February 8, 2023

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LPG CAR TEST: DR 4.0 VS Dacia Duster Comparison

Two compact and attractive SUVs that share a high quality price ratio and dual LPG fuel supply. On the one hand, the latest DR 4.0 and on the other an icon of the segment: the Dacia Duster. Separated from a few hundred euros in price, they offer complete equipment and promise lower consumption in each driving situation

Andrea Brambilla and Luca Frigerio

– Milan

The electric car could potentially be the key to a cleaner future, but this type of mobility still has to contend with very high acquisition costs and infrastructure that isn’t always sufficient for the real demand for charging stations. Instead, buying a petrol car forces you to contend with the increase in fuel prices, an unknown factor that leaves room for the LPG alternative. The queen of this segment is the Dacia Duster which, after many years on the market, continues to focus on accessibility, and today is also supported by a lot of maturity. However, the Romanian SUV should watch its back from the new DR 4.0, a dual-fuel Italian novelty that enters the segment with a straight leg to conquer the crown of complete options under €22,000. Both cars share the same construction philosophy, focusing on reliable, well-equipped cars with low running costs.

low cost to whom?

Duster is not what it used to be, and this is underlined by the rich aesthetic endowment that makes it so captivating at first sight. The most complete version of the Extreme offers full LED headlights, contrast details, darkened wheels and a good dose of technology to always travel safely. Over the years, this SUV has grown a lot, and today it is the envy of many premium competitors. However, the DR 4.0 seems unafraid of competitors and, by focusing on refined aesthetics, chrome elements, alloy wheels and an electronically retractable roof, makes its way to make Dacia shiver. What’s more, the interior of the new Italian Sprint surprises with soft materials covering the dashboard and steering wheel, and electronically adjustable seats are also standard: the result is a modern and comfortable environment, and technical features enhanced by the digital dashboard and 9″ in the center of the dashboard, which lacks a somewhat outdated management system.However, on this front, Duster has a cheaper passenger cabin with many hard plastics, but at the same time it benefits from the experience of the Renault group to offer Information and entertainment More responsive, complete, easy to use, and above all, it can connect wirelessly to your smartphone to cater to a younger, more tech-savvy audience. Dacia demonstrates a built-to-last building philosophy set against simple, practical style. Both guarantee excellent roominess for all passengers, along with a load capacity capable of satisfying even large families.

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Make way for the bifuel

Both aren’t exactly cornering cars, but the main goal of these two vehicles is to provide space on board and a comfortable ride. The Duster hits the mark with a very soft build, while on the one hand it tends to move when you overdo it in tight mixed terrain, on the other hand it absorbs all the roughness of the road with ease. In town, the light steering facilitates the most demanding maneuvers and even when you want to pick up speed, it gives the driver the confidence to enjoy themselves in peace. The sound insulation and the quality of the on-board assemblies are also very good, so that any kind of “noise” is not noticed. The DR, on the other hand, emphasizes brighter dynamic qualities, thanks to a slightly firmer suspension that makes the car feel in your hands even when the road is more complex. In this context, particularly when traveling with full loads, the naturally aspirated 1.5-liter 114bhp engine proves a bit timid: in fact, despite the cubic capacity and four-cylinder split, the thrust at low pressures is not very stout, which is a characteristic Stressed when running on LPG, the five-speed manual gearbox tends to keep revs high at highway speeds. On the other hand, Duster flaunts a 999 cc three-cylinder turbo engine with 100 hp, which is active as early as 2000 rpm to move even at full load without straining. This more modern solution compared to the Italian competitor is also confirmed by the six-speed manual transmission which, even if it forces you to play a lot with the lever in the city, in urban driving allows you to reduce fuel consumption and noise inside the passenger compartment.

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How much do they consume?

We have used these two SUVs both in urban areas and on extra-urban roads, noting that the consumption is certainly close to the data declared by the manufacturers. The DR 4.0 running on LPG in mixed use can stay below 9 l / 100 km, while on the highway it drops to 8. At this juncture, petrol consumption is reduced, around 7.8 l / 100 km, but it must Keeping that in mind the price per liter is decidedly higher when you fill in the green spaces. Dacia Duster is always a confirmation: on the highway you can move at 8 l / 100 km on gasoline and 8.5 l / 100 km on LPG. In the city, the small size helps reduce consumption, especially if you can handle the gas pedal. The result in an urban context is almost 7 l / 100 km on LPG, confirming a project based on a really efficient engine.

Penny challenge

Simple yet very complete, Duster manages to offer everything you could wish for in terms of comfort, performance and contents with a starting price of €20,850 with the 100 LPG Eco-G engine and top-notch equipment and going up to €21,500 if you decide to treat yourself to a more refined colour. A four-wheeled legend that has to defend itself from a newcomer: in fact, the DR 4.0 is a novelty that cannot but surprise, first of all for its great maturity but also for its “all inclusive” price of 21,400 euros, including the choice of colors ranging from Neutral to more exciting colors such as the blue used in the test. An ultra-modern product designed to meet the needs of those who are looking for an economical rather than poor car.

DR 4.0: the pros and cons

Here are the strengths and weaknesses of DR 4.0:

I do not like it: System Information and entertainment It’s not the latest generation in graphics and responsiveness; The engine has little torque at low rpm.

DR 4.0 data sheet

DR 4.0 Petrol / LPG

engine Four-cylinder in-line naturally aspirated, petrol and LPG, 1,498 cc
Maximum energy 114 hp at 6150 rpm
maximum torque 132 Nm at 4800 rpm
Connecting Front wheel drive, 5-speed manual gearbox
full speed 175 km / h
Declare consumption 9.8 l / 100 km combined cycle Wltp
Consumption detected LPG: Highway 8 L/100km, Mixed 9 L/100km
CO2 emissions 158 g / km combined cycle Wltp
Tank capacity Gasoline 57L, LPG 44L actual (55L nominal)
Dimensions Length 4,318mm, Width 1,830mm, Height 1,670mm, Wheelbase 2,630mm
Weight 1380 kg in running order
trunk Capacity 340 / 1,100 liters
price 21,400 euros

Dacia Duster: pros and cons

Here’s what we liked and least liked about the Dacia Duster 4×2 1.0 TCe 100 Eco-G:

admire: plenty of space on board for all passengers; The 1.0 three-cylinder engine has excellent traction; The infotainment system has a responsive touch screen and wireless connectivity capabilities.

I do not like it: the ride is particularly soft and the car tends to roll when cornering; Extensive use of simple materials and hard plastics in the cabin.

Dacia Duster data sheet

Dacia Duster TCe Eco-G

engine Three-cylinder turbo, petrol and LPG, 999 cc
Maximum energy 100 HP 4600-5000 rpm (LPG)
maximum torque 170 Nm 2000-3500 rpm (LPG)
Connecting Front wheel drive, 6-speed manual gearbox
Acceleration 0-100 km / h 13.8 seconds (LPG)
full speed 168km/h (LPG)
Declare consumption 7.8 l / 100 km combined cycle Wltp
Consumption detected LPG: Highway 8.5 L/100km, City 7 L/100km
Declared carbon dioxide emissions 126g/km Wltp
Dimensions Length 4,341mm, Width 1,804mm, Height 1,633mm, Wheelbase 2,673mm,
Weight 1289 kg in running order
trunk Capacity 478-1.623 liters
price From 17,300 euros