The compact SUV segment in India has been one of the largest growing segments in the automotive market. We compare the first modern compact SUV in the country, the Renault Duster, in its 2016 avatar against the newest kid on the block the Vitara Brezza. While you may argue that the Maruti Suzuki is a sub-four, the Vitara Brezza quintessentially offers a similar proposition as the Duster – a car with good ground clearance, good economy and the feel of an SUV. We compare the top-spec Vitara Brezza ZDi+ and the almost entry-level Duster RXE 85PS on the basis of two common factors – price and power.
The Duster is no doubt the bigger of the two. It is 320mm longer, 32mm wider and 55mm taller than the Vitara Brezza. Talking about SUV credentials, the ground clearance at 205mm is 7mm more than the Maruti. In terms of looks, the Vitara Brezza is no less an SUV with its boxy shape and a tall wide bonnet like the Duster. With its signature flared wheel arches, the Duster looks more muscular.
In terms of cabin space, the two compact SUVs are fairly the same with the Duster being able to seat three on the rear seats in relative comfort. The Duster with its longer wheelbase should offer better leg room for both the seating rows. The Duster also scores on the boot space with its ability to take in 475litres of luggage (by volume) as against the 328litre boot space offered by the Vitara Brezza. Both the cars get five doors with a hatch for the boot-lid.
Safety first, the Vitara Brezza ZDi+ gets dual front airbags over the ABS and EBD offered with the Duster. The Duster, on the other hand, has child seat anchor points built into its seats in case you have a baby on board. Being a top-spec variant, the Vitara Brezza leads the equipment count. It gets automatic climate control, push-button start, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control for comfort and convenience. The driver seat is height adjustable for the Vitara Brezza and it also gets a driver armrest.
The wing mirrors on the Brezza are electrically adjustable and retractable as against the internally adjustable ones of the Duster RXE. The Vitara Brezza gets projector headlamps with a LED brow unlike the reflector units on the Duster. The Duster, in its one above the base trim, loses out on a music system altogether while the fully loaded Vitara Brezza gets a 2-Din touch-screen audio system with four speakers and tweeters with Bluetooth function for phone as well as audio streaming.
Engine and Gearbox
The Renault Duster is powered by the 1.5-litre DCi engine. The four cylinder turbocharged diesel mill develops 84bhp of power at 3750rpm and 200Nm of torque from 1900rpm. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, it delivers a fuel economy of 19.87kmpl for the 1248kg car.
The Vitara Brezza, meanwhile, is powered by a smaller 1.3-litre DDiS200 engine that develops 89bhp of power at a higher 4000rpm and exact 200Nm of torque at a lower 1750rpm as compared to the Duster. The four-cylinder turbo-diesel of the Vitara Brezza gives out a fuel economy of 24.3kmpl while hauling the 1198kg SUV.
As we have mentioned before, the reason for comparing the top spec Vitara Brezza and the second lowest trim of the Duster is the price point of Rs 9.5 lakh. The Duster RXE 85PS is priced at Rs 9.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) as against the Rs 9.54 lakh price tag of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza ZDi+.