Dacia Sandero (2013-2020) review - Interior, design and technology
Old Renault design dominates the interior. Everything works, but you won’t find any modern materials or tech on show.
Anyone who has driven a Renault hatchback from the late nineties or early noughties will feel right at home inside the Dacia Sandero. The instruments appear to be taken from a 1999 Clio, the column stalks from a 2001 Scenic, and the hazard lights and central locking buttons from an old Laguna. It would be unforgivable from other brands, but this is exactly how Dacia keeps its prices so low. Everything works fine, so why would you worry about where it comes from or what it looks like?
The same goes for overall cabin quality. Given its price, you’d expect the Dacia to feel basic. The materials aren’t up to Ford standards, but a new steering wheel and trim inserts help lift otherwise utilitarian feel. The plastics in the dash are functional, rather than pleasing to touch – they’re there to hold the instruments and switches in place, and to cover up the heating and electrical systems. If you want any kind of high-grade, soft-touch materials, you’ll have to look elsewhere and dig deeper into your pockets.
A facelift in 2017 has added new lights and bumpers to the Sandero, so it's looking a bit less tired these days – although the changes are pretty minor overall.
The Essential trim offers manual air-con and front electric windows, while buyers wanting rear electric windows, an upgraded steering wheel and a front central armrest will have to opt for the top Comfort models and then pay extra to add the Comfort Pack.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
While Essential spec includes a DAB stereo system, Comfort versions add a modern touch with rear parking sensors and the brand’s MediaNav touchscreen sat-nav. The seven-inch display features smartphone connectivity, too, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe 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 technology - currently readingOld 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.