2017 Dacia Duster Prestige 1.5 from UK and Ireland


Great concept, but poorly made


- Brake pedal mechanism developed a strange squeak when releasing the pedal, but this only happened when the car was moving.

- Rubber seals on the front doors starting coming loose and falling off.

- Rattles from the A-pillar and headlining trim.

- Erratic infotainment system.

General Comments:

I bought this car knowing it was at the budget conscious end of the market, but I believed the cost saving was in using old technology, less soundproofing, hard plastics and less equipment.

I was very impressed with how practical it was for such a small car. Everything I put in the boot it swallowed. Also, the turning circle is very tight making maneuvering around tight spaces surprisingly easy.

It is also comfortable, the automatic gearbox is smooth and it is reasonably quick off the mark. From an engine, transmission and electrical point of view I have had no problems.

However, in the 21st century, even with budget cars I expected everything to be screwed together properly, and unfortunately this is not the case with the Duster. The build quality is the biggest let down and what has led me to terminate my PCP early.

The infotainment system would switch on by itself, but this was easily fixed by the dealer which was fine. The issues started when the rubber door seals started coming loose and fell off. These are the kind of comments found when describing a 20 year old car, not a 2 year old car, and when I took it to the dealer they said it was wear and tear, which I find absolutely outrageous as the clips do not wear out in 2 years as they are not consumable parts like tyres and brakes. This then questioned the longevity of the car.

About a month ago the brake pedal started making a strange squeaking noise - not even my 17 year old Saab has ever done this, and after the experience with the rubber seals I decided the car had to go before I start paying hundreds of pounds in repair bills due to premature wear and tear, which is better described as faulty workmanship.

Unless Dacia improve on their quality, I won't be returning to this brand again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th September, 2020

9th Oct 2022, 14:03

Good review, and I agree with you on quality, whilst you can expect a budget car to be as not as good as the rest, you should at-least expect it to work correctly when buying new or nearly new.

2012 Dacia Duster 4x4 Ambiante 1.5 diesel from Turkey


Cheap, good and reliable



General Comments:

The car is good, like a mountain goat, can go anywhere, anytime, and it's reliable.

Although the squeaks and rattles can be a little annoying, but the price you pay makes it worth it.

Loved the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2015

2011 Dacia Duster Laurete 1.6 16V, 4WD, gasoline + LPG from Poland


A friend that never fails


1. Door lock and window open switches went bad.

2. Engine cover got partly dis-attached. Probably due to incompetent garage maintenance.

3. Rear amortization got broken after well over 70 km/km.

General Comments:

Well… there is a bit to talk about after making over 70k in 3.5 years, but to be short:

Good things:

Reliability due to simplicity. A simple “old school”, everyday car that gives a lot of satisfaction.

Great snow or gravel road experience from 4WD. It really gives a lot of fun and covers all the bad things. Driving around in a budget car that many dislike due to its badge, and having absolutely no problem with green light starting when the streets are covered by fresh snow and leaving all “normal” cars behind – priceless…

Good in delicate off-road. Cabin and interior plastic squeak, but I am alright with that.

Bad things:

Primitive plastic dash board, starts to squeak already after, say… 10k?

Significant outside noise level getting inside, that increases even more after getting over 100 km/h. It's not a motorway car definitely…

The car is relatively light in weight, but still it is a bit underpowered. Lucky dynamic gear lever management saves the overall result ;)

Very short gears, need to change very often, especially when starting - must use gears 2-4 fast. Usually I start from 2nd, as 1st gear is absolutely too short (it’s just for the slow off-road, or parking maneuvers). 3 years have passed and I am still unable to get used to the gears there. Getting confused about applying the right gear when turning, almost at all the time ;)

Not a very economical engine or aerodynamic cabin. The engine works well with LPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd December, 2014

18th Jan 2015, 06:45

I too have had a LPG Dacia model. It was the best decision for cheap and reliable motoring.

You get even better money economy than with a diesel, plus you never have to worry about expensive turbo charger or fuel injector repairs.

14th Feb 2015, 10:27

I have to agree with the extraordinary reliability of the LPG version of the K4M 1.6 engine of the Dacia Duster. I have had it for 2 1/2 years and have done 50000km now. No problems at all. Just normal petrol engine maintenance costs (every 20000km), plus a LPG gas filter every 40000km.

The engine is naturally aspirated. I am sure that with this LPG engine, it is possible to drive as many kilometres as used to be possible with the old natural aspirated diesel engines (many hundreds of KM). No need to regularly adjust the valves, because it has hydraulic lifters. It has reinforced valves, so no need to spend money in a Flashlube or any other valve saver. Besides, it has a chain cam. The engine can take cheaper non-synthetic oils like a 10W40 (of course depending on a country's weather). Overall, it has very low maintenance costs (lower than diesel engines).

However, a very important consideration is the average price of LPG in the country where you live, because the engine has a consumption of around 10-12 litres of LPG. If it is a country where LPG is totally excise free (then LPG is the cheapest fuel in the country) the Duster LPG is, for sure, one of the cheapest and more reliable ways of motoring for a family. Besides, the purchasing price difference between the petrol and the original LPG version is very small.

I found only two issues to look for:

First, the original LPG tank is too small (around 35 litres), which only allows you to drive, in LPG mode, only around 280km without refueling (OK you still have the petrol tank in case, but it's more expensive).

Second, the sheet metal of the bodywork is very thin. This means that the car can rust easily if it is not very well protected. Therefore, a very important factor is to buy a Duster made in the European Union, where standards of rust protection and paint are higher than in Third World countries. Also look very well at the bodywork of the car. But if you live in the South of Europe, in a place where there is usually no salt on the motorways in Winter, you do not have to worry about this issue.

2012 Dacia Duster dCi 4 Wheel Drive 1.5 turbo diesel from Turkey


Perfect car for the price


Nothing apart from the usual rattles and shakes from the car. Nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

The car is not swift, but it's strong like it's a goat, and it will never make you feel as if the car will go or not. It does move like a mule on any type of road.

Holding the road is not very good after 160km/h, but hey for the price, I don't expect it to fly.

So if the expectations are minimum and you want a car to drive anywhere, a Duster is the right partner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2012

2010 Dacia Duster Laureate 1.5 dCi 110 hp from Romania


Comfortable, low maintenance 4x4 at a decent price


Showroom car. Too early for issues.

General Comments:

I went to the local Dacia dealer and took a look at the new Dacia Duster.

The car looks well put together, although there are some places were the economy is visible. The folded backseats do not create a plain surface for cargo for example, and the boot finish is very basic.

The attack and departure angles are very good for a car of this size.

The noise level of the engine is very low for a diesel, and the 6 gear gearbox is very helpful.

The interior is a little bit harsh with tough plastics, but it suits well the general rugged look of the car.

I didn't have the chance to test the vehicle in some serious off road conditions, but the 4x4 system (Nissan origin) looks pretty capable.

The vehicle seems perfect for people who live in a region with bad roads, and need a cheap 4x4 with low maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 2010

11th Feb 2012, 19:35

Good you are happy with it. You can't judge now with only 100km.

17th Mar 2013, 16:34

Happy for you brother.

Although it's economic, the Duster is a really well built car, especially the Nissan add ons.

Please update your review later when the car covers long distances.