The Bargain of the Year: Dacia Duster
Can the UK’s cheapest 4x4 survive the Southern Hemisphere’s harshest mountains?
Posted: 09 Jan 2013
I start to mentally compile a list of ‘Things in Our Favour'. After 15 minutes it stands at this:
(1) Four-wheel drive
That's all I've got. A front-drive-only Duster is available at the freakishly reasonable price of £8,995, but - ever safety-conscious - we've got the AWD version, which starts at just under 11 grand, making it the UK's cheapest 4x4 by far. That said, it's the sort of AWD system that, on paper at least, looks more suited to ‘muddy driveway' than ‘Peruvian death road'. It remains front-drive in normal road use, a central clutch transferring up to 50 per cent of the power to the rear when it detects slippage. And that's about it for off-tarmac protection: the Duster is on road tyres, has no locking differentials, no winch and no water or food on board. Admittedly, the latter isn't really the Duster's issue so much as a total lack of forethought on the part of myself and photographer Matthias, but still the point stands: things ain't looking promising.