Renault India entered the Indian market with the not so popular Mahindra Renault Logan. In 2008, the company started building up its Chennai plant to deliver its own products. Very soon after inaugurating the Renault Nissan technology center, the company launched its first vehicle “fluence”.
This vehicle didn’t really make a mark but was a premium offering. It was in 2012 when the brand became very famous by the launch of the Duster. This is a car which introduced the compact SUV segment to the Indian markets. It is still very renowned and popular car after almost 7 years of its launch. In 2015 the company showcased the Kwid which was yet another best seller.
This car really gave worries to the very well established Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai cars. However, company experienced a massive 41 % drop in the volumes from FY 2017 to FY 2019. The company currently has a total Industry Volume Penetration of 24% which it targets to increase by more than 50%. As on date, 4 models of Renault are on sale and the brand plans to introduce 3 more in the upcoming year. Continue reading to know more about all these four cars.
Even after a decline in the sales figure of the company, this car retains ninth spot among the top 10 best-selling personal vehicles. The launch of this vehicle recorded a rise in the quality levels of the affordable hatchback segment. 8 variants, 6 color, 2 engine and 2 transmission options are on offer. An AMT gearbox is available as an optional fitment with both the engines.
The price range of this car is from 2.72 lakhs to 4.67 lakhs INR. 800-cc engine produces 53.3 bhp at 5678 rpm and 72 Nm of torque at 4386 rpm. Fuel efficiency for this engine is 25 kmpl as per ARAI and it touches the 100 kmph mark in 16 seconds. The 1-liter engine has a slightly bumped up power of 67 bhp at 5500 rpm and 91 Nm of torque at 4250 RPM. The fuel efficiency is however 21.7 kmpl which is almost 4 kmpl less than the other. The headlights of this car are big and wide, the Renault logo and the large grill makes this car feel like a segment above. The climber version gets a multicolor treatment at front, on the ORVM’s and at a other places.
The ground clearance of 180 mm and a boot space of 300 liters is not just segment leading but it comes from a completely different class at a very low price point. Roof rails are just for aesthetics and not for actual usage. No door pockets or power windows are available on the rear doors, the leg room is decent enough to fit in a 6 feet tall person. However, there is absolutely no space to stretch your legs. Headroom is sufficient enough for an averaged size person, but taller people may find it a bit low. Surprisingly, there is a rear central arm rest which is a segment first feature.
The front door pockets are huge and could fit in 1-liter bottles with ease. Practicality wise this car scores great! It has twin glove boxes, space to keep things like mobile phone, charging socket and bottle holders near the gear lever. There is a 7-inch touchscreen on offer with rear camera! And that’s a huge addition. However, the infotainment system is very slow to react, and the rear parking view is enabled probably when you are done with your reverse parking. The instrument cluster is completely digital which again is a segment first feature.
For the 800-cc engine, the maximum torque of the vehicle comes up till 1200 rpm. The performance is pretty adequate for a city drive. There is no shortage of power in most of the driving conditions. The steering however feels very light which is the best in urban traffic conditions and equally worst while rounding corners or on open stretches of the roads. There is no ABS and the braking power is pretty average.
The 1-liter engine is targeted for the customers who want some more power from their hatch rather than just the fuel efficiency. The power delivery with this engine is very linear. The vibrations are very well contained, and the ride is completely stress free as compared to the other engine.
The Duster is available is 7 color and 10 variations, out of which 3 are petrol and 7 are diesel. The 1498-cc petrol engine makes 104.5 BHP of power at 5600 RPM and 142 Nm at 4000 RPM. The 1461-cc diesel engine makes 83.8 bhp at 3750 rpm and 200 Nm at 1750 rpm. The fuel efficiency for petrol is 14.19 kmpl while for the diesel it is 20 kmpl. The ground clearance of the duster is 205 mm which is fine for mild off roading. Compared to its previous model, this car gets a lot of black treatment on the exterior. A 475 liters boot is large enough to carry the luggage of 5 adults for a long road trip. Silver cladding and chrome treatment on the front give it a premium feel.
Glossy black finish on the dashboard and silver treatment around the A/C vents look good. The revised headlamps and tail lamps give it an edge over other vehicles. The red finishing on the inside door handles look good and distinctive. Quality levels inside the cabin are average and not the best in class. There is a lot of usage of hard plastics. There is an absence of dead paddle. Driver seat gets an arm rest but there is no storage space beneath that. The manual gearbox is absolutely smooth shifting. There is no body roll even with its large dimensions. The feel and feedback from the steering is great and it feels adequately weighted both on highways as wellas in the city.
The engine is really punchy, and the ride quality is the best at any given situation. The automatic gearbox is the best for city driving conditions. Gear shifts do come at the right time without any hassle. However, if you press the throttle hard, you may find a lag between the right gear shift. To solve this problem, you can put the car in manual mode where there is no upshift up to 5000 rpm. The 6th makes highway driving easier.
The captur is available in 4 variants and 12 color options. The price range of the car is from 9.5 lakhs to 13 lakhs INR. The design is European and looks more a crossover than a compact SUV. The compact SUV gets 2 engine options. The 1498-cc petrol engine makes 104.55 bhp at 5600 rpm and 142 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. The fuel efficiency for petrol is 13.87 kmpl. The 1461-cc diesel engine makes 108.49 bhp at 3850 rpm and 240 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm and the fuel efficiency for the diesel engine is 20.37 kmpl. The ground clearance of this vehicle is of 210mm.
There is a black cladding all over the car. The 17-inch alloy wheels look perfect. The full LED headlamps, LED DRL’s swipe style indicators look absolutely stunning. There is a lot of chrome treatment on the front. Also, there are options to customize your car. The 392-liter boot space is a lot lesser than the Duster. There are hard plastics everywhere on the dashboard. The butterfly shaped instrument cluster looks absolutely stunning. The 7-inch touchscreen is a bit laggy. Also, there is no android auto or apple car play inside. The Rear A/C vent works well and is sufficient enough to cool the rear cabin space. Front seating position is very high and that’s bad news for the taller drivers.
The under-thigh support could have been better on the rear seats but overall, they are wide, and 3 people could easily fit in. There is a golden finish across the center console and air conditioning vent. Sadly, there is no auto dimming inside rear-view mirror. The engine and road noise are very well contained and thy don’t filter through the cabin. The highway stability is perfect. The performance is not exciting but is linear. The gear shifts are very smooth.
The clutch however, is not the lightest and that can be hectic in traffic conditions. The captur is not really the sportiest of the lot but it’s the best for Indian driving conditions. It just glides over the rough patches of the road and doesn’t filter much of that inside. There is a hill start assist on the vehicle which helps while off roading.
There are 7 variants and 5 colors of the lodgy on offer. It is priced in between 8.63 lakhs and 12.12 lakh INR. The Lodgy is an urban MPV and is built on a monocoque platform. The front gets a good chrome treatment which would appeal to the personal car buyers. This MPV is longer than the ertiga and mobilio. These dimensions free up a massive space on the inside. Even with all the rows up, there is a boot space of 279 liters which is very reasonable.
Third row of seats is ideal only for kids as adults would have to sit in a knees-up position. Also, the third row is equipped with phone holders, cup holders and 12-volt charging socket. The second row of seats are decent enough and they do offer a very good cushioning. Head-room and leg-room are absolutely fine, and passengers of any size would feel comfortable here. The first row of seats also looks premium. The dashboard and styling elements are carried over from the duster and they could be easily recognized. The quality of materials used is also very decent. This being a people mover, all the variants are offered a 1.5-liter diesel engine option.
The 1461-cc engine makes 83.8 bhp at 3750 RPM and 200 Nm at 1900 RPM. The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The ARAI claimed fuel economy figure is of 21.04 kmpl. The diesel engine has a strong performance on offer. The ride quality is extremely refined. The performance is ideally suited for long drives. It does not have anything best in class but manages to fit in all the good things at a very competitive price point.
Renault currently has only 4 cars on offer, two of them have really made a mark in the Indian Personal vehicle segment. The Captur is a European crossover and the design and styling goes very well in India the pricing is also very attractive, but with the rising competition in this segment from the cars like the Nexon, TUV 300 and the trend setting Brezza, the captur seems to be less popular. The Reno Lodgy is low on price and high on value. It’s ticks all the right boxes at a very competitive price point. That’s all about the Renault cars in India.
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