A few years back if one wanted to buy an SUV, the only choice, a good one was the Tata Safari. The car is a true legend in its segment but over these years a number of new cars have arrived and battered the sales of the Safari. The latest model entering the SUV segment is the Renault Duster and since the price of both the cars are quite close, we thought why not compare the two for our readers?
We have already compared the new Renault Duster VS Mahindra Scorpio and Renault Duster Vs upcoming Ford EcoSport. While the verdicts in the above two comparisons have been quite interesting after detailed comparison of each aspect, lets run our minds though all the pros and cons of the Safari and Duster in this article of our car comparison series. The Tata Safati Strome is just around the corner, we will compare the same in a separate article.
image – Renault Duster(left) and Tata Safari(right)
The Renault Duster is new and refreshing, at least for the Indian market, and its road presence is simply amazing. Its chunky built is eye catchy and the modern SUV styling does impress us. Sport roof rails, bland big headlamps, flared wheel arches, curvy rear, chrome touches on the grille all impart an interesting appeal to the car.
The Safari is Duster’s elder brother in size and appearance. It is bolder and bigger and its road presence is brilliant. Roof rails, chrome ORVMs, chrome grille, crystal clear headlamps and fog lamps add appeal to the car but unfortunately Tata has not brought major changes to the design of the car which is one of the cons.
Renault Duster Dimensions
- Length = 4315 mm
- width = 1822 mm
- height = 1695 mm
- wheelbase = 2673 mm
Tata Safari Dimensions
- Length = 4650 mm
- Width = 1918 mm
- Height = 1925 mm
- Wheelbase = 2650 mm
As mentioned above, the Safari is way too bigger in length, width and height and there will be no comparison in headroom and shoulder room but interestingly the Duster has and edge in legroom. Both the cars have the same ground clearance of 205 mm which is great for off-roading.
image – Renault Duster Interior
Renault Logan sedan, Duster’s sister seems to have influenced the car’s interior styling. The fit and finish of the dashboard panel is great and being a global major, we were expecting the same kind of quality from Renault. The seats are comfortable and there is enough space for five people. Features list include Dual Airbags at front (RXZ Only), ABS and EBD (Diesel Only), Engine Immobilizer, Fog Lamps, Rear de-fogger, Seat Belt reminder , Central locking , Under guard for engine for off-road protection , Dual barrel headlamp design , Roof Rails , Rear Washer and Wiper , Alloy Wheels on RXZ, Chrome Exhaust top on RXZ, Beige Interiors for RXL and RXZ, Leather wrapped steering wheel on top end model, Keyless entry, All doors power windows, Manual Air conditioning, Rear AC Vents on top end model , Tilt adjust steering wheel, Electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors, Reverse Parking Sensors, Integrated 2 Din audio system with CD/ MP3/Radio, USB, AUX Input, Bluetooth and 4 Speakers, Steering mounted phone and audio controls etc.
image – Tata Safari Interior
The Safari has a very simple cabin with nothing very striking or alluring. The styling is satisfactory and the built is perfect. However when it comes to comfort and space, the Safari is way too stronger than the Duster. Features list include rear mounted a/c, power windows, electrically adjustable ORVMs, height adjustable driver seat, dual airbags, side impact bars, ABS with EBD, reverse guide system, engine immobilizer, 60:40 split seats, keyless entry with parking lot car-locator, on-board entertainment plus music system, puddle lamps on front doors, tillable and collapsible steering wheel etc.
Renault Duster Diesel Specifications
- Diesel Engine 1
- Displacement: 1461 cc
- Power: 85 BHP @ 4750 RPM
- Torque: 200 Nm @ 1900 RPM
- Transmission: 5 speed manual transmission
- Fuel Efficiency: 20.46 KMPL
- Diesel Engine 2
- Displacement: 1461 cc
- Power: 110 BHP @ 3900 RPM
- Torque: 228 Nm @ 2250 RPM
- Transmission: 6 speed manual transmission
- Fuel Efficiency: 19.01 KMPL
Tata Safari Diesel Specifications
The Safari comes with a more powerful 2.2 litre 16 V DOHC VTT Dicor engine that puts out 140 BHP @ 4000 RPM of max power and 320 Nm @ 1700-2700 RPM of peak torque. The engine can return a good mileage of 13.93 KMPL as certified by ARAI.
The Duster is way more economical and its running cost will be definitely lesser than Safari’s. Another major difference here is that the Safari is offered with a full time 4×4 i.e all wheel drive whereas Renault has not introduced the 4×4 version for the Indian market.
As we see the Safari is more powerful than the Duster but don’t forget that the Safari is bulkier than the Duster and therefore the pickup and performance of both the cars are more or less the same.
Performance & Handling Comparison
Renault’s strong point is the handling and driving dynamics of its cars and the Duster proves it. It is highly capable of performing on unfavorable terrains and is comfortable and handles well. The Safari on the other hand is also a good handler, but because of its tall stance there is considerable body roll and the ride is not as comfortable and plaint as Duster. The Duster is more carved out for a sedan like handling while the Safari is designed to handle more rough terrains, so we find Duster to be superior when its comes to performance and handling.
Price – Renault Duster Vs Tata Safari
Renault Duster Price(Ex-showroom Delhi)
- Renault Duster RXE 1.5 Diesel 85 PS is priced at Rs. 7.99 Lakhs
- Renault Duster RXL 1.5 Diesel 85 PS is priced at Rs. 8.99 Lakhs
- Renault Duster RXL 1.5 Diesel Option Pack 85 PS is priced at Rs. 9.99 Lakhs
- Renault Duster RXL 1.5 Diesel 110 PS is priced at Rs. 9.99 Lakhs
- Renault Duster RXZ 1.5 Diesel 110 PS is priced at Rs. 10.99 Lakhs
- Renault Duster RXZ 1.5 Diesel Leather Pack 110 PS is priced at Rs. 11.29 Lakhs
Tata Safari Price(Ex-showroom Delhi)
- Safari DICOR 2.2 LX BS 4 : Rs. 8.28 lakhs
- Safari DICOR 2.2 EX BS 4 : Rs. 9.92 lakhs
- Safari DICOR 2.2 GX BS 4 : Rs. 11.14 lakhs
- Safari DICOR 2.2 VX BS 4 : Rs. 12.29 lakhs
Duster RXE Vs Safari DICOR LX
The base variants of Duster and Safari are priced at 7.99 and 8.28 lakhs respectively and the difference is of around Rs. 30,000 which is a bit much considering they are the base variants. Features wise both come with the most basic features so here the Duster takes the lead, but Safari is more spacious and handles off-road more comfortably.
Duster RXL Option Pack Vs Safari DICOR EX
The Duster RXL option pack is available for 9.99 lakhs INR and comes with features like dual front airbags, ABS + EBD + Brake Assist, driver seat belt reminder, alloy wheels, reverse parking sensors, rear de-fogger, rear wiper and washer, front fog lamps, body coloured outside rear view mirrors, door trim fabric insert, electrically adjustable outside mirrors, rear seat center armrest, adjustable rear seat head rest, integrated 2 DIN audio system with USB, AUX-in & Bluetooth + 4 speakers, steering mounted audio & phone controls, height adjustable front seat belts etc.
Safari DICOR EX is priced Rs. 7,000 cheaper than the RXL Option pack and comes with features like roof mounted rear a/c, keyless entry with parking lot car-locator, on-board music system, headrest mounted LCD screens on front seats, rear wash and wiper, arm rest on driver and co-driver side etc. Unfortunately the Safari does not come with ABS, EBD, dual airbags, fog lamps which are essential features and at 7 k higher, the Duster RXL Option pack will be a better option.
Also for the same price you can opt for a more powerful 109 BHP Duster RXL variant but a couple of features such as alloys, driver seat belt reminder, reverse parking sensor etc will not be available but they do come with the RXL Option Pack.If you go with the RXL 109 BHP diesel version of the Duster, you will get a 6 speed manual transmission instead of the 5 speed manual available with the 85 BHP RXL Option Pack.
Duster RXZ 110 BHP Vs Safari DICOR GX
Here the RXZ 110 BHP variant is the top end variant priced at 10.99 lakhs INR. In competition with the same is the Safari DICOR GX which is not the top end variant and is Rs. 15,000 dearer at Rs. 11.14 lakhs. The RXZ 110 BHP version comes with all the features that are on the brochure whereas the DICOR GX, which is not the top end variant, lacks a couple of features. Therefore once again the situation is in favor of the Duster.
The RXZ Duster is also available with a leather option pack that features premium upholstery for that plushy feel and is priced at 11.3 lakhs INR. It is 15 k dearer to the DICOR GX and seems to be a better deal since the top end DICOR VX is 1 lakh dearer.
Car Blog India Verdict – Renault Duster Vs Tata Safari DICOR
More than for the off-road purpose the Duster and Safari are meant for big families who would like to have some high end features at an affordable price. Each variant of the Duster is appropriately priced and will definitely give the legend Safari a run for its money. So for us the Duster is a better choice considering the price, features and fuel efficiency, but if you are looking for larger space and an occasional seating of 7 passengers and some serious off-roading, Safari is a safer bet.
Updated on 12 July 2012
Renault Duster now comes with 7 seats option, so if you were planning to skip the Duster just because of the seating capacity, you can think again.
Also check out some related detailed comparisons:
Stay tuned to us for more updates, comparisons and tips.