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Aditya Chatterjee Aditya Chatterjee Wednesday 26 Jun 2013, 5:36 PM

The Duster is a compact SUV and is the first in the segment which will also see a certain Ford Ecosport later. They have rightly taken care to not repeat their earlier mistake of over pricing this one. It has decided to target a lot of important players of sedan segment with a very aggressive pricing. The Renault Duster is available in both and diesel engine trims priced between Rs. 7.96 - Rs. 12.17 lakhs

 

Ford India reports 18 per cent growth in exports during May 2013
Ford EcoSport
 

Powering this Ford EcoSport urban SUV are three engines. Interestingly, out of these engines, two are petrol and one is diesel. The EcoSport will be offered in the award winning 1 Litre EcoBoost engine which claims to match a 1.6 litre engine in performance and at the same time delivering greater efficiency. The EcoSport comes in petrol and diesel engine trims with an optional automatic transmission to choose from. It is available in 10 variants priced between Rs. 5.59 - Rs. 9 lakhs

Ford EcoSport Vs Renault Duster Exteriors

The front face of the EcoSport looks very much like a hippopotamus with a broad multi layered trapezoidal grille with sleek headlights on top. The face gives the EcoSport a family face with all its international models. A very close resemblance with the international Fiesta can be seen. The front hood is nicely chiseled and has a wide stance. The lines on the hood are very prominent and flow till the mid line between the headlights. The hood and the bumper are split by a very slim section and the Ford logo looks nicely placed in between.

Chrome garnish is evident on different sections to give it a premium look. The radiator grille, hood line and the fog lamps are engulfed in chrome. Laser cut headlamps are very sleek and it spreads from the front face all the way to the silhouette.

 

Renault India reports ten-fold increase in sales during April 2013
Renault Duster
 

The beltline is very muscular. Adding to the aerodynamics of the EcoSport are the sectional lines flowing from the hood to the A pillar. This design also claims of the lowest coefficient of drag in its segment which is 0.371. Just below the A Pillar, a sharp front quarter panel begins the window line. It has a very tight and sharp glasshouse. The ORVMs are planted firmly on the front door. The ORVMs have a 2 tone finish with the upper section being body colored and the rear is in black plastic.

The Renault Duster looks like a very well balanced and proportionate SUV, without any extra over hang. The Duster will definitely not just lure the SUV buyers but will also attract a lot of sedan and premium hatch buyers too as the price point in which it is offered is very lucrative.

It has got a very prominent shoulder line and what gives it a real SUV feel are the flared wheel arches. The 5 spoke 16 inch alloys fit really well. A ground clearance of 205mm along with the 30 degree approach angle and 35 degree departure angle make the Duster stand really tall. However, the Duster is not as tall to other SUVs which work to its own benefit.

Ford EcoSport Vs Renault Duster Interiors

Inside the Duster, The steering wheel comes with a tilt only adjustment. The only flaw of the steering wheel can be seen as an absence of a proper grip as it tends to get very slippery though later you get a hang of it, this can be rectified with a better bolster support. The audio and phone controls come just after the steering wheel something that you won’t have an issue with after getting accustomed to the Renault range else would take some time to juggle with.

The design and the digits of the speedometer and the tachometer may not be very exciting but then they do manage to do the job with a small MID display showing the quintessential. It has a very simple appeal and is very well distributed all throughout the display unlike a big mess in the XUV500. A small point that was observed during the drive was the turn indicators on the speedometer were not too bright to make one realize which side turn light he was showing.

Inside the EcoSPort, The front row seats are nice and comfortable. Thankfully, there is an arm-rest for the driver which is a superb support on long journeys. With the tall dashboard, there is enough knee room for the driver and co-driver. The seats also get adjustable lumbar support. Ford claims that the seats were designed in such a way that the hips get more support to make the ride extremely comfortable for the driver. I agree, as normally the lower portion of the seat is flat and does not give adequate support.

With the new EcoSport, Ford also debuts SYNC which is a after product of combined efforts between Ford and Microsoft. The SYNC helps control the different entertainment as well as mobile options via voice commands. The SYNC can be operated via controls mounted on the steering also. The novelty of SYNC in not just mobile and entertainment connectivity but also a life saving feature known as Emergency Assist. This feature is an industry first and is complimentary for the life span of the car.

Ford EcoSport Vs Renault Duster Performance

The EcoBoost engine breaks all such myths and brings a lot on the table. This one is the smallest engine in its class and Ford’s first three cylinder engine in the country. It produces a power output of 125PS and a peak torque of 170Nm. The company claims that the EcoBoost offers 8% more power than a 1.6L diesel engine and 7% more torque than a 1.6L petrol engine.

Other than the EcoBoost, there is the 1.5-litre TiVCT 4 cylinder petrol engine which churns out 112 PS power at 6300 rpm and a peak torque of 140Nm at 4400 rpm. Diesel seekers get an option of 1.5-litre TDCi intercooled turbocharged diesel engine. This engine produces a peak power of 91PS at 3750 rpm and a torque of 204Nm between 2000 to 2750 rpm. The TiVCT engine has an optional 6 speed automatic transmission option.

The EcoSport is an Urban offering in the SUV market. It is what a Honda CRV or a Mutsubishi Outlander is in the premium segment. It is not for the hard core off roaders but more for the occasional soft roaders. The tall ground clearance of 200mm is fantastic for Indian road conditions so the moon craters won’t be felt much. It has an approach angle of 25 degrees and a departure angle of 35 degrees. The EcoSport also claims to have an ability to wade through 550mms of water.

The Renault Duster comes in one petrol and two diesel engine options; we were driving the 110 PS diesel engine as that was the most appropriate for climbing the hilly terrains of Munnar and its surrounding areas. It has a Common rail direct injection 4 cylinder 1461cc K9K diesel engine. The K9K diesel engine was also seen on the Logan as well as many present day Renault vehicles.

This diesel unit produces a power of 110 PS at 3900 RPM and a torque of 248 Nm at 2250 RPM. It comes with a 6 speed manual gearbox and Renault has no plans for an automatic variant in the very near future

Ford EcoSport Vs Renault Duster Conclusion

The Ford EcoSport was revealed in front of all on 26th June 2013. It was launched at a shocking price of Rs.5.59 lakhs (Ex-Showroom) Delhi. Since it is available in 10 trims and has an Automatic transmission too, it offers more choices to the Indian consumers. Clearly the EcoSport had created a strong buzz and this aggressive pricing makes it extremely difficult for the Duster to sustain. The launch of EcoSport is not just bad news for the existing Duster but also for the re-badged Duster based Nissan Terrano.

With features like SYNC and Emergency Life Assist, the EcoSport surely looks like a value for money deal for everyone. Luckily, Ford did not repeat the mistake of overpricing this one like the Fiesta. The EcoSport is here to stay for long.