Face Off: Hyundai Creta vs Renault Duster

Hyundai is notoriously good at launching disruptive products into the market. The Elite i20, Verna, Grand i10 and Eon have allowed the South Korean car maker to completely dominate the Indian market. Hyundai seeks to do it again with the all new Creta. Set for a launch later this month, the Creta will enter the compact SUV/crossover segment, a section of the car market that was popularized by the Renault Duster here in India. Still the largest selling crossover in the country, the Duster has failed to give up its crown for over three years. In this face-off we pit the upcoming Hyundai Creta against the undisputed champ to see if the Duster still manages to hold its ground.

Design:

Hyundai Creta:

The Hyundai Creta is a derivative of the full-size Santa Fe SUV. Save for a few differences, the Creta is almost identical to its bigger brother. The aggressively styled headlights, all chrome front grille and LED DRLs make for an impressive exterior and endow the Hyundai SUV with a strong road presence.

front view of hyundai creta
The Creta has a strong road presence

Renault Duster:

Unlike most car makers that have opted to go for sleek, contemporary design language, Renault has gone old-school with the Duster. The SUV’s boxy exterior is a far cry from the dynamic, sporty nature of its rivals. Nevertheless, the large chrome grille, flared wheel arches and prominent Renault badge endows the Duster with a butch character that is unique in its segment.

Renault Duster
The Renault Duster

However, over the course of its lifetime, Renault has made virtually no changes at all to the car’s design and the Duster has begun to age.

Winner: Hyundai Creta

Interior:

Hyundai Creta:

Similar to all Hyundai models, the Creta too comes with an impressive cabin. The combination of beige and black ensures occupants do not feel too claustrophobic. The center console is graced with a large 7 inch touchscreen entertainment system that comes with satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephony and the conventional connectivity options such as CD, AUX, USB and iPod.

hyundai creta suv interiors
Official images of the upcoming Creta have not been released

Renault Duster:

The interior of the Renault Duster is a very ordinary affair. The crossover comes equipped with a 2DIN entertainment system that features CD, AUX IN, Bluetooth connectivity andAside from the silver surround for the center console and A/C vents, the Duster presents a rather uninteresting cabin.

Interiors of the Duster
Interiors of the Duster

Winner: Hyundai Creta

 

Under the Bonnet:

Hyundai Creta:

Hyundai will offer Creta with a sole petrol engine and a pair of diesel engines. The petrol engine on offer will be a 1.6 l four cylinder mill currently in use on the Verna. The CVVT petrol engine churns out 125 hp @ 6300 RPM and 151 Nm of torque at 4200 RPM. The Hyundai Creta diesel lineup includes a 1.4 l unit and a more powerful 1.6 l engine. The 1.4 l oil burner churns out 89 hp and 220 Nm of torque. The 1.6 l motor produces 131 hp and 260 Nm of torque.

The petrol engine is mated to a 6 speed manual transmission while the diesel variants are offered with either a six speed manual or a speed auto’box. Hyundai will not launch a four-wheel drive variant of the Creta crossover.

Renault Duster:

The Renault Duster is offered with only two engines. The petrol powered Duster houses a 1.6 l engine that produces 102 bhp @ 5850 RPM and 145 Nm of torque @ 3750 RPM. Renault’s 1.5 l DCi unit is offered in two states of tune. Lower variants of the diesel Duster churn out 84 bhp @ 3750 RPM and 200 Nm @ 1900 RPM while higher variants produce 108 bhp @ 3900 RPM and 248 Nm @ 2250 RPM.

Renault is the only car maker that offers a four-wheel drive variant of its crossover here in India making the Duster a viable option for true off-road enthusiasts.

Verdict:

The Renault Duster was initially introduced as a lifestyle vehicle. The French automaker targeted a sector of the Indian buyer base that was looking for a status symbol to be seen within the city. Here in India, the vehicle that acts as this status symbol is an SUV. As a result, the low cost of the Duster and its SUV characteristics helped catapult the automaker into the big leagues.

Soon after however, Renault also launched the 4×4 variant of the Duster, an SUV that can truly go off the beaten path. The Hyundai Creta serves as a city vehicle and only a city vehicle. Although the South Korean crossover provides far more in terms of design and features, the Duster caters to a group of individuals that can explore the full potential of an all wheel drive vehicle.

Face Off: Hyundai Creta vs Ford EcoSport

hyundai creta suv interiors

The compact SUV segment has seen phenomenal growth over the past two years. With huge profits raked in by the Duster and EcoSport for its respective car makers, other manufacturers are slowly jumping the bandwagon. Hyundai’s entry into the compact SUV segment of the Indian market will be the Creta.

Although Hyundai is yet to launch the Creta, the South Korean car maker’s SUV has already been on sale in many parts of the world for quite sometime now. We take a look at what the Hyundai Creta has to offer against the Ford EcoSport, one of the most popular cars of the segment.

Design:

Hyundai Creta:

The Hyundai Creta borrows heavily from its bigger brother, the Santa Fe. The South Korean SUV’s aerodynamic profile, aggressive headlight design and 17 inch diamond cut alloys all add to its upmarket feel. Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy has done wonders to its SUVs. While past models were awkward and ungainly in size and posture, its new off-roaders including the Creta are far more appealing.

front view of hyundai creta
The Hyundai Creta’s top end variant comes with diamond cut alloys

Ford EcoSport:

While many consider the EocSport to be quite a formidable SUV, its rather stubby wheels, short, fat stature do not add to the American SUV’s aesthetic appeal. The EcoSport SUV’s exterior may be striking, however, it is in no way the prettiest car in its segment.

ford ecosport
The Ford EcoSport

Winner: Hyundai Creta

Interior:

Hyundai Creta:

Hyundai’s strictly adheres to its Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy. The Creta’s cabin is based off the same design language and once again borrows heavily from its elder sibling. The second iteration of the car maker’s design language brings order to the mix. Although the Creta’s interior is a stunning mix of sharp cuts and curves, it also emanates an aura of structure that provides restraint and a bit of sophistication. The inclusion of a media-nav system and a touchscreen display makes the Creta one of the best equipped cars in this segment.

hyundai creta suv interiors
Official sketches of the upcoming Creta SUV

Ford EcoSport:

Ford’s strategy with the EocSport was to provide the most pocket friendly SUV out there. As a result, compromises had to be made. Although Ford’s infotainment system packs some impressive features, the small monochrome display and the rather difficult to reach button layout is quite inconvenient for the driver to control the settings. The sub 4m requirement has also resulted in a small cabin.

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

Winner: Hyundai Creta

Engine:

Hyundai Creta:

The Hyundai Creta will be offered with three engines. Petrol variants of the Creta will be powered by a 1.6 l four cylinder engine that churns out 122 hp. The SUV’s diesel engine lineup include a 1.4 l and a more powerful 1.6 l engine. The 1.4 l oil burner produces 89 hp while the 1.6 l diesel mill puts out an impressive 127 hp. The 1.6 l diesel variant will be offered with both manual and automatic while the other two engines are offered in manual format only.

 

rear view of white hyundai creta
The Creta will be offered in manual and automatic formats

Ford EcoSport:

One of the biggest selling points of the EcoSport was its 1.0 l EcoBoost petrol engine. Producing an impressive 123 hp @ 6000 RPM and 170 Nm of torque at 1400 RPM, the 1.0 l EcoBoost engine is one of Ford’s most technologically advanced engines it has ever created. Ford also offers the EcoSport with a 1.5 l petrol and 1.5 l TDCi diesel mill. The 1.5 l Ti-VCT petrol mill churns out 109 bhp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 140 Nm @ 4400 RPM while its diesel equivalent produces 89 bhp @ 3750 RPM and 204 Nm of torque @ 2000 RPM.

orange ford ecosport
Although the EcoSport May Be Marketed As A Capable Off Roader, the compact crossover lacks an AWD option

Winner: Draw

 

Verdict:

Although the Ford EcoSport was touted to be a game changer back in 2013, the lack of supply to meet the immense demand dealt a huge blow to the car’s sales figures. Despite the manufacturer did putting its Chennai plant into full swing to make up for lost time, the damage had already been done.

With the Creta, Hyundai ups the ante once more. Hopefully the South Korean car maker will not make the same mistakes its American rival committed and will prepare its manufacturing and assembly plants well in advance for the onslaught of bookings.