Updated: 29/03/2012

Compact SUVs are going to be the next big thing in the Indian car market. Every car maker is looking to foray into this segment having convinced after an extensive research that there is a strong demand for compact SUVs among urban car buyers in India.

Renault Duster is readying for a big launch in early July 2012.

The Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport, both being five seater SUVs, have received encouraging response from audience at the Auto Expo 2012. We bring you an early comparison of the two SUVs based on limited information we have. Click here to visit the Renault Duster Car research hub on CarToq.

renault duster vs ford ecosport comparison picture

Engines and performance

The Renault Duster will come in three engine variants: a 1.6-litre petrol motor that puts out 105 bhp of power and 1.5-litre dCI motor with two states of power outputs: 85 bhp and 110 bhp.

On the other hand, the Ford EcoSport will come with a 1-litre, 3-cylinder, ‘EcoBoost’ engine that puts out 118 bhp of power and possibly a 1.5-litre diesel engine (used in Fiesta) that puts out a 90 bhp of power.

renault duster photo

The petrol EcoSport might be slightly quicker than the Duster—it’s likely to be lighter. The diesel would most probably see a ‘draw’ between the two SUVs.

The Renault Duster will come with four-wheel-drive system in the top-of-line 110 bhp diesel engine variant which combined with its sturdy body and high ground clearance should give it decent off-roading capability. Ford EcoSport, on the other hand, is likely to better handler on good roads.

Space and comfort

The Duster could have an advantage in terms of legroom as it measures 4,300 mm in length while the EcoSport too would measure about 4,250 mm and hence, neither of the SUVs may qualify for the Indian small car excise duty sops. Ford may have to be cautious in offering the EcoSport as more spacious than the Fiesta sedan. This is because the Fiesta sedan has been criticized for having less space for rear passengers.

ford ecosport suv photo

Overall, the Duster and EcoSport will accommodate five passengers with ease. However, the Duster may have a slightly larger boot space than that of the EcoSport.


The Duster has conventional SUV looks with front, rear and side body cladding, high ground clearance and large wheel arches. The high ground clearance and roof rails give a sporty look to this mini SUV. The rear of the Renault Duster lacks visual appeal but is radically designed with small tail lamp cluster that doesn’t gel with the overall structure of the Duster.

The Ford showcased the EcoSport prototype at the Delhi Auto Expo. The production version of the EcoSport will not have the sharp looking LED headlamps and LED tail lamp cluster. Instead, it will have conventional halogen headlamps and regular tail lamps. The rest of the design elements in the prototype will likely be carried over to the production version.

The chrome rich wide gap radiator grille and dual tone body cladding gives the EcoSport, a sporty look. The side profile is pretty conventionally designed with the shoulder line slightly rising at the rear when it merges into the C-pillar. The rear is muscular with the spare wheel mounted to the centre of the boot door.

Summing up, the EcoSport will likely appeal to younger buyers while the Duster will likely appeal to those who covet traditional SUV looks.

Price mileage and overall VFM

Pricing will be a key parameter in determining the sales numbers of EcoSport and the Duster. We expect the Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport to start at around Rs. 7 lakh for the base variant and to go up to Rs. 10 lakh for the top-end variant.

If priced in the same range of Rs. 7 lakh – 10 lakh, the EcoSport may have a slight edge in terms of performance and mileage, owing to its compact dimensions (read as less kerb weight). Further, Ford India is having a wider sales and service network which again, may attract customers towards the EcoSport than the Renault Duster.


The Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster will kick-start a new compact SUV segment in India. The success of the two SUVs depends on lots of factors such as pricing, performance, mileage, features and customers’ expectations. Ultimately, the compact SUVs are propagating a loud message to entry-level sedan buyers, “Wait for us!”

11 replies

  1. Profile photo of Prashant Pal
    Prashant Pal answers:

    both suvs are best

  2. Profile photo of journeyman
    journeyman answers:

    My vote for Ford ecosport.

  3. Profile photo of Binod Kumar
    Binod Kumar answers:

    i am eagerly looking forward for both the suvs to be launched. i am surely interested to buy one

  4. Profile photo of Devraj Maulick
    Devraj Maulick answers:

    well according to me renault has yet not devloped enough potential to take on auto major ford. even though ford is a new player in this segment still from tech view on any day i will go with ford. rest for renault it depends on the after sale service that it will provide.

  5. Profile photo of Kasturi Rengan Rangarajan
    Kasturi Rengan Rangarajan answers:

    Ford Ecosport!!!!!!!!!!!!! Going to be the best small suv of the year 😉 Love it…………:)

  6. Profile photo of Sarat Kiran K
    Sarat Kiran K answers:

    Ecosport…but please, if Ford is hearing this please please add some horses for the diesel engine or have a variant with more horses diesel.

  7. Profile photo of Manohar Bs
    Manohar Bs answers:

    both are good, Suzuki XA alpha is also in same category

  8. Profile photo of Sandeep Mangat
    Sandeep Mangat answers:

    Due to its compact dimensions Ford ecosport will look like Premier Rio…………Duster is simple n rugged looking…….

  9. Profile photo of Sandeep Mangat
    Sandeep Mangat answers:

    Due to its compact dimensions Ford ecosport will look like Premier Rio…………Duster is simple n rugged looking…….

  10. Profile photo of Madhan Kumar
    Madhan Kumar answers:


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