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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

November 12, 2013 10:45 IST

Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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From being a virtual non-existent segment, the compact SUV has become the most active sector in the automobile market.

Once considered the undisputed king of the segment, Renault's Duster is now trying to desperately make a comeback, while the smaller Ford EcoSport has become the toast of the season.

To make matters worse for the French car maker, its Japanese partner, Nissan, has taken out a better lookalike, the Terrano. With Terrano's launch, it would be worthwhile to compare the crossovers on the road.

We look at how the trio of Terrano, Duster and EcoSport fare against each other.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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Many may ask why the EcoSport is included in this comparison since it belongs to a lower price segment. The truth is the Ford is both a sedan and a compact SUV killer.

View from the roadside

One must remember that none of these vehicles is a hardcore 4x4 off-roader. Their roughest terrain is the concrete jungle of the cities. Therefore, looks have to impress.

Dimensionally, there is no difference between the Duster and the Terrano, but the latter definitely looks more imposing with the typical V-shaped front grill and a prominent bonnet crest.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Renault

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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The sharp edges of the Terrano make it come across as lot more contemporary than the Duster's broad and bland curves.

No doubt it may look Plain Jane compared to the Nissan vehicle, but it still has a muscular side profile that gives it solid SUV looks.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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The Terrano, like the Duster, has protective under-body plates in the front and rear, but the tail lamps are an extended version of the Renault's, though they stand out for being bigger and eyecatching.

The EcoSport can't be mistaken for any other car. This is where it makes the owner feel it is a one-of-a-kind car. There is no other vehicle in this segment that looks more modern and inviting.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Renault

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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It has a truer SUV look with the wheel mounted on the rear door, but buying a spare wheel cover adds to the macho looks.

This will cost you Rs 8,500 (plus charges for painting it the body colour and labour), but it's worth it.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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Where it matters

The Renault-Nissan alliance ensures that both the Duster and Terrano have identical power trains. As most buyers prefer diesel engines, we also tested diesel models of the three SUVs.

The 1.5-litre used by the twins is almost perfect. The linear power transmission makes it a joy to drive and you get instant acceleration.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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The 6-speed manual gear shift's ratio is so well set that while driving in the city you will never feel the turbo lag.

The beauty of the 110PS engines in the two is that they will not lack power either in city limits or on the highway. Though the Duster and Terrano successfully drown out engine noise in the cabin, the vibrations, unfortunately, are still felt.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Renault
Tags: Terrano

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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Both have one of the best suspension set ups, giving them a magic-carpet ride quality. The chassis is a masterpiece that reduces body roll to the minimum.

The EcoSport uses the tried and test 1.5-litre engine, which has provided service to the company's Fiesta sedan.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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This engine is less powerful than the Duster and Terrano, but it fulfils its duties by being responsive inside of 1500 rpm, making it, therefore, eminently comfortable to drive in the city.

But the problem starts on long drives, where it disappointingly runs out of steam. The 5-speed gearbox is slick and precise.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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The steering wheel is responsive and provides good feedback but it would have been better to have some more weight. But go easy on broken roads as the suspensions are on the stiffer side and let you feel the bumps.

The EcoSport easily has the best aesthetics. The design of the centre console, the black-silver interior combination and unending list of features will make any other vehicles look old and less appealing.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ford
Tags: Terrano

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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Also the Ford has many practical cubby holes for storage and holders for cups and bottles, something that is missing in both the Duster and Terrano.

It also has steering wheel-mounted audio controls, unlike the Duster, which has them behind the steering wheel, and the Terrano, which has been on the console itself.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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Though the build quality of the Renault-Nissan pair is solid, the Terrano looks better with wood finish and chrome touches. Apart from this, both have virtually the same basic-looking cabin spaces.

To each his own

The Duster and Terrano have a smoother and more powerful engine than the EcoSport, provide better ride quality, a better torque quality and offer ample boot space.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Renault

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Is EcoSport better than Duster and Terrano? Find out...

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Though they are bigger in size than the Ford, they are all 5-seaters and the choice could come down to how much boot space the buyer requires.

Design-wise, the EcoSport wins hands down, with the Terrano steamrolling over its French cousin.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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The technologically advanced Ford has 265 sales and service outlets in 142 cities across India, compared to Nissan's 107 centres in over 30 locations and Renault's 142 dealers and 85 service centres. So even the service advantage goes to the Blue Oval.

As for value for money, the EcoSport offers a lot more for what it's worth. However, for a brilliant ride and linear power, the Terrano is our unambiguous choice.


Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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