Listen, I have owned 3 Dacias during my life and I have never had any problems with then. I've never had to replace anything and they've worked perfectly and I say that they're good, dependable, simple to run and operate cars.
You get what you pay for. There's no such thing as cheap and perform-ant. Recently, I purchased an 1989 Dacia Break, with only 700 $. I spent another 100 $ for minor repairs, and probably another 150 is needed for "looks" (to change a rusted head light, driver's seat, etc).
At the end of the day, with 950 $ you get a decent car that takes you from A to B (in 95 % of the cases :) ).
Dacia is not the greatest car in the world, but is among the only ones that Romanians can afford. And is not that bad as some say: the one I had ran for 23 years without any major repairs (talking about the engine). In 2000 I replaced the pistons and cylinders and that was all. It "works like new".
Hi! I have a Dacia 1310 from 1985! The engine is pretty good.. nice acceleration in the 3rd speed (4 speed gearbox). It is very cheap... you can't find something else cheaper than that. If you really care about it then the car will take you to the destination. For long trips is better not to pass throw 110 km/h..and modify it's suspension.
It's true that this is the car that most Romanians can buy and run, and the one that suffers the least from the bad roads. Well, there are problems with safety and reliability, but if it's taken care of, it won't leave you on the road. There are a few simple things which can go wrong anytime, but in 5 minutes it's up and running again. Major problems don't come suddenly, if you notice the first warning signs, and fix the problem, you don't have to be afraid of going to a longer trip with it. 100.000 km? Maybe the ones that are run carelessly. Let me tell you, right now I'm learning to drive, and the driving school Dacia runs 24/7 since 1995, it's made 375.000 km and still goes very well.
The biggest problem is rust, which once there, you can't get rid of it.