Euro NCAP hits out at Renault after the Dacia Duster scores just three stars in safety test
24 February 2011

Euro NCAP has hit out at Dacia’s parent firm Renault after its new Duster scored just three stars in its latest round of safety tests.

The Dacia Duster was one of seven new cars tested by Euro NCAP. The testers were particularly critical of the Duster’s pedestrian protection - it scored 28 per cent – and its safety assist, where it scored 29 per cent.

“The Duster performs well below the latest level of safety performance demonstrated by other new cars on the European market,” said a Euro NCAP statement. “It is disappointing that a mother company like Renault does not give safety the same priority in Dacia cars as it does in cars sold under its own brand.”

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In response, Renault said the score was “in keeping with the objectives of Dacia, which seeks to design and build vehicles that are acclaimed for their strength and reliability. Dacia Duster benefited from the Renault Group's know-how and boasts a solid level of passive safety performance”.

Other cars to be tested by Euro NCAP included the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the first time an EV has been put through its tests. Euro NCAP described the four-star rating – also awarded to the i-MiEV’s sister cars, the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero - as “credible”.

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Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is a no-nonsense machine that wears its bargain price tag like a badge of honour. And we can’t help liking it for that.

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“Consumers should expect to get electric vehicles that meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles,” said Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen. “[Mitsubishi’s effort] shows that a future five-star accolade for EVs is not unthinkable.”

The five-star rating was also handed out to the Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Juke and Hyundai ix20.

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Our Verdict

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is a no-nonsense machine that wears its bargain price tag like a badge of honour. And we can’t help liking it for that.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week