What lies between two muscular beasts and one bumpy road?
Read on, and take your pick between two of the most competitive, strategically priced SUV’s introduced to India and supposedly built for the rugged Indian roads.
Albeit, the identical looking car roll-outs, Nissan was known to lead Renault by example. The launch of Nissan Micra, the hatchback had Renault’s pulse, a similarly designed car introduced to India. The same trend carried on with the sedan launches i.e Nissan sunny and Renault Scala. However, Renault decided to break the old tradition of following Nissan, and created a compact SUV that would bring about radical changes to India.
So, who is the winner? Well, lets find out.
Renault Duster (looks):
The Renault Duster, considering its design and features was introduced to India with a rather nominal amount ranging between Rs. 7.86 lakhs- Rs. 11.91 lakhs (ex showroom Delhi)
At a glance, the general term “commodious” might escape everybody’s mouth. The mid sized brawny beast packs up a pretty decent fight and has its share of secrets under the hood.
Nissan Terrano (looks):
A little late but an effective entry by Nissan, the Terrano has the excellence parameter up and going. Competitively priced and yet another choice to spoil the customer. The Nissan Terrano (available in petrol and diesel) is priced between Rs. 9.51 lakhs- 12.28 lakhs (ex showroom Delhi)
With new and improved tail lamps and stylish doors the Terrano has definitely created an impact on Indian roads. Although, the design takes Nissan a notch higher, it somehow brings a fond recollection of Duster.
The capacious interiors resemble the exteriors; the obvious circular look consumes the vehicle inside out, right from the air-vents to the round edges of the centre console to the circular exteriors. However, the driver’s seat has a mind of its own, you might move back and forth along with it while applying the brakes. Renault has chosen to let the duster with an open storage space on the top. Overall, black finishes on the dashboard and doors as well as the joy of comfort are appeasing.
Considering a revamped and a fresh looking Terrano, Nissan has bought in a few basic changes to the interiors to give it a fresh and vibrant look. However, you might love what Nissan has done to the new and groovy music system. The shapes of the A/C vents are rectangular as opposed to the common circular shapes on the Duster. The interior colors of the doors and the dashboard are infused with a dual tone, Beige is predominant towards the lower part of its dashboard and this pattern is uniformly followed on the doors as well. Beige and black are two primary colors. To add storage space, Nissan has chosen to include a lid on the top of the Terrano. Nissan has certainly worked meticulously on the interiors of the Terrano.
Taming the Beasts:
Duster & Terrano:
Rightly built for Indian roads, the Duster and Terrano prove their respective expertise with a decent mileage that the companies claim, both Duster (85 PS diesel, 20.45 kmpl and 110PS, 19.01 kmpl. Petrol, 13.4 kmpl) and Terrano (18.48kmpl diesel & 11.6 kmpl petrol) possess the abilities to battle bumpy roads with their massive power, solid torque and efficiency. The duster has a bit noisy engine. (Although the 1.5 dci k9k diesel engine is epic) whereas the quieter Terrano has just about the same engine (1.5 litre k9k diesel engine)
Duster petrol is available in 2variants, the 1.6 litre RxE, 1598 cc petrol engine and the RxL that too has a 1598 cc Petrol engine producing 104 PS. Whereas, the Renault Duster has launched various diesel variants (1.5 RxE, 1.5 RxL, 1.5 RxL110, 1.5 RxZ, 1.5 RxL 110 Adventure Edition and the recently launched limited edition variants)
That produces 85PS/200NM or 110PS/248NM (with a six speed transmission) depending on your choice.
The Nissan Terrano provides just about the same. With a 1.6 litre petrol engine that offers 104 PS and the same torque as the Duster (145 Nm) whereas the Terrano Diesel that has a fair share of variants too (85 PS, XE, XL and XL Plus and 110 PS, XL XV and XV Premium) that are powered by the K9K diesel engine, provide similar output options as the Duster, 85PS/200Nm or 110PS/248 Nm.
The Driving Dynamics of both the SUV’s are identical and there aren’t any evident mechanical changes. The setup, brakes, tyres, suspension, are the same between both the SUV’s and are known to strike a perfect driving and handling balance. Both the SUV’s belong to the 2 wheel drive segment and hence, it isn’t recommended going completely off roads with either of the rides. Overall, the driving dynamics of the compacts seem to sustain the reputation of both the SUV’s.
Kit’s and Features:
Duster and Terrano share the same Kits. Both the vehicles come equipped with ABS airbags, terrain shield guard to shield your engine against the rocky terrains, reverse parking sensors. The drawback with Terrano is, that you don’t get the option of dual airbags and a good audio system with impressive controls even if you pay a considerably higher amount than the Duster. The Duster RxE and Terrano XV models provide impressive features like key-less entry, steering with tilt adjust with height adjustable seats and so on. However, as discussed earlier, the Duster’s driver seat jerks a bit under braking whereas the Terrano’s seat seems to be impervious to such situations.
Our Final Word:
Although both the SUV’s are from different bloodlines, they somehow share same instincts. The Duster that has served longer years on the road than its nemesis, the Terrano but, both the SUV’s managed their way into setting perplexing yet persistent standards in the minds of the customer. It is difficult to choose between the French Hunk and its Japanese counterpart.
Renault celebrated Duster’s second anniversary recently and to double the celebration, is selling the limited edition duster at a special price tag of Rs. 8.88 lakhs. With an average sale of 6000 units every month, Duster has certainly left a competitive dent in the minds of its competitors.
Nissan Terrano is catching up fast with its arch rivals, with an average of 3000+ cars rolling out each month, the Terrano seems to be doing good considering a severe battering from competitors like Renault Duster and Ford Eco Sport.
Both the vehicles are commodious enough to comfortably seat a family of five and sufficient boot space to easily accommodate ample amount of luggage. The engines of both the compact SUV’s are just about the same and deliver a well balanced drive. Indian roads are certainly going to feel less bumpy in either of these vehicles. The features and offerings remain the same in both the vehicles However; the prominent difference in both the vehicles lies in the pricing. Duster certainly wins the price war with Terrano. Duster offers it’s variants for a lesser price but compromises on the looks. The Terrano on the other hand has an exemplary design and looks visually appealing.
Bottom Line: If you want a visually enhanced duster, you can go in for the Terrano. Else, the Duster gives you just about the same and goes a little easy on your pocket.
Visit Renault India website: http://renault.co.in
Visit Nissan India website: http://www.nissan.in