The Hyundai Creta might have just crossed 1 lakh bookings and Renault might have launched the Duster facelift, but the question remains which one is the best of the two. But it’s not as easy as it may sound. You see both vehicles, despite being in the same segment, are unique offerings. We look at the advantages of the two, and whose demands they cater to.

Starting with the newer one, the Renault Duster Facelift:

All Wheel Drive

Renault Duster Facelift AWD Badge

If there’s one feature that none of the compact SUVs boast, apart from the Duster, it has to be an all-wheel drive system. The Duster is the only vehicle in the segment to have it, and it just transforms the way the vehicle tackles difficult terrain. The Duster AWD also gets an independent suspension at the rear, which makes the vehicle a much better handler than the lesser Duster FWD models.

Driver orientated

Renault Duster Facelift Interior Steering Wheel

The Duster is great for back to basics motoring but without having to leave out the essentials. With that ideology, it offers a good amount of driver involvement, thus making driving the Duster more fun that rivals. The steering isn’t overly light nor does it feel disconnected. These two things add to the driving aspect, and successfully make the Duster an easy choice for the enthusiasts. More so in case of the AWD.

Ride quality

Renault Duster Facelift Alloy Wheel Motion

While the Duster AWD is clear choice for keen drivers, it’s also a great option for those using the back seat. The interior might not be the best in the segment but the ride comfort certainly is. The car remains stable at highway speeds, irrespective of your chosen trajectory (straights or corners). It handles bad roads pretty well, too, adding to the ride comfort.

More efficient automatic

Renault Duster Facelift AMT Gear Lever

The difference in the Creta automatic and the Duster AMT is that the former uses a conventional automatic gearbox while the latter is an automated manual unit. So the former offers a slightly smoother gear shifts but the AMT shines with a better fuel economy — think of it as a manual gearbox but controlled by a computer. The ARAI claimed figure for the Hyundai Creta AT is 17.01 km/l while that for the Duster AMT is 19.6.

Less expensive

Renault Duster Facelift Rear Three Quarter

Prices for the base model of the Duster start at Rs 8.47 lakh (RxE petrol) and go on till Rs 13.57 lakh (RxZ AWD). The base diesel starts at Rs 9.27 lakh and the diesel automatic is available at Rs 11.67 lakh onwards.

In comparison, the corresponding base version of the Hyundai Creta (Base petrol) starts at Rs 8.87 lakh, which is 40k more expensive. The base diesel (1.4-liter) is priced at Rs 9.75 lakh onwards, which again is almost Rs 50k more expensive. The diesel automatic (top but one ‘SX Plus’ spec) is priced at Rs 13.96 lakh, which is 2.29 lakh more expensive than the Duster AMT.

In the Creta’s defence, it’s easily better equipped — more on which below.