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 : Renault Duster vs Nissan Terrano

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.

Renault Duster:

Nissan Terrano:

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):

Renault Duster

 

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):

Nissan Terrano review

 

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.

INTERIORS

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.

Renault Duster interior

 

Terrano:

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.

Nissan Terrano interior

 

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)

Renault-Duster-Review-Engine
Duster under the Hood

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.

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Terrano under the Hood

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Renault Duster Anniversary Edition
Renault Duster Anniversary Edition

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.

Nissan-Terrano-2014-625x353

 

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