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Ford EcoSport VS Renault Duster – Will The Unstoppable Be Stopped?

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The Ford EcoSport was recently launched for a shocking price starting at Rs. 5.59 Lakh. This has pitted it against many cars across categories but the main rival for the SUV would be the class-leading Renault Duster. Though longer than 4-metres and falling in a different category altogether, there is no other serious competition for the Duster apart from the EcoSport.

In this comparison we find out if the Duster should really be worried about the EcoSport or are we comparing apples and oranges? Let’s find out: Ford EcoSport VS Renault Duster

EcoSport VS Duster

Variants And Price Comparison Of EcoSport VS Duster

Ford EcoSport Petrol

  • EcoSport Petrol Ambiente 1.5 Litre MT : Rs. 5.59 Lakh
  • EcoSport Petrol Trend 1.5 Litre MT : Rs. 6.50 Lakh
  • EcoSport Petrol Titanium 1.5 Litre MT : Rs. 7.51 Lakh
  • EcoSport Petrol Titanium 1.5 Litre AT : Rs. 8.45 Lakh
  • EcoSport Petrol Titanium 1.0 Litre EcoBoost MT : Rs. 7.90 Lakh
  • EcoSport Petrol Titanium+ 1.0 Litre EcoBoost MT : Rs. 8.29 Lakh

Renault Duster Petrol

  • Duster Petrol RxE : Rs. 7.99 Lakh
  • Duster Petrol RxL : Rs. 8.93 Lakh

Ford EcoSport Diesel

  • EcoSport Diesel Ambiente 1.5 Litre MT : Rs. 6.69 Lakh
  • EcoSport Diesel Trend 1.5 Litre MT : Rs. 7.61 Lakh
  • EcoSport Diesel Titanium 1.5 Litre MT : Rs. 8.62 Lakh
  • EcoSport Diesel Titanium (O) 1.5 Litre MT : Rs. 9 Lakh

Renault Duster Diesel

  • Duster 84 BHP Diesel RxE : Rs. 8.73 Lakh
  • Duster 84 BHP Diesel RxL : Rs. 9.73 Lakh
  • Duster 84 BHP Diesel RxL (O) : Rs. 10.96 Lakh
  • Duster 109 BHP Diesel RxL : Rs. 10.75 Lakh
  • Duster 109 BHP Diesel RxZ : Rs. 11.65 Lakh
  • Duster 109 BHP Diesel RxZ (O) : Rs. 12.18 Lakh

The Ford EcoSport trumps the Renault Duster in terms of price per variant and also in the number of variants offered. Customers will have more choice if they choose to go for the EcoSport, the top-end variants of the EcoSport wouldn’t be too hard on their wallets too as compared to the Duster.

Round one goes to the EcoSport.

On the outside

The Facts

Ford EcoSport Dimensions

Ford-EcoSport-SUV.jpg

LxWxH (mm) : 3999 x 1765 x 1708

Turning Radius (m) : 5.3

Ground Clearance (mm) : 200

Ford EcoSport Features [1.5 Litre MT Diesel Titanium+/(O)]

  • Chrome grille
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Bumper claddings
  • Front fog lamps
  • Body coloured ORVMs with integrated turn indicators
  • Side claddings
  • 16 – inch alloy wheels
  • Silver roof rails
  • Rear de-fogger
  • Rear wiper with washer

Renault Duster Dimensions

2012-Renault-Duster.jpg

LxWxH (mm) : 4315 x 1822 x 1695

Turning Radius (m) : 5.2

Ground Clearance (mm) : 205

Renault Duster Features [109 BHP Diesel RxZ (O)]

  • Chrome Grille
  • Body colored bumpers
  • Bumper cladding
  • Front fog lamps
  • Chrome ORVMs without integrated side indicators
  • 16 – inch alloy wheels
  • Silver roof rails
  • Rear defogger
  • Rear wiper & washer

The Experience

Looks are a very subjective matter,we know. Still, here goes.

Simply put, the EcoSport is for those who are looking for a compact, stylish, sporty SUV and are not very particular about the traditional traits that you’d look for in an SUV – like the butch, muscular, king-of-the-road look.

The Duster on the other hand is a much simpler design, it looks like a proper old-school SUV with a little flair here and there. The wheel arches are flaired out, the side-profile view is simple, classy and appealing.

Seen side by side the EcoSport looks modern and agile, while the Duster looks big and brawny.

Feature wise, at least on the outside, both the SUVs tick almost all of the boxes. The Duster misses out on the turn-indicator integrated mirrors, but that can be overlooked. The EcoSport has little flourishes like the neat silver tail-lamp integrated tail-gate handle and the spare wheel mounted on the tail-gate. The Duster tries to look upmarket with dashes of chrome and silver skid-plates front and back, roof rails and everything, but looks very simple as compared to the EcoSport.

The EcoSport, thanks to its smaller size, is easier to maneuver than the Duster even though the Duster has a slight advantage in terms of minimum turning radius. The wide wheels arches and the overall length of the Duster make you more conscious about the limited spaces around you while driving around town. The larger size of the Duster does give it an advantage in interior space though, we will talk about that later. All-around view in both the cars is adequate, you sit a bit higher in the Duster so that helps. Parking and reversing is easy on both cars thanks to sensors on the rear bumpers. Both the cars have enough ground clearance to face the uneven road conditions found in the cities as well out of them, the EcoSport has a wading capacity of 550 mm.

Verdict: Looks wise, you would like the Duster if you are a fan of simple, elegant, muscular – old school SUV styling. On the other hand those who like sharp, sporty styling would prefer the EcoSport over Duster.

The EcoSport scores points over the Duster due its compact dimensions, it is a good choice if your driving is mostly limited within the city. The Duster’s road presence gives it an advantage too, especially because the right-to-way in our country is determined by how large you vehicle is.

We’ll call this a tie, shall we?

On The Inside

The Facts

Ford EcoSport Dimensions

Ford-EcoSport-India-Interiors-Official-Pictures-1.jpg

Wheelbase (mm) : 2520

Boot Space (normal/expanded in litres): 346/705

Ford EcoSport Features [1.5 Litre MT Diesel Titanium+/(O)]

  • Two tone interiors (Black and Dark Grey)
  • Leather seats, steering wheel, gearknob
  • Passenger side under-seat storage
  • Driver seat armrest
  • Driver seat height and lumbar adjust
  • 12V power point rear
  • 60/40 rear seat split
  • Rear seat reclining
  • Automatic A/C
  • Steering mounted audio controls
  • Tilt and telescopic steering
  • Cooled glovebox
  • Fuel computer display on instrument cluster
  • Powered ORVMs
  • Power windows (front and back)
  • Push button start
  • Music system with FM/AM, AUX, USB, Bluetooth with four speaker
  • 3.5 inch multi-function display
  • SYNC with voice control

Renault Duster Dimensions

Wheelbase (mm) : 2673

Boot Space (normal/expanded in litres): 475/1064

Renault Duster Features [109 BHP Diesel RxZ (O)]

  • Two tone interiors (Beige and black)
  • Leather seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and gearknob
  • Driver seat height and lumbar adjust
  • 12V power point rear
  • Manual A/C
  • Rear A/C vents
  • Steering-column mounted audio controls
  • Tilt steering
  • Powered ORVMs
  • Power windows (front and back)
  • 2-DIN Music system with FM/AM, AUX, USB, Bluetooth with four speaker
  • Navigation system

The Experience

The exterior styling theme continues inside for both Ecosport and Duster. The EcoSport interior looks very modern, with a predominantly black dashboard, air-vents highlighted in silver trim, stylish instrument cluster with large-easy to read tachometer and speedometer pods. The centre console is dominated by a silver highlighted multimedia control centre with buttons to access the various multimedia options available, a door-lock/unlock button and the hazard warning lamp button. The lower centre console is finished in black and houses the air-con control.

The interior of the Duster on the other hand look a bit barren (or simple, based on the way you look at it) as compared to the EcoSport. The choice of colours, beige and black make the cabin look airy and are complemented by the large windows. The dashboard doesn’t look very appealing to the eyes though, there is mish-mash of colours, it looks a bit dated with the round air-vents, rotary knobs for the air-con unit etc. The centre console is all-black with control for the multimedia unit below which you’d find controls for the A/C. The Duster has steering-wheel column mounted media controls, which take a bit of time getting used to. These control buttons are surprisingly easy to use once you get familiarised with them, opinion is divided in the office though about which system is better. Some say that steering-wheel integrated controls are easier to operate, but others argue for the system found on the Duster where you don’t accidently press them when operating the steering.

The Renault Duster trumps the Ford EcoSport in terms of interior space for the passengers and in terms of luggage space. The overall bigger dimensions of the Duster give it an advantage here. Though both SUVs claim five-seating capacity, three healthy adults mights find the rear seats in the EcoSport a bit of a squeeze. The luggage space in the Duster is much larger than the EcoSport too, a vacation drive with five members and their luggage would be a breeze in the Duster, though intelligent packaging and storage solutions (like the 60:40 split rear seats) in the EcoSport do not leave it far behind.

The seats on both the cars are comfortable back and front. Getting into a comfortable position is much easier on the EcoSport thanks to the telescopic and tilt adjustable steering, whereas the Duster only gets a tilt-adjustable steering. The driver seats on both the cars are adjustable for height and the lumbar support can be adjusted too. The rear passengers in the Duster would feel better because of the A/C vents provided for them, a feature the EcoSport misses out on. A lack of space seems to be reason for this omission, but it will be a feature that will be sorely missed.

Verdict: The cabin quality in the EcoSport is much better than the Duster, the leather seats are much better, the leather stitching on the steering wheel and gear-knob feel much better to touch and the plastic quality is better to feel too. The EcoSport understandably loses out in terms of interior space, the airy cabin of the Duster makes it a much more happier place to be in. The EcoSport scores a huge victory over the equipment available in the car, kudos to Ford for including the huge list features for such a competitive price.

The Duster loses this round even though it bigger inside, the sheer amount of the kit the EcoSport makes it look overpriced.

Engine and Transmission Comparison Of EcoSport VS Duster

The Facts

Ford EcoSport

  • 110 BHP, 140 Nm, 1.5-Litre, Ti-VCT petrol engine available with a 5-speed manual transmission and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. 15.8 KMPL. 65 BHP/Tonne
  • 123 BHP, 170 Nm, 1.0-Litre , Ecoboost petrol engine available with 5-speed manual transmission. 18.7 Kmpl. 72 BHP/Tonne
  • 90 BHP, 204 Nm, 1.5-Litre, TDCi diesel engine available with 5-speed manual transmission. 22.7 Kmpl. 53 BHP/Tonne
  • Fuel tank capacity: 52 litres

Renault Duster

  • 103 BHP, 145 Nm, 1.6-Litre, K4M petrol engine available with a 5-speed manual transmission. 13.24 KMPL. 59 BHP/Tonne
  • 84 BHP, 200 Nm, 1.5 dCi K9K diesel engine available with a 5-speed manual transmission. 20.45 KMPL. 48 BHP/Tonne
  • 109 BHP, 248 Nm, 1.5 dCi K9K diesel engine available with a 6-speed manual transmission. 19.01 KMPL. 61 BHP/Tonne
  • Fuel tank capacity: 50 litres

The Experience

The EcoSport has an advantage over the Duster in terms of performance as well as fuel economy if you choose the petrol variants of these SUVS, the Duster fares better if you choose the diesel variants.

The 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol motor engine on the EcoSport blew our minds away, this is definitely the variant you want to go for if you’re okay with buying a petrol engined SUV. We are not a big fan of the 1.6 litre petrol motor on the Duster, it doesn’t have enough grunt to haul the 1740 Kg SUv around, and it is not very fuel efficient too.

In the diesel motor battle though, the Duster wins hands down, the 109 BHP K9K has enough performance to make you forget about its lower mileage figure, 0-100 KMPH comes in at 11.8 seconds and the top speed is just over 160 KMPH. If you’re looking for an efficient diesel SUV, then the EcoSport would be you choice, the performance is not bad too, it goes from standstill to 100 KMPH in 13.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 182 KMPH.

Verdict: The EcoSport with the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine has a soft spot in our hearts, it ensures a smile delivering experience every time you drive it. We know though that the diesel variants of these SUVs will be very popular, and we vote for the 109 BHP Duster.

Driving Characteristics Comparison

The Facts

Ford EcoSport

  • Front suspension: Independent McPherson Strut with coil springs & anti-roll bar
  • Rear suspension: Semi-independent twist beam with twin gas and oil filled shock absorbers
  • Tyres: 195/65 R15 (Ambiente & Trend variants), 205/60 R16 [Titanium and Titanium (O)]
  • Electric power assisted steering with Pull Drift Compensation
  • Brakes: Ventilated discs at front, drum brakes at the rear
  • ABS: On all variants except Ambiente

Renault Duster

  • Front suspension: Independent McPherson Strut with coil springs & anti-roll bar
  • Rear suspension: Torsion beam axle with coil springs & anti-roll bar
  • Tyres: 215/65 R16
  • Electro hydraulic power assisted steering
  • Brakes: Ventilated discs at front, drum brakes at the rear
  • ABS: Not available on petrol variants, 84 BHP Diesel RxE. Optional on 84 BHP Diesel RxL. Available on all other variants.

The Experience

Ford Ecosport India

When it comes to ride-comfort, both the SUVs are almost on par, their suspension soaks up undulations on the roads without making a fuss, the high-profile tyres also help in keeping the occupants comfortable over choppy surfaces.

Renault-Duster-in-action.jpg

The EcoSport is slightly better compared to the Duster in the handling department, we emphasize the word slightly. The intelligent electric steering, shorter wheelbase, the short overhangs vis-a-vis more spread out wheel positions coupled to Ford’s expertise at making sweet handling cars, makes the EcoSport a very rewarding car….SUV to drive. See, the driving characteristics of the EcoSport are so car-like, it confuses you. At higher speeds, you’d feel much more confident in the EcoSport than in the Duster.

Verdict: EcoSport is the clear winner here.

Safety Features Of EcoSport VS Duster

The Facts

Ford EcoSport

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  • ABS: On all variants except Ambiente
  • Airbag: Driver and front passenger on Titanium & Titanium (O) variants. Curtain airbags on Petrol Titanium 1.5 Litre AT and all Titanium (O) variants.
  • Emergency Assist on Titanium and Titanium (O) variants.
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Emergency brake hazard warning lamp

Renault Duster

Duster-front-dashboard-shot_RXZ-top-variant_airbags.png

  • ABS: Not available on petrol variants, 84 BHP Diesel RxE. Optional on 84 BHP Diesel RxL. Available on all other variants.
  • Airbag: Driver & front passenger airbag not available on petrol variants, 84 BHP Diesel RxE and 109 BHP Diesel RxL. Optional on 84 BHP Diesel RxL. Available on all other variants. No curtain airbags available.
  • Rear parking sensors not available on petrol variants, 84 BHP Diesel RxE and 109 BHP Diesel RxL. Optional on 84 BHP Diesel RxL. Available on all other variants.

The Experience

The EcoSport again amazes us with the kit it offers for the price, the safety equipment on the car cannot be matched by the Duster in any way. We were disappointed to find that the petrol variants of the Duster miss out on all important safety features. The top end variants of the EcoSport get dual front airbags and curtain airbags, which is amazing for the price they’re being offered at, ABS is available on all variants except the base Ambiente which is a good thing too.

The Emergency Assist system on the EcoSport is a segment first, and we think it is a great feature. The system automatically alerts emergency response operators in case the vehicle is involved in an accident, which could be a life-saver in case there no people nearby to help. The system gets activated if the airbags have been deployed or if the fuel pump shut off gets triggered.

Verdict: The EcoSport wind this round due to the number of safety equipment it offers for the price and also for introducing the Emergency Assist feature in all variants of the SUV.

Conclusion- Ford EcoSport VS Renault Duster

EcoSport VS Duster

So, are we comparing apples and oranges? We don’t think so. The Duster and EcoSport are compact SUVs trying to woo a younger generation of buyers. The Duster is a good SUV overall, but the EcoSport wins this comparison by a big margin. It appealed to us with its sporty styling, it is small enough to be driven comfortably in the city, it has better interiors in terms of quality, a long list of features, an exciting engine lineup and better drive dynamics.

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So there you have it. We think that the EcoSport is the clear winner, what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Ford EcoSport VS Renault Duster - Will The Unstoppable Be Stopped? , 5.0 out of 5 based on 5 ratings
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  • Santosh Pilane

    Absolutely Ecosport is good deal…

  • Tinku Sharma

    definately Ecosport is the best

  • biju

    “a vacation drive with five members and their luggage would be a breeze in the Duster, though intelligent packaging and storage solutions (like the 60:40 split rear seats) in the EcoSport do not leave it far behind.”

    Cant agree to this.. How can the 60:40 split etc help if we are talking about a vacation drive with 5 members. Ecosport simply lacks space and is claustrophobic. Simply put, this is similar to the comparison of a hatch back with a sedan. Eco sport is a hatch with SUV looks and Duster is a sedan with SUV looks. not sure if it makes sense to compare these in the first place, unless we see value in comparing a Figo to a Vento.

  • Sanjay

    Absolutely Ecosport is good Vehicle as compared to Duster. My personal driving experience.