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Dacia Duster review - Reliability & safety (2018-2024)

Customers love the Dacia Duster, but safety tech is one area where its cost-conscious nature impacts its rating

Carbuyer Rating

3.2 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Reliability & safety Rating

2.5 out of 5

Dacia models have traditionally had a mixed safety record, because in its efforts to make cars as affordable as possible, some of the latest safety technology has been left out. Sadly, the latest Duster is no exception, because despite having the most comprehensive kit so far, it could only muster three stars in Euro NCAP tests.

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On a more positive note, the Duster came a stonking fourth in our 2023 Driver Power survey, making it one of the top-rated SUVs across multiple categories by owners.

Dacia Duster reliability

In our 2023 Driver Power survey, the Dacia Duster came an impressive fourth out of 75 cars, but it managed to do even better in 2024, coming top of the entire pack of 50 cars surveyed. This included a stellar first place for value and it came fifth for quality and reliability. Owners were seriously impressed with its infotainment (another first place) and it came sixth for practicality too.

As a brand, Dacia came in a middling 26th place out of 32 manufacturers in 2023, so the Duster is certainly punching above its weight. Of the Dacia owners who responded, 26% said they’d experienced at least one fault within the first 12 months of ownership. However, considering how well the Duster performed in the same survey, we suspect the issues may lie predominantly with other models.

Reliability is not the main concern for owners; the lowest scores were awarded for interior quality (70th), and safety features (55th).

Safety

Unfortunately, the picture isn’t much rosier here, because in 2017 Euro NCAP only awarded the Dacia Duster three stars out of five – one of the lowest ratings in the small SUV class. Scores of 71% and 66% in the adult and child occupant protection categories point towards the Duster having tough bodywork in a collision, but a low 37% score in the Safety Assist category badly affects the overall rating. This takes into account active safety equipment like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) that can help avoid collisions – but isn’t offered in the Duster. Features like blind-spot monitoring have been adopted from Renault, but only on top-spec versions.

Warranty

Dacia provides a three-year/60,000-mile warranty on every new car it sells in the UK, and this can be extended to up to seven years/100,000 miles at extra cost – the latter being equivalent to the standard warranty provided by Kia.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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