Follow that donkey!
James May sets off on a daring quest across Morocco to find the new people’s car, and returns with a Dacia Duster
Posted: 13 Jul 2010
What is the Duster? It is not to be confused in any way with the former Dacia catastrophe bearing the same name. This is a chunky, high-riding five-seater with exaggerated ground clearance, good approach and departure angles (which is off-roader speak for ‘difficult to clout on the ground at the front and back'), proven Renault engines and austerity spec.
In its basic form, it comes as a 1.6-litre petrol front-wheel driver, but can also be had with a 1.5-litre diesel and four-wheel drive. The latter Dacia Duster has a clever central diff that can be set to distribute drive automatically from front to back depending on conditions, or can be locked to give permanent all-wheel traction. But there is no low-range, hill descent or fatuous knobbery to set it up for different surfaces. It's what used to be known as a ‘grass and gravel' off-roader.