Dacia Sandero review - Reliability and safety

The Sandero is simple and robust, and the four-star Euro NCAP score is decent considering the age of the platform.

Even though Dacia only arrived in the UK market in 2013, its cars use proven Renault mechanical parts, so they should be relatively trouble free. The Sandero’s 1.0-litre petrol engine is quite old now, but the 898cc petrol turbo is shared with the latest Clio, as is the five-speed manual gearbox - there's no auto gearbox option.

The super cheap supermini doesn't feature in our latest Driver Power car owner satisfaction survey, but Dacia as a brand came bottom of the pile in a 30-strong list of manufacturers.

Budget-feeling fit and finish inside may cause you to question the long-term durability of the car, but the evidence tends to suggest that the Sandero can cope well with the rough and tumble of everyday use. Dacia has built up a strong reliability record for its cars, while the cheap and cheerful nature of its products means owners are less likely to care for their cars in everyday use anyway.

Despite its budget roots, the Sandero comes with a respectable tally of safety kit. All versions are equipped with four airbags, stability control and Isofix child seat mountings. However, Euro NCAP only awarded the car a four-star rating in its independent crash tests in 2013, which doesn't compare favourably with the maximum five stars achieved by most modern superminis in the tougher testing regime. 

Warranty

The Sandero is supplied with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which handily includes roadside recovery. Owners can extend the warranty to 4 years/60,000 miles or 5 years/60,000 miles for about £200 and £350 respectively. For those wanting even longer cover, there is also the option of a 6-year/80,000 mile or 7-year/100,000 mile warranty, too.

Servicing

Dacia’s servicing schedule is pretty simple: you just bring your Sandero to a dealer for a check-up every 12,000 miles or every year. The company offers a choice of pre-paid servicing schemes, to help keep maintenance bills to a minimum. Prices start at £150 for 1 years cover, £300 for two years, £575 for three and finally, £750 for four.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 SCe Access 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £6,170

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 SCe Essential 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £7,170

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0 TCe Bi-Fuel Essential 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £8,330

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