With the monsoons well and truly having arrived in Delhi, the Duster has got newfound admiration among staffers and not without reason. While we also have a few sedans in our fleet, everyone seems to be running for the Dusters keys when the sky gets cloudy.
The Duster with its high ground clearance makes more sense than a sedan, especially when you have to negotiate your way around the waterlogged roads of Delhi. You never know what kind of danger might be lurking beneath the waters. There could be an open manhole cover or any other thing that could pose a problem for a car with low ground clearance.
What also adds to the Dusters demand is its hassle-free AMT-gearbox. Sure, it’s not the sharpest when it comes to overall shifts but when you are stuck in chock-o-block city traffic during the rains, you’d prefer this over any car that has a clutch. Most testes noted that the car also feels very safe and sturdy, which makes it a great drive for a long highway trip. Most testers also noted in the logbook that the car doesn’t have any rattle noises from the doors or any other plastic cladding. What also adds to the Dusters charm is the fact that the suspension is easily one of the best, if not the best, in the compact SUV segment and will simply annihilate any poorly surfaced road. It really is that good.
The Duster also impresses on the practicality front with the huge boot managing to load up even the biggest of cartons without them having to be opened. This is a big boon for anyone who is shifting his house or even better if you are buying a big and boxy AC and want to save the cash of transportation. Speaking about saving costs, the Duster returns figures in excess of 15kpl on a regular basis within city limits. One evening after a bad traffic jam, we still managed to get figures in excess of 14kpl, which are till now our worst that we’ve got. So, to save costs the Duster is a great car. What also makes it a delight is the fact that the diesel engine is hugely silent. In fact, it feels just as relaxing and eager to drive as any petrol motor because it doesn’t suffer from any turbo lag or doesn’t have any major vibrations that other diesel engines are known for. So its really the best of all worlds.
What could be better?
The knob for the headlamp adjustment is awkwardly placed on the lower right side of the driver. This could have been better positioned. Also, the instrument cluster is rather dark so sometimes its better to switch on the parking lamps so you can get a better lit gauge cluster.
We can’t wait to take the car up the hills and gauge its performance over the mountains and other such roads. Stay tuned for more, the Duster is truly impressive and we simply want to recommend a buy.