Dacia Duster review - Reliability and safety
A lowly safety rating and poor customer satisfaction are areas of concern for the Dacia Duster.
With the budget price comes one or two compromises, but safety is something many buyers will be unwilling to sacrifice. In an age when many cars seem to receive a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the new Dacia Duster can only muster three stars.
Not only is this the same rating it received in 2011, but two of the scores have actually decreased in the six years between the two tests. Of course, the test has become tougher, but adult and child occupant protection scores of 71% and 66% respectively aren’t even close to class best. Scores of 57% for pedestrian safety and 37% for safety assist technology are nothing to write home about, either.
Safety devices such as autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assist simply aren’t available, while blind spot monitoring is only offered on the top-spec Prestige model.
The Duster didn't feature in our latest Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, and the news doesn't get any better for the brand as a whole, with Dacia finishing rock-bottom on a list of the best 30 car manufacturers.
The Duster’s three-year/60,000-mile warranty is merely adequate for this sector, especially considering Hyundai offers a comprehensive five-year warranty, while Kia and SsangYong offer seven years of protection.
Still, at least the Duster is covered by an additional two-year paintwork warranty and six years of anti-corrosion cover. Extended warranties are available, providing cover for up to seven years or 100,000 miles. You’ll pay between £200 and £800, depending on the cover.
Dacia recommends getting the Duster serviced every year or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. Service Plans range from £350 for a three-year/30,000-mile deal to £950 for a four-year/60,000 plan, although this also includes an extended warranty. Monthly plans start at just £5 per month.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Dacia Duster is better than ever, and is possibly the best value SUV you can buy
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Duster is surprisingly enjoyable to drive, reasonably economical and rather good off-road
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsCheap to buy and cheap to run – owning a Dacia Duster shouldn’t break the bank
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Dacia Duster looks better than before, and the interior quality is up a notch, but the cabin remains uninspiring
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spacePracticality is a real Dacia Duster strong point, offering space for five adults and a large boot
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingA lowly safety rating and poor customer satisfaction are areas of concern for the Dacia Duster.