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Renault Duster Turbo-Petrol vs Hyundai Creta vs Kia Seltos

Renault Duster vs competition

Renault Duster

What you'll like:

  • A Duster on steroids! 154 BHP motor has transformed its personality
  • Very fast & loads of fun on the open road. Punchy mid-range will leave you grinning
  • Turbo-petrol's refinement levels are terrific, including at high rpm
  • Smooth CVT automatic available. It's quick too
  • Mature ride quality & sorted dynamics
  • The Duster is still a good-looking crossover. Exterior styling has aged well
  • Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction
  • Practical boot (475 - 1064 liters of cargo capacity)
  • Fair pricing for a 154 BHP crossover. Lakhs cheaper than the Creta / Seltos 1.4 Turbos
  • ESP is a crucial safety feature in a fast car, while Hill Hold is very useful with a laggy engine
  • 205 mm of ground clearance. Dismisses broken roads with aplomb

What you won't:

  • 1.3L turbo-petrol suffers lag at low revs. It's very easy to stall too
  • Duster's terribly old & outdated interiors are the biggest deal-breaker
  • Feature list is basic by current times (no sunroof or keyless entry & go, just 2 airbags...)
  • Ride quality is good, but retuned suspension & 17" rims have taken the "magic" away
  • Price premium of ~2 lakhs for the turbo-petrol & 1.6 lakhs for the CVT is way too high
  • Red highlights all over the car look extremely garish; we'd get them removed
  • The next-gen Duster is already on sale globally, but Renault won't bring it here
  • Workhorse 1.5L diesel & competent AWD are gone!!!
  • Mediocre rear seat legroom. More like C1 segment sedans than C2
  • Road & wind noise are prominent at high speed
  • Renault's after-sales service quality is inconsistent

Link to review

Nissan Kicks

Link to Launch Thread

Hyundai Creta

What you'll like:

  • A superbly engineered all-rounder that delivers a premium experience
  • We find the Hyundai Creta to be well-priced for what it offers
  • User-friendly interiors with sufficient space & good quality parts
  • Loved the 1.4L turbo-petrol & 1.5L diesel. These are fantastic engines
  • Smooth & competent automatic gearboxes available. With the useful "auto-hold" feature too
  • Sorted road manners & handling for a Hyundai, including on the highway. You will be surprised!
  • The Creta's safety package includes 6 airbags, ESP, all-wheel disc brakes, TPMS etc.
  • Impressive kit (panoramic sunroof, paddle shifters, Bose sound system, cooled seats, cabin air purifier & loads more)
  • Hyundai's competent after-sales service, fuss-free ownership & upto 5-years standard warranty

What you won't:

  • Oddball love it or hate it styling. We find the Creta's exterior design to be too weird & futuristic
  • Firmer suspension isn't as cushy as the 1st-gen Creta. It is more comfortable than the Seltos though
  • Back seat's width makes it better for 2 adults and a kid, rather than 3 adults
  • Some misses (no auto wipers, 360-degree camera, illuminated window buttons, full-size spare tyre on top trims)
  • Dual-clutch ATs (like the Hyundai Creta Petrol DCT) have a history of poor reliability in India
  • Diesel’s 113 BHP & 250 Nm – [I]although adequate[/I] – are the lowest in the segment. Old 1.6L CRDi was superior
  • No manual transmission available with the fast 1.4L Petrol (Seltos offers this combo)
  • The stiffer Seltos has an edge in the handling department. IMHO, the Kia is better looking too
  • You get bigger SUVs & Crossovers for the same money (e.g. Hector, Harrier, XUV500)

Link to Review

Kia Seltos

What you'll like:

  • A superbly engineered all-rounder that delivers a premium experience
  • Handsome, contemporary styling. Looks very sharp
  • We find the Seltos to be well-priced for what it offers
  • Nice, user-friendly interiors with sufficient space & good quality
  • Loved the 1.4L turbo-petrol & 1.5L diesel. They are BS6 compliant too
  • Both the automatics - Diesel AT & Petrol DCT - are simply fantastic!
  • Mature on-road behavior, including at highway speeds. A+ brakes as well
  • Unusually wide variant offering. Seems there is something for everyone
  • Top safety package includes 6 airbags, ESP, all-wheel disc brakes, blind spot monitor, TPMS etc.
  • Impressive kit (360 degree camera, HUD, front parking sensors, Bose sound system, cooled seats, cabin air purifier & loads more)

What you won't:

  • Firm suspension. Liveable, but bad roads will bother you (especially on 17" wheel variants)
  • Back seat's width makes it better for 2 adults and a kid, rather than 3 adults
  • Niggles are being reported by owners (details here)
  • Some misses (no paddle shifters or illuminated window buttons, thinner spare tyre on top trims, no dual-tone option on GTX+ / HTX+)
  • Dual-clutch ATs (like the Petrol DCT) have a history of poor reliability in India
  • Diesel’s 113 BHP & 250 Nm – although adequate – are the lowest in the segment
  • Extremely confusing & complicated variant spread. We still haven’t gotten the hang of it!
  • Kia's after-sales service quality is an unknown. We await details in our ownership reports
  • Waiting periods are already a couple of months long for some trims
  • You get bigger SUVs & Crossovers for the same money (e.g. Hector, Harrier, XUV500)

Link to Review

MG Hector

What you'll like:

  • Big size & lots of bling for the money! We find the Hector to be well-priced
  • A spacious cabin that can easily seat 5 adults. Massive 587 litre boot too
  • Fiat-sourced 2.0L diesel is simply fantastic
  • Compliant ride quality. Suspension is tuned for comfort
  • Lots of kit (panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, electric seats & tailgate etc.)
  • ‘Connected’ Tablet ICE with an embedded SIM & lovely sound quality
  • 5-year / unlimited km warranty with roadside assistance
  • Top safety equipment includes 6 airbags, ESP, HSA, all-wheel disc brakes, TPMS & more

What you won't:

  • Awkward styling on the side & rear profiles. Looks weird from some angles
  • Sloppy high-speed handling, noticeable body roll & easy understeer
  • The petrol engine is “adequate” at best. Its guzzling Automatic variant is unimpressive
  • No Diesel AT (Creta, Seltos, XUV500, Hexa offer this combination, which we love)
  • Some annoyances like the ~6 meter turning radius, no auto-dimming IRVM, strange rpm meter…
  • Small after-sales network. Service quality & long-term reliability are big unknowns
  • Waiting period runs into a couple of months
  • Don’t get blinded by the British branding. This is a Chinese car

Link to Review

Maruti S-Cross

What you’ll like:

  • Solid build & good quality, inside out
  • Competent 1.5L petrol offers excellent driveability & practicality
  • Smooth torque-converter AT. Gets SHVS tech too
  • Mature ride & handling package. High speed behaviour is exceptional
  • Practical interiors, spacious cabin and supportive seats
  • Features such as LED headlamps, cruise control, auto headlamps & wipers etc.
  • Maruti's excellent after-sales support network

What you won’t:

  • This 1.5L petrol motor is uninvolving to drive. Enthusiasts, look elsewhere
  • 4-speed Automatic gearbox feels old & outdated. No manual mode or paddle shifters either
  • No diesel option! Maruti’s BS6 1.5L diesel engine is still some time away
  • AT option has a steep Rs. 1.24 lakh ex-showroom premium (will be more on-the-road)
  • Unappealing styling. Looks like a big hatchback (not a crossover / SUV). Is quite old too
  • Missing features by 2020 standards (6 airbags, sunroof, wireless phone charging etc.)
  • 353 liter boot - though well shaped - is small for a car of this size & positioning

Link to Review

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