand of themselves after having to fish the car out from being stuck. Knowing the soft-roader to ride and handle well, we kept to the road in the Duster Adventure, and the slick six-speed ’box allowed us to stretch the legs of those 108 horses, doing triple digit speeds with ease on some seamless strips of tar – the suspension rarely being put through harsh test throughout the day’s drive.
However after driving the 110bhp Duster (not just the Adventure edition) and the 84bhp version back-to-back, it must be mentioned that the 110 really felt more comfortable out on long highway jaunts than the 84bhp car. If there’s serious overtaking to be done, you really have to work the five-speed gearbox in the latter.
Those who find the Duster's looks a little too boring and the Nissan Terrano a little to flash, now have the Adventure variant as an option with the new one costing the same as the top-of-the-line 110bhp Duster 1.5 diesel, priced at Rs 11.7lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Noticeably, the black fabric seat covers with some brighter, fluorescent looking bits looked a mismatch with the moss-coloured exterior paint. Maybe in black...