Our editorial's long-term fleet of cars now has the Renault Duster AMT in its kitty. I am pretty excited to use it for the next few months and hope that it will serve my needs to the fullest.
Before getting into the details let me introduce you to the car in question. It is a top-of-the-line AMT version of the 4X2 Duster in an attractive Cayenne orange colour, which I like very much. This is the latest iteration of the Duster that was first introduced in 2012. Its latest avatar now is the result of a mid-life cycle update given to liven up the SUV. Apart from cosmetic changes, there are many new features packed inside which will hopefully be useful to me in the months to come. The key features in the cabin include automatic climate control, touch screen infotainment system with sat-nav and the rear view camera. For a photographer like me, I needed a car with a big boot, and the Duster, with the largest boot space in its segment, already seems to be quite promising.
Another very useful thing in the compact but spacious Duster is the AMT gearbox sourced From ZF. It is nothing but a manual gearbox with an electro-hydraulic mechanism. An ECU (electronic control unit) takes care of the clutch and gear shift movement via cogs. In simple words, there is no clutch – which is a big respite for my left leg. Also, I can either depend entirely on the AMT to take care of the gearshifts or do it myself manually. We shall know soon if it will be able to provide the same driving pleasure the Duster is known for.
Mechanically, the five-seater monocoque Duster is still powered by the same 1.5-litre K9k dCi diesel mill from its predecessor. It churns out 108bhp of power at 4,000rpm and 245Nm of peak torque at 1,750rpm. So for now I'm convinced that with a claimed fuel efficiency of 19.6kmpl, I will surely be able to keep my fuel costs down. Whether it will serve my needs to the fullest will only be evident over the months after we use it expansively in the city as well on the highways. Do keep a tab on our monthly long term review reports.
Photos By : Kapil Angane