As part of our profession, we get to drive all kinds of cars. Big, small, luxury barges – the whole range of the spectrum. And it is with experience that you begin to appreciate the finer points of these machines and begin to understand why somethings work in the Indian market and environment, and some don’t.
Take the cloth seats of the Duster, for instance. Many of us would think of them being downmarket and would much prefer leather seats. However, as far as my experience goes, cloth trumps leather in India, any day. And nowhere do you feel that more strongly than in the middle of summer in Delhi, when the heat is at its peak and you’ve had to leave the car parked in direct sunlight. In the case of cloth seats, the seats get slightly warm, but not uncomfortable. But if the car has leather seats, the searing barbeque feeling felt by your back and thighs is an experience to remember! Something that might not be apparent at first glance, but after you’ve been burnt once, the experience will remain sharp in your memory.
However, there is one gripe with the Duster that Renault seems to have still not been able to solve, and that is the moving driver’s seat. For some reason, under hard braking, the Duster’s driver’s seat just moves bit forward by an mm or two. And while it’s no safety risk, the experience of the moving seat is really annoying. But, as I write this report, right before I get to drive the new Captur, there is lots of hope for new products from the company. I, for one, am looking forward to how the new SUV will be.