Dacia Duster review

Category: Family SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Dacia Duster 2022 interior front seats
  • Dacia Duster 2022 front tracking
  • Dacia Duster 2022 rear cornering
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior dashboard
  • Dacia Duster 2022 rear seats
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior front seats
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior infotainment
  • Dacia Duster 2022 front right tracking
  • Dacia Duster 2022 front cornering
  • Dacia Duster 2022 rear lights detail
  • Dacia Duster 2022 headlight detail
  • Dacia Duster 2021 right static
  • Dacia Duster 2022 badge detail
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior detail
  • Dacia Duster 2022 boot open
  • Dacia Duster 2022 front tracking
  • Dacia Duster 2022 rear cornering
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior dashboard
  • Dacia Duster 2022 rear seats
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior front seats
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior infotainment
  • Dacia Duster 2022 front right tracking
  • Dacia Duster 2022 front cornering
  • Dacia Duster 2022 rear lights detail
  • Dacia Duster 2022 headlight detail
  • Dacia Duster 2021 right static
  • Dacia Duster 2022 badge detail
  • Dacia Duster 2022 interior detail
  • Dacia Duster 2022 boot open
What Car?’s Duster deals
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In this section:
  • Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
  • Equipment, options and extras
  • Reliability
  • Safety and security

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Dacia Duster range opens with the staggeringly affordable (but basic) Essential trim level, which massively undercuts the Seat Ateca and other rivals. Even mid-spec Comfort trim looks cheap next to the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq. Only the MG ZS can come close to the Duster’s level of affordability. 

The Duster pips the ZS for running costs, though. The diesel is reasonably fuel-efficient and should average more than 50mpg, while our recommended TCe 130 petrol engine can return more than 40mpg in everyday driving. The ZS 1.0T GDi would be nearer 39mpg. CO2 emissions also beat the ZS's – good news for company car drivers. Bear in mind that the four-wheel-drive version of the diesel is more expensive to buy and also brings higher fuel and company car tax bills. 

It’s at least worth upgrading to our favourite Comfort trim, which adds 16in alloy wheels, heated electric door mirrors, a central armrest, a rear-view camera and the 8in touchscreen infotainment system.

Range-topping Prestige gets goodies such as 17in alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and heated front seats, as well as a multi-view camera and sat-nav.

Dacia Duster 2022 interior infotainment

Reliability

Dacia is owned by Renault, so many of the parts it uses are pinched from the French car maker. Believe it or not, though, the Duster beat the Renault Kadjar to finish in a very respectable joint fourth place (with the BMW X2) in the family SUV category of the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. That also puts it ahead of the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq.

Overview

With a low starting price, plenty of kit and decent residuals, the Dacia Duster represents good value for money, but you have to be willing to live with certain compromises (both dynamic and safety-oriented) to reap those rewards.

  • Seriously cheap to buy and run
  • Spacious boot
  • 4x4 version is very capable off road
  • Body control and handling are poor compared with most rivals
  • Interior feels cheap
  • Poor Euro NCAP safety rating
New car deals
Save up to £106
Target Price from £14,775
Save up to £106
or from £154pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £18,999
Leasing deals
From £194pm