From the French coast to the Steppes of Mongolia: Dacia Duster goes on trial!--
How did you come up with the idea of making a trip like this, and what were you looking for?
I love travelling, it's one of my passions. I've already been lucky enough to visit several countries: Madagascar, Cambodia, and the United Arab Emirates. This time my friends and I wanted to go as far as Asia. While we were talking, the idea of Mongolia arose. It's a unique country with magnificent landscapes. I had the same objectives as for all my trips: a change of scenery, an escape from everyday routine, meeting a misunderstood people, and immersing myself in another culture.
Why did you choose a Duster for your journey?
I already owned a 1996 short-wheelbase Nissan Patrol GR Y60 which could have made the trip. But as it had a lot of kilometres on the clock, I opted for a more recent vehicle. Duster very soon emerged as ideal. My brother has a Dacia Duster and he always spoke very highly of it. The price, which was more attractive than other models in the same category, also played a part in my decision. So I bought a second-hand Dacia Duster 4x4 with 70,000 kilometres on the clock, and had it specially prepared for the trip.
What was the state of your Duster when you came back to Brittany five months later?
Given what it went through during the trip, it was in very good condition! I'm impressed, I must admit, that I didn't have to change a single part during our 38,000 kilometres. Nothing broke, and on my return it was in perfect condition. My mechanic, laughed when he took it down from the bridge to examine it: "Nothing to report, it's ready to start again", he said. You know, we were driving on especially difficult roads, in very variable weather. In fact, Mongolia is known for its misshapen "corrugated iron" roads: a succession of holes and bumps. We also crossed some mountain passes over 4,600 metres high and the vehicle didn't flinch. Only the particulate filter warning light came on because of a lack of ambient oxygen. I didn't notice any particular wear and tear. Perhaps a few vibrations from the dashboard and the bonnet when we were driving on very uneven roads, but quite honestly I think all the materials aged very well.
So from your point of view, Duster was suitable for the trip and met your expectations?
Yes, it was perfect, even for sleeping! Frankly, I think it did the job ! I'm planning to make another trip in two years: to South America, this time. So I'm hoping the Duster will be coming with me!
* This type of journey calls for a few adjustments: increasing the vehicle's ground clearance, armouring the front and rear axles, a diesel fuel pre-filter, large multi-purpose tyres, suppressing the exhaust silencer with a direct line made of stainless steel, altering the air filter system and installing a flat floorpan as a base for sleeping.