Dacia Sandero (2013-2020) review
The Dacia Sandero is the UK's value king, offering up more space and practicality than anything else in its price range
If you're after no frills driving and aren't worried by the badge or desirability, then the Dacia Sandero offers excellent value for money. A recent facelift also brings plenty of small improvements, meaning you really do get a lot of car for not much of an outlay.
No matter which trim you go for, the Sandero isn’t exactly sophisticated from behind the wheel. The interior does have plenty of space, but it's not the most luxurious place to be and the quality is questionable in places. That’s how Dacia manages to keep its prices so incredibly low, though, and plenty of canny buyers seem prepared to accept the car's flaws in the pursuit of a bargain.
The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car for sale in the UK. With a starting price well under £10,000, the Sandero (as well as the Sandero Stepway) rivals used cars for value for money, but unlike any used car, it comes with a full manufacturer warranty.
A price of just under £8,000 makes the Sandero the cheapest new car for sale in the UK today, but this car doesn't scrimp on space. While the price is less than you'll pay for a city car, the Sandero is supermini-sized, which makes it a top choice for buyers needing a practical car on a budget. In terms of size, the Sandero rivals the likes of the Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia and Hyundai i20, although prices still undercut the smaller Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10.
Under the skin, the Sandero uses running gear from parent firm Renault, which is why it can be sold at such a low price. The entry-level Access trim has been dropped from the price list, so there are just two specifications to choose from: Essential and Comfort.
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From just under £8,000 the Essential version includes body-coloured bumpers, a DAB radio, rear headrests, central locking, electric front windows and air conditioning, among others.
At the top of the range, the Comfort model is around an extra £2,000 more than Essential trim, and adds a modern touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included, plus a trip computer, heated electric door mirrors, and upgraded upholstery.
The Essential model is offered with a choice of three engines: the petrol SCe 75, the Renault-sourced TCe 90 three-cylinder turbo petrol and the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel unit, while Comfort-spec cars do without the base SCe 75 engine.
The TCe adds around £800 to list prices, while the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel adds a further £350 on top of that. This means the most expensive Sandero comes in at £10,295, still far less than any similarly-sized supermini.
Dacia also offers the Sandero Stepway - a Sandero with SUV-style body cladding, roof rails and a raised ride height. This is a bit more expensive, but prices ranging from £10,145 to £11,945 won't break the bank. Again, there's no Access model, just Essential and Comfort, with the new SE Twenty version adding more kit for a good-value price.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Dacia Sandero is the UK's value king, offering up more space and practicality than anything else in its price range
- 2Engines, performance and driveDacia keeps things simple, so the Sandero comes with a choice of three engines and a manual gearbox. That’s it.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsWith the modern TCe turbo petrol and Bi-Fuel engine options, the Sandero makes a truly economical choice.
- 4Interior, design and technologyOld Renault design dominates the interior. Everything works, but you won’t find any modern materials or tech on show.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Sandero provides a decent amount of room, but the rear is a bit cramped compared to more modern rivals.
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Sandero is simple and robust, and the four-star Euro NCAP score is decent considering the age of the platform.