Dacia Duster 4x4 running costs
The entry point to the Duster is staggeringly low, and if you blush at the mere thought of haggling, you’d feel right at home at a Dacia showroom. Unlike almost all of its rivals, Dacia operates a strict no-haggle policy, so you won’t get any discounts. Even so, the Duster undercuts similarly sized rivals by thousands of pounds and residual values are excellent.
Running costs are low if you avoid the thirstier petrol engine. The diesel unit is reasonably efficient and, given its official combined fuel consumption is 64.2mpg, you should easily average around 50mpg if you drive it responsibly. Four-wheel-drive models are considerably more expensive to buy and also bring higher fuel and tax costs.
The Duster boasts particularly competitive insurance group ratings that, again, help to keep running costs down. Dacia also offers some very cheap PCP rates so, all in all, the Duster is among the cheapest cars to own in its class.
Dacia Duster 4x4 equipment
When you look at the bargain-basement price, you probably won’t be surprised that entry-level Access trim is poorly equipped. On the positive side, it has electric front windows, remote central locking and the same safety kit as other Dusters, but there’s no radio, driver’s seat height adjustment, USB input or covers for the steel wheels. Metallic paint is optional on all but entry-level models.
It’s definitely worth upgrading to Essential trim – our favourite – because it adds all of the above, plus air conditioning, 60/40-split rear seats and steering wheel stereo controls.
Comfort trim is, naturally, much better equipped – but it’s a fair bit more expensive, too. This adds electric rear windows, alloy wheels, smarter interior and exterior trim, front seatback map pockets, cruise control and heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors.
Prestige features part-leather and heated front seats, climate control, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav.
Dacia Duster 4x4 reliability
Dacia is owned by Renault, so many of the parts are tried and tested items from the French company. That's probably why Dacia finished a respectable 19th out of 32 manufacturers in our most recent reliability survey; believe it or not, that’s higher than Renault.
The Duster’s standard warranty is an unremarkable three years or 60,000 miles. Extended five-year/60,000 mile and seven-year/100,000-mile warranties are affordable options.
Dacia Duster 4x4 safety and security
Safety is one of the areas where the Duster falls well off the pace. It has six airbags (including curtain ones) as standard across the range, but there’s no option to have automatic emergency braking, while blindspot monitoring is only available on top-of-the-range Prestige trim. That's partly why the Duster scored a very disappointing three stars in its Euro NCAP crash tests.
Thatcham Research has not tested any Dacia for resistance to forced entry and theft. Although the steel wheels on the two cheapest trim levels are unlikely to attract thieves, it’s disappointing that an alarm isn’t standard.
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