In this present day, where both SUVs and hatchbacks have excelled as the dominant segments of the market, the cross between the two segment of cars have started gaining prominence. The roads are filled with such cars. Out of them, one of the latest entrants is the Honda WR-V. Launched on the 16th of March, this compact crossover has already made a strong statement at the place it matters.
Renault Duster, another popular car on the Indian soil, has been up in the market for a fairly long period of time. It is one of those 5-seater SUVs that never fail to impress. First introduced in India in 2012, the Duster is available in many international destinations like UK, Russia, South Africa and Colombia.
The comparison between the two are not very likely, considering the fact that both are from different segments all together. Honda WR-V is like a rebellious vehicle, thriving to make a big impression, while the Renault Duster is like the conventional SUVs, silently going about its business of being upgraded and impressing the segment at large. Yet, their popularity is what drives them into being thrown against each other.
To be honest, there are many first time buyers Honda WR-V who would have given a second thought to the WR-V while buying the Duster and vice versa. If you too are facing such dilemma, read on to find the answers to all your questions.
The Honda WR-V is made with an exterior styling which cries out loud. The styling is very groovy and is flanked by cuts and stitches all around. The ruggedness is proven by the muscular front section. The front hood is quite high, rendering a commanding design. The front grille gets a thick chrome strip running right across from one headlamp to the other. There is a faux skid plate fitted below the front lip spoiler. The lower profile all around the car, including the wheel arches, gets black coloured plastic cladding. The C-shaped tail light cluster looks attractive. The roof is flanked by roof rails which is another testimonial to its sturdy built.
The Renault Duster, on the other hand, is kept away from any of such rebellious bits and trims. It comes with a rather orthodox and sober styling. However, this by no means points out that the SUV is subdued. In fact, the Duster presents a unique and attractive body language. The front hood is big and plain, with no such loud lines highlighting it. The grille gets thin horizontally slatted chrome inserts. There are big 16-inch wheels made with gun metal alloys. The rear gets roundish design with no such sharp edges anywhere. The DUSTER moniker is embossed on the rear boot door handle. There are skid plates below the spoiler for both front as well as rear of the SUV.
The Honda WR-V is spacious to its core. The instrument cluster on the dashboard is quite upmarket and you will love it. There is a bit of a steering mounted controls and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which Honda calls “DigiPad” However, the car misses out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which might be a small drawback. The 7-inch screen also provides multi view from the reverse parking camera. The subcompact crossover from Honda ticks few boxes in terms of safety as well. You will get dual safety airbags, ABS with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) as standard across all trims.
The Renault Duster is big and spacious. It is bigger than the Honda counterpart, which makes it a complete SUV. The facelifted Duster is quite urban and has undergone quite a number of changes in the interiors. The newer version gets a new MediaNav touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, and rearview and driver side auto control window with anti-pinch function. Safety features wears a similar look to that of the WR-V. It gets dual safety airbags, ABS with EBD and hill start assist.
Power and transmission
The Honda WR-V subcompact crossover is available in both i-VTEC as well as i-DTEC engine, that is, petrol and diesel. The petrol trim comes with a four cylinder 1.2-litre i-VTEC (petrol) engine. This engine is capable of making a peak power of 88 bhp at 6,000 revolutions per minute and a maximum torque of 110 Nm at 4,800 revolutions per minute. There is also a 1.5-litre i-DTEC (diesel) engine capable of making a maximum power of 99 bhp and a peak torque of 200 Nm. The diesel engine is more powerful and efficient of the two and returns with an impressive fuel economy of 25.5 kms per liter. The petrol WR-V is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox while the diesel trim gets a 6-speed manual transmission.
The new Renault Duster, on the other hand, comes with the same engine that powers the present version. You get to choose between one petrol and two diesel trims. The 1.6-litre four cylinder petrol engine is capable of making a maximum power 103 bhp at 5,750 revs per minute and a peak torque of 148 Nm at 3,750 revs per minute. This engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox.
The 1.5-litre diesel engine comes with two different tune engines. The base variant of the diesel engine is capable of making a maximum power of 84 bhp at 3,750 revolutions per minute and a peak torque of 200 Nm at 1,750 revs per minute. The other variant makes much more power of 108 bhp at 4,000 revs per minute and a highest torque of 245 Nm at the same 1,750 revs per minute. The base variant is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox while the top end diesel is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox.
The Honda WR-V is one of the new entrants in the crossover segment, whereas, Renault Duster SUV has been there for a long time. That said, by no means the WR-V is less competent than the trusted SUV. In terms of styling and external impression, both the cars are styled differently to please different sections of people. The WR-V is younger and thus, will attract the newer generations. On the other hand, the Duster is simple yet attractive. Time and again, it has proved that it have the looks to attract buyers from almost all the sections.
Power deliverance also makes a significance difference here. The base variant of both the vehicles are equally poised in terms of power, but the top end variants make the difference. Top end Duster diesel is a good 10 bhp more powerful that WR-V diesel.
Another important parameter is the pricing. Even though the Honda WR-V is the most expensive compact crossover on sale presently, the Renault Duster is far more expensive than Honda. The base variant of the WR-V is available for Rs. 8.95 lakhs exclusive showroom price while the base Duster is far more expensive at Rs. 9.6 lakhs.
This calls for a meticulous judgement before you consider any one of them. If you need an outright stylish compact SUV, the WR-V is your thing. But if you are looking for a conventional 5-seater SUV, choose the Duster.