My first post here - looking for some advice and a soundboard. I would also appreciate if any current Petrol Duster owners can share their experience.
I've had my eye on Renault Duster for a while and I'm finally in a position to buy it for myself and family. Have taken roadtrips across our beautiful country in my dad's old Honda City Vtech which I currently drive. I have driven it from Delhi to the coast of Gujarat to Indo-China border up in the Himalayas and it has been an absolutely joy - great combination of smoothness and strength. Whilst road trips will now be limited to once or twice a year, ground clearance and good ride quality/handling is something I've been adamant about and therefore the Duster. It's drivable in the city and looks good too.
Creta is Korean and seems overpriced. I'm a female driver so Mahindra is simply not an option (solid cars but driving position/seating is extremely uncomfortable for women).
Budget: 10 Lakhs (may stretch for great options)
Key Factors: Safety, Ground Clearance and should ride 5-10 years at least.
Monthly running: 850-950 Kms
Use: Regular; Delhi to Gurgaon office routine; 1-2 yearly roadtrips
1. Petrol RXE (8.5 Lakhs on road/after discount) - can live without rear power windows; will install aftermarket stereo and maybe PU seats.
2. Petrol RXL (9.85 Lakhs on road/after discount) - stereo and only driver airbag. They aren't offering passenger airbag as, you know, passenger/loved one's life is simply not worthy (sarcasm over). This was a big turn off.
Both petrol have ABS
and I am not willing to pay 1.5 lakhs extra for a single airbag and stereo - and therefore looking at RXE Petrol. My colour (black) will take a month's delivery time.
The Twist: Showroom has a May 2015 manufactured Petrol RXL with interiors modified - black/orangish seats and dashboard (like the adventure edition) currently parked in the showroom and odometer already showed 180+ kms. Test drove for 5-6 kms and seemed smooth. When pressed, the story i was given was about the original customer's finance not coming through but I am suspicious (by nature). He's offering the car at 9.7 Lakhs. It's not my color preference but I can change my mind if i get a good deal.
I have driven the Petrol RXL - smooth ride and a light clutch. Only downside is 10-13 mileage which I can try live with. So ground clearance vs. mileage is the trade off. I know a petrol owner whose driven 8000 kms in one year and is pretty happy with his buy. My running on the other hand will be 11000+ kms yearly.
Other options considered:
-I had considered the 85ps diesel but the cheapest 85ps variant with ABS
is 12.5 lakhs and simply not worth it since going from a 105ps honda vtech to an 85ps will anyway be a huge downgrade. My monthly running anyway doesn't warrant a diesel and calculations show in no way will I break-even paying 12 Lakhs for a diesel vs petrol at less than 10 lakhs.
-Seriously considered stretching budget for 110 ps - but that would mean hard clutch/turbo lag since I am mostly driving in the city. Test drove 110 rxz and while the ride was great, the interior plastic quality was simply not worth paying 15 Lakhs. Remember I am used to and spoiled by Honda's standards - which i may compromise on but only for a car which costs less than 8 Lakhs.
So question is
1. Is Petrol Duster worth it? It's a K4M, 4 cylinder 1.6 L engine.
2. What's a solid comparable sedan at the same price as Petrol RXE Duster - 8.5 Lakhs?
The only sedan I find decent is Toyota Corolla which is >16 lakhs and therefore a different story. It clearly hurts to have expensive taste.
3. Does it make sense to buy a 5 month old manufactured "new" car? What should the bargain be? Is there any way to ensure I'm not being cheated? Just simply PDI check list? Or is it a safer bet to place an order for an RXE of my colour and wait a month for delivery? I can wait happily but the dealer tried to tell me that for ordering/delivery next month he cant confirm the pricing and that will be my risk. I understand that monthly price change risk is standard across the industry? More importantly, the showroom manager said he cant guarantee the month of make if he orders a new car?!
Thanks for reading and any help. Happy driving!