Car maker Ford today launched one of the most awaited cars of the year - the EcoSport - in India at Rs 5.59 lakh. The car will be available in three engine options - a 1-litre EcoBoost petrol, a 1.5-litre VCT petrol and a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel.
The EcoSport is priced a lot lower than what was being perceived to be its biggest competitor, the Renault Duster. The Duster comes at a starting price of Rs 7.99 lakh, while the top-end variant costs a little over Rs 12 lakh. The price range of the EcoSport is sure to dent sales of the Duster, which made waves last year and gave the French car maker the foothold it needed in a car market dominated by homegrown companies.
Here's a comparison between the two vehicles:
Engines and performance
Both cars offer three engine options. The Duster comes in two diesel variants (85 bhp and 110 bhp) and one petrol option (108 bhp), while the EcoSport has two petrol variants and one diesel version. Strictly comparing petrol variants, the Duster's 1.6-litre unit is no match for the EcoSport's EcoBoost engine. The EcoBoost 125 PS of power at 170 Nm of torque, far better than the 104 PS of power at 145 Nm from the Duster petrol. But then, petrol-run mini-SUVs hardly have any takers, and it's the diesel avatars that are in hot demand.
Coming to diesel, both feature 1.5-litre common rail units, but it's the Duster that packs greater punch. The Duster produces 110 bhp at 3900 rpm and a maximum torque of 249 Nm, while the Ford delivers a low 91 bhp at 3800 rpm and a maximum torque of 204 Nm. Of course, the Duster also has a lower-end diesel variant that gives out 85 bhp of power. The lower variant produces torque similar to the EcoSport diesel.
On city roads, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the EcoSport is smoother and effortless to drive, thanks to a lighter clutch mechanism. The Duster clutch feels heavy. On highways, however, the Duster comes across as more stable and grips the road better. An extra sixth gear only adds to the driving pleasure.
No points for guessing which one is better. The EcoSport comes with a design similar to the one on the Fiesta. The dash has a modern, angular feel, compared to the old, regular look of the Duster. Even though the Duster's interiors were redone for India, you can't seem to shrug off the fact it looks old and common. The EcoSport, on the other hand, has a V-shaped console that is central to the dash. The air vents are sharper and the buttons (too many of them) are neatly placed at the centre. Most controls on the Duster are spread all over, till the base of the shift stick, making them harder to reach.
Again, the EcoSport has done better here. The driver gets an armrest, seats adjustable for height and a steering wheel that's adjustable for both reach and rake. The back support is better. The Duster doesn't have an armrest, and the seat height can be adjusted between only two levels.
The back seat
The Duster appears more spacious here and can easily accommodate three adults, unlike the EcoSport, where the third passenger will get cramped for space. The Duster offers slightly better legroom, while headroom is not an issue in either vehicle.
The Duster comes with 475 litres of boot space, while the EcoSport falls way short at 346 litres. The EcoSport's rear seats, however, split 60:40, an option not available in the Renault.
According to ARAI, the EcoSport diesel will give 22.7 km per litre, while the Duster diesel will run 19 km in a litre. On city roads, which the EcoSport negotiates better, the car runs a little over 12 km in a litre, compared to 11 per litre for the Duster. On highways, however, the Duster returned nearly 21 km to the litre compared to 19.5 km for the EcoSport.