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Why Dacia owners have reasons to be cheerful

Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Sandero

Dacia models have been praised for their value, comfort and reliability in a major new satisfaction study.

Renault’s Romanian budget brand scored exceptionally well in four satisfaction indexes conducted by readers of consumer motoring website Honest John.

Manufacturers and vehicles were assessed on reliability, build quality, fuel economy, repair costs and performance. Ride comfort, handling, ease of driving, practicality and technology were also considered, as well as safety.

Based on feedback from more than 5,000 owners, the low cost manufacturer was named Most Satisfying Car Brand in the Satisfaction Index 2021, pipping Lexus and Hyundai.

Most Satisfying Car Brand 

RankManufacturerSatisfaction Index Rating (%)
1Dacia91.6
2Lexus90.6
3Hyundai89.7
4Kia89.6
5MG89.4
6Skoda89.1
7Subaru89.0
8Toyota88.8
9Porsche88.7
10Volkswagen88.4

Dacia, which makes the popular Duster SUV, was just beaten by Japanese premium brand Lexus in the Most Reliable Car Manufacturer index.

Most Reliable Car Manufacturer

RankManufacturerSatisfaction out of 10
1Lexus9.81
2Dacia9.76
3Mitsubishi9.64
4Toyota9.63
5Suzuki9.59
6Kia9.54
7Honda9.51
8Subaru9.50
9MG9.48
10Hyundai9.48

Meanwhile, while the Dacia Sandero – still the UK’s cheapest new car – finished four in the Most Satisfying Car index, behind the Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen T-Roc and Mazda CX-5.

Most Satisfying Car

RankManufacturer and ModelSatisfaction Index Rating (%)
1Hyundai Ioniq (2016 – )95.7
2Volkswagen T-Roc (2018 – )93.7
3Mazda CX-5 (2017- )93.0
4Dacia Sandero (2013 – 2021 )92.6
5Skoda Kodiaq (2016 – )92.5
6Honda CR-V (2018 – )92.5
7Skoda Superb Estate (2014 – )92.2
8Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – )92.2
9BMW 3 Series Touring (2012 – 2019)91.8
10Toyota Corolla (2019 – )91.6

The Sandero also gained a podium place in the Most Reliable Car category, again beaten by the Hyundai Ioniq and Volkswagen T-Roc.

Most Reliable Car

RankManufacturer and ModelSatisfaction out of 10
1Hyundai Ioniq (2016 – )9.93
2Volkswagen T-Roc (2018 – )9.90
3Dacia Sandero (2013 – 2021 )9.90
4SEAT Leon (2013 – 2020 )9.86
5Mazda CX-5 (2017- )9.83
6Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – )9.83
7Honda Jazz (2014 – 2020 )9.82
8Lexus NX (2014 – )9.82
9Toyota Yaris (2011 – 2020)9.79
10Kia Sportage (2016 – )9.77

“What a tremendous recognition for Dacia that manufacturing a low cost car doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any of the things that make your customers happy,” said Dan Powell, Senior Editor of HonestJohn.co.uk.

“Cheap does mean cheerful, with readers praising Dacia models for their value, comfort and reliability. The Romanian manufacturer is part of the Renault family and that quality comes through in its high scores for satisfaction and reliability.

“This is a massive piece of research, a real barometer of what the nation thinks of its cars, with more than 5,000 HonestJohn.co.uk readers taking part.

“It is also a clear indicator of the rise and rise of electric and hybrid vehicles that the Hyundai Ioniq was crowned the most satisfying car for the second year in a row.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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