The Dacia Duster has always received good reviews from critics. At its price, however, there’s little anyone could reasonably complain about – it’s significantly cheaper than all its main rivals – the Citroen C4 Cactus and the Suzuki Vitara.
The unit is a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol with a turbocharger which makes for a 125hp power output. More useful to Dacia owners, though, is the boost in torque that turbocharging brings – the car gets 151lb ft available from just 2,000rpm. Anyone regularly carrying heavy weights or towing will find the extra shove handy.
By having a relatively high torque output, Dacia has been able to fit longer gear ratios to make the most of the extra twisting power. The six-speed manual gearbox has a shorter first gear to help when off-road and a much longer sixth to keep the engine revving low on the motorway – helping both refinement and efficiency.
It’s not just powerful – the new engine gets stop/start, reduced internal friction and brake energy recuperation to harvest the energy wasted while slowing down. High-pressure direct fuel injection and variable geometry for the turbocharger also help keep it efficient.
Dusting the competition
The Duster’s engine will arrive in the UK in 2016 and we’ll have a better idea of its efficiency and prices closer to that date. Head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next new car.