With basic Access trim level, the Sandero has power steering but 15-inch steel wheels, unpainted bumpers, wind-up windows and no radio.
Comfort and Refinement
This is by no means the plushest car on the block, but it isn’t too Spartan either. There is a bit of an austerity feel to the cabin, with plastic surfaces that are firm to the touch, and budget-looking seat fabrics. The switches and controls are perfectly ok to operate but feel a bit old-school, like something out of a car your dad had way back rather than being the latest fashion. The décor is in sombre tones and you can see where a few corners have been cut. The back seat feels quite firm and thinly upholstered, and there is not much give in the carpets. But the fit and finish of all the panels is pretty reasonable, and the dials and vents are modern enough in design. There nothing much wrong with the cabin, but you do know that you’re in a budget car.
Safety and Security
Considering what a modestly priced car this is, it is not too sparsely equipped in the safety department. The Sandero comes with four airbags as standard, and all versions are equipped with electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assist, and two rear Isofix mounting point for child safety equipment.
If you like to know that your car has lots of Euro NCAP crash safety stars, this may not be the one for you. Its predecessor, the original Sandero launched in 2008, only managed a three-star rating in Euro NCAP tests. As yet the new Sandero has not been tested, but it is predicted to achieve a similar rating when it is, so its crash test endorsement is likely to be lower than that of rival cars.
A Thatcham approved immobiliser is fitted to every Sandero.
The standard audio system for this Laureate version is quite basic, a radio and CD player that comes with four speakers, two front and two rear. It does include connection for MP3, AUX and Bluetooth, though. Our test car is fitted with the optional MediaNav seven-inch touchscreen multimedia system that adds satnav with GB and Ireland mapping, and steering column-mounted fingertip controls as a £250 optional extra.
With basic Access trim level, the Sandero has power steering but 15-inch steel wheels, unpainted bumpers, wind-up windows and no radio. Moving up to Ambience trim for an extra £600 adds a radio, electric front windows, painted bumpers and a USB connection slot. The majority of Sandero buyers are expected to pay £2,000 above the base price for the top-specification Laureate model, which comes with air-conditioning, cruise control, electric windows front and rear, and electric door mirrors.
The options list includes an upgrade to alloy wheels for £425, metallic paint at £470, and a protection pack (alarm, rear parking sensors and a boot liner) at £430. Dacia also offers extended warranty packages: £395 for five years’ cover instead of the standard three, or £850 for a seven years/100,000 miles warranty
- Skoda Citigo
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- Citroen C1
- Volkswagen up!
- Seat Mii
- Kia Rio
What We Liked
- Budget price
- Pretty well equipped for the money
- Decent driving character
- Good all-round vision
- Satnav optional for only £250
- Other options reasonably priced
What We Disliked
- Cut-price cabin, dull decor
- Seats are rather sparse, not the most comfortable
- Alarm is an extra
- No Euro NCAP rating yet, and previous model was only three stars
- Body tends to lean on the bends
What We Would Like To See
- More new cars as good as this one in this price bracket
What good value the Sandero is. Yes, it’s a budget car with some pared-down aspects and feels a bit basic in some areas. Overall, though, it seems like quite a lot of car for very reasonable money. In a tough economic climate it is precisely the kind of car that a lot of people will find appealing. True, you can pay similar money for a second-hand model of something a bit more modern-feeling and slightly more up-market. But if you prefer to buy new and don’t want to spend too much, have a look at one of these. Just don’t expect to get a discount off the already very reasonable price. Dacia – which shares showroom space at Renault dealers - has a fixed price, no haggle policy.18 March 2013
Dacia Sandero Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Dacia Sandero Laureate dCi 90|
|Body Type||5-door Hatchback|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.1 Seconds|
|Top Speed||107 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||80.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||tba|
|Warranty||3 Years / 60,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 18/03/13)||£9,795|