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The launch of the compact Renault Duster has proven to be a major game changer for the French marque, especially in emerging markets. Built on the same platform as the Sandero — which is badged under Renault’s Romanian subsidiary Dacia in developed markets — it’s stylish, powerful and at the same time compact enough to suit a tight budget.
There are three different engine options to choose from. One is the 1.6L petrol engine which produces a maximum power of 102bhp@5850rpm. Then there are two different diesel engines of 1.5L.
One of these engines is capable of producing a maximum power of 84bhp@4750rpm. The other diesel engine is a much more powerful one and can produce a maximum power of 109bhp@3900rpm.
Many companies came up with vehicles like Skoda Yeti, Premier Rio etc to give competition to this SUV but could not challenge Duster.
But now, with a hoard of new budget-friendly SUVs flooding the market, it seems that Renault Duster is in for tough competition. Let us take a look at five reasonably-priced SUVs and find out how they might challenge the Duster:
1. Ford Ecosport
With its muscular looks and at the same time compact size, the Ecosport dazzled all car lovers around the world. The exterior design of this car is very attractive and it looks extremely majestic on the road. The interiors of the car are also very elegant and have been fixed with all the modern fixtures like cooled glove box, keyless entry, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and steering control. The most innovative feature is the 1 liter turbo charged Ecoboost petrol engine which can produce as much power as a 1.6 liter petrol engine. This Ecoboost engine in Ford Ecosport can produce maximum torque of 170Nm @ 1500rpm which is very impressive.
This engine can also produce a maximum power of 125PS. The other engine variants are 1.5 liter diesel engine and 1.5 liter petrol engine. The 1.5 liter diesel engine can produce a maximum power of 90PS and has excellent torque. The 1.5 liter petrol engine can deliver a maximum power of 110bhp.
2. Nissan Terrano
The Nissan Terrano is a compact SUV very much in the same league as the Duster. The exterior does however look much more impressive than its Roma-French counterpart. The interiors have also been done up to give it a very premium look and have been loaded with all modern fixtures like keyless entry, Bluetooth, ABS, electrical adjustment of rear view and side mirrors etc. When it comes to the engines however, there’s a much greater degree of parity.
The 1.6 liter petrol engine is very smooth and produces a maximum power of 102bhp @ 5850rpm and a maximum torque of 145Nm @ 1900rpm. The 1.5 liter diesel engine is very fuel efficient and produces a maximum power of 84bhp and a maximum torque of 200Nm @ 1900rpm. Other than these two, there is another diesel engine which is the best performing engine and produces a maximum power of 110PS and a maximum torque of 248Nm @ 2250rpm.
3. Mahindra XUV500
The Mahindra XUV500 took the market by storm and its majestic looks challenged all the other SUVs including the ones which are double its price. It is very tall and it LED headlights and rear curves give it a great road presence. The interiors are also very good and the seating for the passengers is extremely comfortable with the seats being high which ensures lots of leg room for the passengers in the rear seat. The engine in Mahindra XUV500 is a diesel engine which is very powerful and produces a maximum power of 142PS @ 3750rpm and a maximum torque of 330Nm between 1600rpm to 2800rpm.
4. Fiat Punto Avventura
You don’t usually associate Fiat with SUVs, but this little rascal isn’t at all bad. The exteriors give it a very tough look, something which is only enhanced by the front bumper and skid plate. The lower black cladding gives the car a look of being an all terrain vehicle and the spare wheel mounted on the rear adds to the tough look of the SUV. The interiors have also been designed very elegantly with soft materials and the steering has all the media controls on it.
There are two engine variants for this vehicle. One is the 1.3 liter diesel engine and the other is the 1.4 liter petrol engine. Both the engines have a decent performance and are also fuel efficient.
5. Tata Safari
When this SUV first launched, it gave the company a whole new identity as it was always known for making vehicles which were used in the commercial field. The smart exteriors with skid plates and triangular fog lights give it the desired look of an SUV. The interiors have been done up very well and boasts of a bevy of instruments including a DVD screen for the passengers sitting in the middle row. The engine is a 2.2 liter VTT Dicor diesel engine which produces a maximum power of 140bhp @ 4000rpm and a maximum torque of 320NM @ 1700rom.
All these SUVs are extremely efficient and economically priced and are thus capable of giving Renault Duster a run for its money.