Dacias cooking on gas!

19 February 2020

ONE of the UK’s cheapest range of vehicles has just become even more affordable with the introduction of an alternative fuel source.

Dacia is offering its Duster, Sandero and Logan vehicles with the option of LPG, which is an old answer to a new problem.

Liquified petroleum gas is just half the cost of either petrol or diesel and has been around for decades as a dual-fuel option.

It has never really caught on in the UK, partly because of the extra tank capacity needed to carry it and also due to sparse filling stations.

Now Dacia is hoping that it will become as popular here as it is in other European countries, such as Italy where it accounts for a third of sales.

Dacia has swapped the spare wheel housing for an additional tank to accommodate the LPG fuel in addition to petrol.

Either fuel can be used at the flick of a switch to power a new one-litre turbocharged 100bhp dual-fuel engine.

This endows the vehicles with a remarkable range of up to 620 miles, with 40mpg economy and emissions as low as 116mpg in LPG mode.

The price difference between LPG and petrol or diesel amounts to an annual saving of almost £600 a year in fuel costs alone.

Dacia says that the number of LPG outlets in the UK is growing and currently stands at 1,400.

Despite the use of either fuel, the vehicles retain the standard oil change intervals of 18,000 miles or two years, plus a minor annual service.

Visually the vehicles are identical to their petrol and diesel-only counterparts, with the main change being the LPG tank in place of the spare wheel.

The capacity is 32 litres for the Sandero and Logan, and 34 litres in the Duster, with the luggage capacity remaining unchanged in each case.

The use of LPG as a vehicle fuel is nothing new but is suddenly fashionable as drivers try to cut emissions and find alternatives to internal combustion engines.

The huge advantage of LPG over electric vehicles is that the driving range is massive, whereas in the case of battery-powered vehicles it is generally very short, with relatively few recharging points.

Filling up with LPG is as simple as adding petrol, with a filler flap and protective cover situated at the rear of the vehicle on the opposite side of the petrol filler unit. The car can be manually switched between LPG and petrol by pressing a switch in the cockpit at any time or automatically when one of the tanks is empty.

All Bi-Fuel models come with a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty as standard, which is the same as all other Dacia vehicles. The new Dacia Bi-Fuel range is on sale from this week.

Prices are from £9,000 for the Sandero, from £10,600 for the Logan, and from £12,900 for the Duster.