Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500 - Expert Comparison

27th February 2013 IST by

The cheetah was not as important an animal before the XUV500 was launched. Suddenly, aggression and wild nature was in fashion cause of this Cheetah inspired SUV. Developed under the global SUV intention, Mahindra packed in as much as it could in this SUV called the XUV500 (pronounced as 5 Double O). This vehicle was the most successful product by the Indian UV manufacturer.

On the other hand, opposing the traditional SUV design and thought process, the Renault Duster was a compact SUV launched in India by the French car maker. Renault finally got elevation it desired for. Tasting a bitter entry with the Logan launch as the alliance with Mahindra was not too fruitful; Renault decided to carve its own entry.

How the subtly designed Renault Duster fair against the wild and aggressive Mahindra XUV500? Let’s find out.

Exteriors Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500

The Duster is a compact SUV and is the first in the segment which will also see a certain Ford Ecosport later. They have rightly taken care to not repeat their earlier mistake of over pricing this one. It has decided to target a lot of important players of sedan segment with a very aggressive pricing.

 

Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500 1
Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500 1
 

Designed by Mahindra Research Valley Chennai, the XUV500 marks the beginning of a new generation Mahindra SUVs. This XUV500 is very important for Mahindra, as firstly it is supposed to be their most advanced flagship model and secondly, it is meant to take on segment leader Toyota Innova, the Tata Aria and biggies like the Chevrolet Captiva, Toyota Fortuner etc.

Mahindra XUV500 is a sign of a very matured Mahindra. The global SUV by Mahindra proudly carries and lives the tag. However, the majority feedback that we got about the XUV500`s looks was that it seemed inspired from Mitsubishi’s Outlander, which to some extent we agree too.

The twin barrel static bending projection headlamps give it a smart front look. Its design is no similar to any of Mahindra`s previous models. The headlight cluster also has LED stripes of parking lights. The layout of the LEDs could have been better had it been made with a flowing design and not just simple straight line design. It looks like a aftermarket fitment design.

Talking of the Duster, The Renault Duster looks like a very well balanced and proportionate SUV, without any extra over hang. The Duster will definitely not just lure the SUV buyers but will also attract a lot of sedan and premium hatch buyers too as the price point in which it is offered is very lucrative.

Interiors Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500

The Renault Duster is not a blink it and miss it transformation of the Dacia Duster. The Mumbai design studio has really put in great efforts to make the Duster take on the Indian challenges.

Since the Duster has no competition presently, comparing it with any other segment will be unfair. The seating of the Duster can be described as that of a tall sedan. The large doors and the tall seating together make it very easy to get access in and move out of the cabin, unlike in some SUVs where you have to climb up or like sedans in which you crawl into.

The interior of the Mahindra XUV500 comes in dual tone. The upholstery is finished in premium quality leather. As one enters in the cabin, one notices matte aluminum finish don’t to the door handles. The handbrake lever also seems to be aesthetically designed.

The guiding lights on the door are a very nice touch added along with the guiding lights affixed in the mirror.The steering wheel is a length and rake adjustable. It has controls for audio, cruise control and voice recognition

Performance of Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500

The Mahindra XUV500 is powered by a 2179cc mHawk140, Direct injection diesel engine with 5th generation Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT). The mill is capable of producing a peak power of 140 bhp at 3750 rpm and a torque of 330 Nm at 1600 - 2800 rpm. It is powered by a 6-speed manual shift. On the other hand, The Renault Duster comes in one petrol and two diesel engine options; we were driving the 110 PS diesel engine as that was the most appropriate for climbing the hilly terrains of Munnar and its surrounding areas. It has a Common rail direct injection 4 cylinder 1461cc K9K diesel engine. The K9K diesel engine was also seen on the Logan as well as many present day Renault vehicles.

 

Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500 2
Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500 2
 

This diesel unit produces a power of 110 PS at 3900 RPM and a torque of 248 Nm at 2250 RPM. It comes with a 6 speed manual gearbox and Renault has no plans for an automatic variant in the very near future.

We got an optimum fuel efficiency of 13.5 kmpl in the Renault Duster while the XUV500 returned a best mileage of 13 kmpl and the worst mileage of 9.5 kmpl.

Conclusion of Renault Duster Vs Mahindra XUV500

Mahindra is on a complete roll with the XUV500 as it is not usual for a car manufacturer to do a lucky draw and allot vehicles to the customers. Also, they seem active on learning from feedback too. The new batch of XUVs will be sporting improved brake pads as that was a big letdown in the performance bit. If that is a low then the high is its design which has become an instant hit with all the masses.

The Renault Duster finally brought a smile on the French manufacturer’s face. Leaving the Duster, Renault has not had a smooth sail in India as the Pulse and the Scala are an outcome of rebadging policy. This made monetary sense for the company but then the consumers still are not convinced to shell out more for the same product from Nissan. So finally, is it the Duster or the XUV500? It depends on your personal taste.

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