Honda BRV vs Duster Comparison Review

Honda BR-V vs Renault Duster Comparison Review
Pricing & Features:
Renault Duster’s top-end variant, the 'RXZ 110' (4x2) manual-diesel, costs 14.4 Lakh, on road, Delhi, which is 70,000 Rs. cheaper than the BRV ‘VX’ (diesel), costing 15.1 Lakh Rs. Both cars have a few extra features absent in the other. Duster has the Touchscreen Infotainment System, Cruise Control, Parking Camera & Sensors, whereas the BR-V has Push Button Start & Smart Key, Projector Headlamps, LED DRLs and Leather Upholstery.

BR-V vs Duster Video Comparison Review:


Pricing of other variants:
Duster petrol 'RXL' manual costs 10.60 Lakh
BR-V petrol ‘VX’ manual costs 13.60 Lakh

Duster diesel 'RXZ 110 AMT' (4x2) automatic costs 15.10 Lakh
BR-V V CVT’ petrol-automatic costs 13.75 Lakh
on road, Delhi

Common Features: ABS, Airbags - 2, Climate Control, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Stereo: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers & 2 Tweeters, Steering Wheel Switches, Rear Wash-Wipe-Defog, Driver's Seat Height Adjust, Electrically Adjustable & Folding Mirrors, Fog Lamps, Alloy Wheels, Tilt Steering, Boot Lamp, Fuel Computer
Extra Features in Duster (RXZ): Parking Sensors, Parking Camera, Touch-screen, Navigation, Cruise Control
Extra Features in BR-V (VX): Leather Upholstery, Push Button Smart & Smart Key, Projector Headlamps, LED DRLs

Performance & Drivability:
Petrol: BR-V's illustrious iVTEC powertrain is in a different league compared the Duster’s petrol mill. BR-V has noticeably stronger performance than the Duster, which is quite obvious given that it is 20% more powerful in terms of power-to-weight ratio. BR-V is also significantly more refined, eager to rev and sweet-sounding in comparison to the Duster. Not to forget, the BR-V offers the fantastic CVT automatic with gearshift paddles as an option making it simply perfect for urban use.

Power (PS@rpm): BR-V - 119@6600, Duster - 104@5750
Torque (Nm@rpm): BR-V – 145@4600, Duster – 148@3750
Kerb Weight (kg): BR-V - 1190, Duster - 1240

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): BR-V - 100, Duster – 84 (difference 19%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): BR-V - 122, Duster – 119

Diesel: Both the diesel BR-V and Duster 85PS have outstanding drivability around town. The Duster 110 PS suffers from turbo lag at low revs. However, once its massive turbo gets going, it easily outruns the BR-V making it better suited to overtaking duties on the Highway. Both cars are a bit on the vocal side compared to their competitor’s diesel engines, but only by a small margin. Renault has cleverly equipped the Duster with the AMT automatic, effectively taking away the pain of constant clutch operation and gear rowing without any impact or its performance or fuel-efficiency.

Power (PS@rpm): BR-V - 100@3600, Duster 85 - 85@3750, Duster 110 - 110@4000
Torque (Nm@rpm): BR-V – 200@1750, Duster 85 - 200@1900, Duster 110 - 245@1750
Kerb Weight (kg): BR-V - 1275, Duster 110 - 1280

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): BR-V - 78, Duster 85PS - 68, Duster 110PS - 86
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): BR-V - 157, Duster 85PS - 159, Duster 110PS - 191

Fuel Efficiency:
In our back-to-back tests, the BR-V petrol manual as well as automatic were consistently 2 kmpl more efficient than the petrol Duster. The BR-V diesel was over 1 kmpl more efficient than the manual as well as automatic Duster diesel.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl):
BR-V (petrol, manual) – 15.4, Duster (petrol, manual) – 13.06 (difference 1.3)
BR-V (diesel, manual) – 21.9, Duster 110 (diesel, manual) – 19.6 (difference 2.3)
BR-V (petrol, automatic) – 16, Duster 110 (diesel, automatic) – 19.6 (difference 3.6)

Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (in Lakh):
BR-V (petrol, manual) – 4.15, BR-V (petrol, automatic) – 4.15, Duster (petrol, manual) – 5.00
BR-V (diesel, manual) – 2.50, Duster (diesel, manual) – 2.80, Duster (diesel, automatic) – 2.80

Space & Comfort:
If you are travelling with five passengers on-board with all of their weekend luggage, you would be better off in the Duster than the BR-V. BR-V being a narrower car than the Duster, does not have adequate shoulder-room in the middle row to accommodate three adults. However, for intra-city jaunts, the BR-V’s third row can come in handy for carrying seven passengers. Even with all seats in place, the BR-V has a decent 223 litres of boot-space, which expands to 691 litres with the rear seats folded. That is over 200 litres more than Duster’s boot volume of 475 litres.

Length (mm): BR-V – 4455, Duster – 4315
Width (mm): BR-V – 1735, Duster – 1822
Height (mm): BR-V – 1666, Duster – 1695

Ride Quality & Handling:
The Duster adapts better to Indian road conditions than the BR-V. It tackles broken roads and rough surfaces better than the BR-V. Conversely, the BR-V corners more keenly than the Duster. It has surprisingly good steering response for a crossover, with a precise well weighted steering rack that transmits decent feedback from the terrain to the driver. Duster though not bad feels a bit vague and numb in comparison.

Ground Clearance (mm): BR-V – 210, Duster – 205

Tyre Size:
BR-V – 195/60R16
Duster - 215/65R16

Reliability and After Sales Service:
Renault is still on a steep learning curve compared to Honda, when it comes to product reliability. Especially Renault’s Romanian, Dacia platform based cars are prone to niggling issues. Honda’s service support though far from class leading, is still slightly better than Renault’s, which is more to do with Honda’s bullet-proof reliability, that tends to bail out its substandard dealer support, by not encountering as many problems as Renault’s cars do, in the first place.

Resale after 5 to 7 years est. (Lakh):
BR-V is bound to hold marginally better resale value than the Duster on account of its superior fuel efficiency and Honda’s 20 year strong track record at providing a hassle free ownership experience in our country.
BR-V VX (Petrol manual) – 7.75, BR-V V CVT (Petrol automatic) – 7.85, Duster RXL (Petrol manual) – 5.75
BR-V VX (Diesel manual) – 9.05, Duster RXZ 110 (Diesel manual) – 8.20, Duster RXZ 110 (Diesel automatic) – 8.60

Total Cost of Ownership (in Lakh): (Vehicle Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)
The top-end BR-V VX petrol-manual as well as the automatic BRV ‘V CVT’, have similar Cost of Ownership as the mid-range Duster RXL petrol, over an ownership period of 5 to 7 years. The BR-V diesel works out to be around 50,000 Rs. cheaper than the equivalent Duster manual & 80,000 Rs. less than the automatic.
BR-V VX (Petrol manual) – 10.10, BR-V V CVT (Petrol automatic) – 10.10, Duster RXL (Petrol manual) – 9.90
BR-V VX (Diesel manual) – 8.55, Duster RXZ (Diesel manual) – 9.00, Duster RXZ (Diesel automatic) – 9.30

Verdict:
It is an extremely close call between the two cars. Both Renault & Honda have equipped the Duster and the BR-V respectively with state-of-the-art automatic transmissions with none of the efficiency and performance shortcomings that old torque convertor ‘boxes had. The diesel powered Duster AMT works out to be around 80,000 Rs. or 9% lower in terms of Ownership Costs compared to the BR-V. Plus it has a more spacious seating in the front two rows and none of the rubber-band effect of the BR-V.
But when driven back-to-back, the Duster feels noticeably crude and primitive compared to the polished BR-V. The iVTEC mill's refinement is eons ahead of Renault’s K9K diesel unit. CVT’s power-delivery and transitions are significantly jerk free than the AMT unit. The outward visibility, ergonomics and the overall fit and finish inside the BR-V definitely feels like a step-up from the Duster. In spite of the rubber-band effect, the petrol BR-V is quicker than the Duster in terms of outright acceleration as well as the roll-ons. Also the CVT-iVTEC combo is a proven powertrain across the world unlike the newfangled AMT-K9K combination. A 10% premium for the BR-V feels like a small price to pay for a car that feels genuinely like it’s from a segment above the Duster. The BR-V wins our vote amongst this test.

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