The age of compact SUVs is finally here, and boy, are we glad! Even the continuously increasing fuel prices cannot dampen our excitement for upcoming SUV launches lined up for 2013. You already know of one of the cars we’ll be comparing today – the Renault Duster hit the Indian markets a couple of months ago and is slowly rising up the popularity charts. Ford’s also jumping into the game, bringing its EcoSport out sometime early next year.
If you’re window-shopping for an affordable SUV, should you just invest in the Duster now, or should you wait for a few more months until the EcoSport comes out and order that instead? Let’s take a look.
Overall design: The first thing that strikes your mind when you look at the Renault Duster from the outside is that it’s roomy. It somehow manages to look rugged yet dynamic at the same time, with its stylishly curved body, roof rails, huge bumpers, sporty looking wheels, et al. The 16 inch alloy wheels give the Duster a more than adequate ground clearance of 210 mm, which is a huge plus especially on the Indian roads.
Ford EcoSport, on the other hand, somehow reminds me of a miniature version of a monster truck – but in a good way. The chrome grille is reminiscent of the Fiesta, but with its huge bumper, it does manage to convey power. Ford has taken care to give the EcoSport an aerodynamic, yet fuel efficient design, which means that this crossover has been designed keeping India in mind. Clear headlamps with parking LEDs, fog lamps located slightly lower, and the sporty roof rails do give it an overall interesting look too.
The interiors: Renault has maintained an all-black theme for the interior of the Duster, and the whole look just exudes a sporty feel. The Duster can seat 5 people comfortably and also comes with ample boot space for long road trips. Ford EcoSport may look quite compact from the outside, but don’t be fooled. Ford has packed in smart trimmings of gray amidst beige upholstery within the EcoSport, and the optimal use of space has made this car rather roomy within. The EcoSport also comes with a host of exciting features like voice controls, hill launch assist, smart start, etc.
Beneath the hood: The Renault Duster houses a 1.5 liter dCi diesel engine, giving the vehicle power of up to 110 bhp at 4000 rpm and maximum torque of 240 Nm at 1750 rpm. The petrol version of the Duster has a 1598 cc DOHC engine, with a maximum power of 105 bhp at 5750 rpm and peak torque of 148 Nm at 3750 rpm. Both models have a manual five speed gearbox. Renault Duster can go from 0 to 100 kmph in just 11.8 seconds and can touch a maximum speed of 164 kmph. Renault Duster can do anywhere between 13 and 20 km per liter of fuel, depending on driving conditions
The Ford EcoSport is fitted with a 1.0 liter turbocharged ecoBoost petrol engine, offering maximum power of 120Ps at 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 160 Nm at 2000-2750 rpm. The diesel model has a 1.5 liter TDCi Turbo engine with a maximum power of 80 Ps at 3750 rpm and the same maximum torque as the petrol version. We are hoping to see either a 5-speed gearbox or a 6-speed Powershift automatic gearbox in the EcoSport, but will have to wait to know for sure. The EcoSport would be able to go from 0 to 100 in 16 seconds and give a top speed of 160 kmph. The EcoSport could give a fuel efficient of around 16 kmpl, as per Ford’s claims.
Additional features: Renault Duster offers the now standard features like power steering, power windows with illuminated switches, AC with climate control, and a Bluetooth enabled music system. It also has a rear parcel shelf for storage, armrest with cup holder in the rear seat, a driver’s seat that can be adjusted in 8 different ways, foldable front passenger seat, leather seats, rear defogger, and rear wipers.
The EcoSport will have a lot of interesting features like remote operated door opening and closing, power windows, an advanced music system, foldable rear seats, storage space under passenger seat, cooled glove box, AC with automatic climate control, and voice controls. We have to admit, we’re really looking forward to get an inside look of the EcoSport!
Price: Renault Duster starts at Rs 7.49 lakh for the base model and goes up to Rs 11.69 lakh for the high end model. While Ford has not yet revealed pricing details about the EcoSport, you can expect it to be priced under Rs 10 lakhs.