Dacia Duster (2010 – 2017) | Expert Rating


The Dacia Duster is a small SUV/crossover, priced at the budget end of the market. This model was the first generation, which was launched in late 2010 and ended production in 2017.

Described by Autocar as “a no-nonsense machine that wears its bargain price tag like a badge of honour”, the first iteration of the Duster received a rather mixed bag of review scores while it was on sale.

As a spacious and practical family car that undercut the price of its rivals by several thousand, the Duster was earmarked by the British media for its serious value-for-money, but this budget deal had several trade-offs.

“It has genuine off-road ability”, Carwow commented, “but it drives like it was designed in the 1990s”. Several reviewers agreed with this sentiment – the Duster could soak up potholes with ease, but it wasn’t too agile in the corners and was quite noisy on the motorway. A number of journalists also commented that they could not recommend the Duster due to its poor Euro NCAP safety rating.

The biggest compromise facing buyers was the car’s interior however, which What Car? said was “not a particularly pleasant place to be”. Reviewers took issue with the SUV’s fragile interior plastics, dated on-board tech and the car’s rather basic entry-level equipment list, which did not include modern essentials like air conditioning.

That said, should you be able to look past its shortcomings, the Duster was a no-frills option with an enticing price point. “For cash-strapped families” What Car? concluded, “the Duster offers an option like no other.”

No longer in production, the first-generation Dacia Duster holds an Expert Rating of 60%, based on 28 reviews published by UK media sources.

Duster highlights

  • Serious value-for-money
  • Spacious and practical cabin
  • Large boot
  • Two- and four-wheel drive models on offer

Duster lowlights

  • Fragile interior plastics
  • So-so fuel economy
  • Lead-in models didn’t have air-con
  • Dated driving dynamics

Key specifications

Body style: Small SUV/crossover
petrol, diesel
Price when new:
From £9,290 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2010
Last updated: Winter 2013/14
Replaced: Summer 2018

Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating

No safety rating

The Dacia Duster was originally crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2011 and awarded a three-star rating. However, this rating expired in January 2017 and is no longer valid as the car no longer meets the standards required for such a rating.

Eco rating

No eco rating

No longer on sale, the first-generation Dacia Duster has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. The SUV was discontinued before this emissions testing body came into being in 2018.

Reliability rating

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As of August 2022, we don’t have enough reliability data on the Dacia Duster to generate a reliability rating.

The Car Expert’s reliability information is provided exclusively to us using extended warranty data from our partner, MotorEasy. As soon as MotorEasy has sufficient data on the Duster, we’ll publish the score here.


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Dacia Duster has received


  • Carbuyer Awards – Best Cheap Car + Best Winter Car


  • Carbuyer Awards – Best Winter Car


  • The Green Apple Awards – Best Small SUV


  • Tow Car Awards – Best Budget 4×4


  • Top Gear Awards – Best Bargain Car

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