Long term report: Dacia Duster #3

Dacia Duster
Blackball Media

Aargh! As I drove down Fulham Road in west London one Saturday afternoon recently it dawned on me that I had made a schoolboy error.

I'd failed to check whether Chelsea were playing at their home ground of Stamford Bridge and had encountered thousands of blue-shirted football fans, an enormous amount of traffic congestion, and the worrying prospect of being late for a rather important engagement of my own a few miles away, coincidentally with a start time of 3pm as well.

Now although I can find my way around a few areas of the capital with a reasonable degree of confidence, there are vast sections of it I very rarely visit, so it was time to give the sat-nav in the Duster a little trial. And it was then that a minor irritation with the car came to light.

You see, the infotainment system is positioned reasonably logically, but the driver has to glance down awkwardly to operate it. The screen kind of points towards the stomach of the person sitting in the middle of the back seat, if you see what I mean. I hadn't really noticed this when bimbling around suburban south Hampshire and simply flicking between Radio 2 and Radio 5 Live, but programming a destination for the car did seem like a bit of a pain. Apart from that though, the car, which proved perfectly capable of handling a LOT of London traffic, coped a lot better during the afternoon than its driver, Frazzled of Fareham.

Author: Dave Brown

The knowledge

Model: Dacia Duster Laureate dCi 110 4x4
Price: £16,380 (as tested)
Engine: 1.5-litre, turbocharged diesel
Power: 109bhp, 240Nm
Max speed: 104mph
0-60mph: 12.3s
Emissions: 137g/km
Mileage this month: 1060

This month's highlight

Mastering the sat nav in the busy streets of West London (Chelsea 2, QPR 1 if you're interested).