Dacia Duster review - Reliability and safety
The Duster's lowly safety rating might be a concern for some buyers, although Driver Power customer feedback is improving
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 second-generation Dacia Duster only managed 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 per cent and 66 per cent respectively aren’t even close to class best. Scores of 57 per cent for pedestrian safety and 37 per cent for safety assist technology are nothing to write home about, either.
The Mk2 Duster shone in our 2023 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. It finished fourth on the list of best cars to own – up from its 14th place finish in 2022 – and was named as the best small SUV to own. Based on feedback from owners the Duster received a 94.15 per cent score for reliability, however safety features were one of the car’s weakest areas.
The Duster’s three-year/60,000-mile warranty is merely adequate for this sector, especially considering that Hyundai offers a comprehensive five-year warranty, while Kia and MG offer seven years of protection, and Toyota provides up to ten years cover.
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, for up to six years or 100,000 miles. You’ll pay between £160 and £690, depending on which package you opt for.
Dacia recommends getting the Duster serviced every year or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. Service Plans range from £599 for a three-year/30,000-mile deal to £1,199 for a four-year/60,000-mile plan, although this also includes an extended warranty. Monthly payment plans start from £8.99 per month.
In this review
- 1Dacia Duster reviewThe Dacia Duster is better than ever, and is possibly the best value SUV you can buy
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Duster focuses mainly on delivering comfort, while being 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
- 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 readingThe Duster's lowly safety rating might be a concern for some buyers, although Driver Power customer feedback is improving