Partying the whole year long, Renault had left none of the destination meant to be catered by any of the other name than SUV Duster. Although, Duster is a globally renowned product by the tag “world’s cheapest SUV” and it was also proving the same in India too for many aspects. It had aspirated a lot of Indians with its massive looking ergonomics and SUV driven aerodynamics. There it is no false that it still shares the underpinning of a sedan underneath. In other words one can also lend it, Duster gives in the pleasure of driving sedan/hatchback in spite of wearing the aura of SUV. Hopefully, looking there in the market, this type of instances are available in India too, where the makers are creating drivetrain of a sedan but skin synopsis are given of a SUV. However, when judging by this context, Duster was a winner with lots of gleam on its customer’s faces, being borne by experiencing the joy of owning a big bonker in the very dirt cheap price. Well, though the French had catered it widely in a number of astonishing span, now it is the time for them to face the guilt for what they are doing till date by putting almost every segment at brisk, namely from premium hatchbacks to a proper sedan. No doubts, we Indians feel delight in showing off our wealth and without exception Duster is the easiest and cheapest form too to do this sort of activity. But, as we said above, party is now over it means another competitor had entered the arena with similar quotient of price tags, and is smaller in size. Despite, he is not that lazy and dull but active and fast, enough to crumble down anyone under Rs. 1 million budget. Hopefully, it is none other than Ford EcoSport. Though Ford’s newest offering is a compact SUV but it has capabilities of locking horns with biggies of the industry, and exclusively the Duster, as for duos shares almost similar characteristics underneath.
Looking at both of the vehicles, one can derive the conclusion very easily, what ones needed and what he wants to drive regarded with the money packs in his pocket. But after receiving a lot of recommendations on our comments section, we then sorted out the clutter for them by pitting both of the cars against each other. And here is what we had drawn while setting ourselves behind the steering of both the bugs.
When made to stand against each other, no doubt that Renault Duster is bigger than the two. It measure more than 4 meter range. But EcoSport is just millimeters less than the four meter category and hence driving the tax benefits from governments’ end, so is the price tag being reflected relatively.
Talking about the designs, Duster is wholesome derivation of Logan, and is sporting bold chrome grille on the front which is giving it the terrific looks like that of a fully fledged SUV. The boxiness on all the corners and uplifted bumpers is making the further moves again in its favor. All massive looking alloys and roof rails notches same of the more taverns. But what matters the worst in this comparison for Duster is its quality. Black colored old school door handle seems ruining the whole fun of being an SUV. And even the door quality is also not that sufficient to get perfect thud on closing. On the other side of battlefield there stands the EcoSport dominatingly with impressive lines swerving around its body. Sophisticated fitments on each of their respective angles, and black colored theme running throughout its whole exteriors are determining how the engineers at Ford had worked to get this sort of analytics sight from the scratch. Though to what the outer crisps are made to mould in the respective angles of aerodynamics of the car, it is really needed to be talked of. We are very much impressed looking at them. And if we are not wrong then one can pass hours glazing his eyes from front to back and vice versa. Detailing on alloys is also eye soothing. And not the least, door handles too are chunky; the weight of door feels upmarket when being opened. Silver roof rails on every of the trims suits all of the colors available with dealership.
Looking at the comparison with respect to pricing offered, Ford EcoSport is the clear winner on outer crisp with almost every detailing done to suit the aerodynamics of the car. Each one of them flashes their best to brighten up sporty yet compact quotient of EcoSport.
Starting with the Duster first, it had received updates recently on inside. Renault had planted its best selling SUV with the two-DIN-sat nav-equipped touchscreen audio system. Silver trims also made to run across the (beige-greyish) dashboard in the new glimpses. Apart from the new oodles of tech, dashboard of Renault Duster looks very boring and tad in the era of new sparking genuineness. Same old looking dashboard is plain Jane in the aspiring automotive fraternity. One will not get that upmarket feel in Duster when looking at it. Driving posture is nice in Duster. The beefy driver’s seat and slimmer A pillars gives in the airy feel to car. But disappointingly we had to say, French had deprived us of driver’s seat adjustment and climate control in this four wheeler, which nowadays is becoming a standard on hatchbacks too. The dizzy placement of power mirror switch under the hand brake is very much devastating to take the ergonomics into sensible account. Though one thing we can say over is that, Renault had did every bit to save cost on it its SUV to fix the tight spot of pricing around Rs. 10 lakh to sell Duster aggressively on Indian shores.
Coming to the EcoSport, it looks ten times better than the Renault Duster. The design of Ford’s compact SUV dashboard (with black in the main theme and grey in the highlights) looks more of a Star Wars enterprise PC rather than a dashboard of a car. All designed to give in the blue caliber thought, shaped in a manner to yield a winged type of ideology too. The cool bits spread out evenly, and the chest-out stance on front console makes the proliferation goes better with the image. Hopefully, those blue colored needles on the speedo make you go raunchy with hitting highest possible speeds ever. There is a lot of drama stored on the touchscreen too. Looking at the overall appearance of dashboard we were hoping that there was some adrenaline action going to happen here. And mercilessly that we just told you about the blue colored stances, it is giving a feel of the turbo charger is zest to be opened, get ready and fasten your seatbelt to face the rocketing launch from your seat. Going with this much number of features in the car, it doesn’t mean Ford can escape easily form our sharp eyed vision. Finally, we had found out what had awesomely went wrong with the Ford’s designers at backend and that is heighted placement of dashboard being escorted by thick A pillars to block view of the front. It is so blemishing, sometimes one can miss a motorcycle too on the road due to it. Playing exceptional to one of the ergonomics cases, there is a bottle holder crafted for the driver on front door which can swallow a 1 liter bottle easily.
Moving a bit from the pilot’s area, a lot of mug is there to explore in the arena of both vehicles. Continuing with the EcoSport for now, its front seats are well bolstered but disappointingly they are narrow in shape. Most of the hefty Indians will find it difficult to suit themselves in it. That’s planted so disgustingly because of the less interior inching space, hence we cannot do anything when the talking in arena of done by less inbuilt space. Comparatively the Duster on this part is very aggressive. One can feel like sitting on a king’s throne when sat on the front seats of Duster. It has those thronging spaces in abundance, so no grieving while sitting on any of the seats of Renault’s SUV.
Comparatively in both of the cars, Duster is promising us a lot of inches even on rear. The rear seat is comfortable to house three at a time. And in Ford EcoSport the legroom is a bit shorter than the rivaling badge. It is so uneven that a premium hatchback may also laugh at it when it will lend a glare on the rear bench. To compromise this, Blue Oval marked carmaker had then given more headroom than Duster and seats can also be recline backward for making most of the space despite given with shorter inbuilt measurement.
On the other hand, Duster is already bigger in size, so French carmaker had relatively pushed the rear seat a bit ahead in order to get ample of boot space in the last. The French’s boot is of 475 liter whilst the American measures at 362 liter, almost 100 liters less than the rival here in this comparo. Counting tits bits both, EcoSport has more of them to store a lot of substance in form of other storing compartments. Despite this heavy dose of inches inside Duster had lacked somewhere to fill in the gaps rightly.
Though we love to travel in king sized vehicles due to our homegrown bad habit, we too love Duster over EcoSport for same reason.
This the most important part of comparison which we had been waiting for. As already we know what the Duster is meant and how does it drive in the city. Again not revealing much about it we will shortly move onto the next one in this section. Duster uses the in-house made K9K 1.5L diesel engine which one can find in many of the other Indian cars too. Most probably, Mahindra had made a number of its vehicles depended on this engine. Here we had taken the tune of 84 bhp in the comparing consideration so now the throttling geometry of it is quite comfortable in the city driving conditions. It really pulls itself from the low revs to higher ones responsively. One can wander in the urban jungle with high gears on his throw for the whole day long. Gearshifts are also precise and peppy. They pop up rightly for the moment you needed a lot. Ample of torque and linear power delivery makes it to do the movements with frugal grunts. Only thing that lacks here is the normally aspirated heavy clutch. As per to what is said above, for saving the rising input cost Renault had deprived Duster from getting a hydraulic clutch system, whilst the EcoSport had provided it despite costing far lesser than it. Shorter gearing and linear delivery in high throttling extravaganza makes the K9K to hop in the city more fruitfully.
However, when terming the notions with EcoSport starting range is not quite efficient, but as soon as one reaches the mid level then all the forces starts pulling it forward with the best possible steam. It is so dreadful that Ford manages to reach the 100kmph in lesser time than two of the cars. In fact, when got to know that Duster had more turbo than the EcoSport we were shocked to see the results in this unexpected manner. Hopefully this maybe due to the power is to weight ratio, which is comparatively beefier than the Ford in Renault, making it to delay a lot in the race. It went so worst in our case, sometimes we had to look into the rear view mirror to spot the Duster, means a delay of around four seconds to reach approximate maximum speed of 120-125 kmph. We hadn’t tried to reach the deadliest maximum end, but we can say that both of the cars were having enough grunts left to raise some additional notches there on the empty spaces.
Ride and Handling:
When it comes to comfort, there is no better than the Duster in this plot. Wide tyres and perfect blend of front and rear suspension makes it to cross the substances very easily. It just coasts the bumps and leaves the terrain as soon as possible without making much of the body movement. Whereas on the other hand, Ford EcoSport had is dulled with the smaller set of tyres and stiff suspension on front whilst the softer one on rear. It dingles a lot while crossing the potholes. On the flip, Duster is so confident that you need not to knick hassles even when hitting a speed breaker at high speeds. The EcoSport is not so terrific hitting this sort of temperament in India. However, it is fun to drive at the last. Its steering feels suitable at high revs, bulges in appropriately when keeps on nothing the upward throttle mark. Even Duster too is not left behind in this plot. Making you clear that, in turns and twists Eco grooves more appropriately than the other one. It’s all because of the aerodynamics that engineers at Ford had worked upon it, and Duster is boxy in nature to commend those same curves swiftly.
Renault Duster had fared better in our day to day driving experience. Ford EcoSport is more of a hatchback than a compact SUV on the road. So don’t be mistaken by its appearance, it dwells something else under the skin. Though the figures are good for the American bug in paper to score more than what was expected, but hopefully there is another factor which is driving the forces in our mindset differently. Duster with a mind blowing exercise behind the steering is our first choice of preference if we are given to buy a one amongst both. But with the much effective price tags Ford had won the prize now for being the more in number of “aesthetics” rather than “practicality”. Duster is the ‘practical answer’ to our hunger of a well balanced car, whilst the EcoSport is for being ‘more stylish’. Choice is yours, which typos you prefer the most.