Desirable Duster

Lucky old Dacia!

The Hungarian car company, formed in 1966, is the first to get a super efficient new engine made by owners Renault, who took over the business in 1999.

Called the TCe 100 it makes the current SCe 115 used in the Mégane look positively ancient.

Instead of it being a 1.6-litre four cylinder unit with 115hp, it’s a three cylinder turbo that uses less fuel, dramatically lowers fuel consumption and is actually quicker.

Now available as an “entry level” unit in the Dacia Duster, and soon to appear in the new Clio, the TCe 100’s CO2 emissions of 126g/km are a massive 18% lower than the SCe 115’s figure of 158g/km, which earned it a first year tax bill of £530.

The Duster’s first year bill will be £165.

While the SCe 115 averaged, at best, 41mpg, the TCe’s real world WLTP figures of 48.7 – 49.5mpg are highly impressive.

Its 999cc turbo features an electrically controlled waste gate, exhaust manifold partially integrated into the cylinder head, twin variable valve timing and bore spray coating.

With a power output of 100hp, backed up by a colossal 260Nm (192lb) – that’s an increase of 66% – Renault say the Duster TCe 100: “Offers better performance both in the city and on the open road. It boasts greater energy efficiency and enhanced responsiveness.”

That’s the good news, the bad is that the price has gone up by exactly £1,000.

Starter model the Access TCe 100 is now £10,995, but it still sounds like a bargain.

So far this year Duster sales have leapt by 90% over 2018, with sales of 10,000 vehicles so far.