Skip advert
Advertisement

Dacia Sandero Stepway

We drive the rugged new Dacia Sandero Stepway, ahead of its arrival in UK showrooms in May

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Find your Dacia Sandero
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The Stepway is a cleverly judged model, tapping into the trend for crossovers and sticking with Dacia’s budget price policy. It’s even better to drive than the Sandero, too, thanks to a raised ride height and extra suspension travel. But while entry-level versions are good value, once you start adding extras it makes more sense to look elsewhere.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Not content with having just one crossover in its UK model line-up, Dacia has tweaked the Sandero supermini to create the rugged Stepway.

The Stepway is due to arrive here in May, a few months after the Sandero and Duster, and follows a tried-and-tested path for turning cars into crossovers.

The ride height is raised by 40mm, plus there are front and rear scuff plates, black cladding around the wheelarches and new roof bars... and that’s it.

Yet the result is quite different to the standard car. It’s easier to climb in and out, which might appeal to older buyers, and the view of the road ahead is better.

The trade-off for cranking up the suspension in the Stepway is even more body roll than in the standard Sandero – which is saying something considering its sloppy body control. Take things easy, though, and its road manners are entirely acceptable.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

That’s especially true if you order the 89bhp 1.5 dCi engine fitted to our test car. It might cost £1,000 more than the 900cc TCe three-cylinder engine, and isn’t as fun to drive, but its smooth, torquey power delivery is perfect for making unruffled progress around town or if you want to stretch its legs on the motorway.

Advertisement - Article continues below

There are economy benefits, too. The diesel claims 70.6mpg and 105g/km of CO2 (compared with 52.3mpg and 125g/km for the 900cc TCe), although that’s 3.7mpg and 6g/km worse than the similarly engined Sandero.

Not counting the roof bars, practicality is on a par with the Sandero. That means a 321-litre boot, which grows to 1,200 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats taken down. Plus, there’s room for three adults in the back without too much of a crush.

And then there’s price, which is clearly the most important factor for anyone in the market for a Dacia. While the regular Sandero is the UK’s cheapest car, starting at just £5,995, the Stepway kicks off at £7,995.

But then it is pitched as a higher-spec car altogether, with buyers only offered the top two engines (the Sandero gets an entry-level 74bhp 1.2 as well) and top two trim levels. So there’s no basic version of the Stepway without a stereo or electric windows.

Even the cheapest 900cc TCe Ambiance model comes equipped with electric windows, a CD stereo and front foglights, while the top-spec Laureate gets air-conditioning, sat-nav and parking sensors. You can even specify leather seats in your Stepway for another £600.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Have you considered?

New Cupra Born VZ 2024 review: a great stride for the EV hot hatch genre
New Cupra Born VZ - front
Road tests
17 May 2024

New Cupra Born VZ 2024 review: a great stride for the EV hot hatch genre

Used Citroen C4 (Mk3, 2020-date) review: comfortable hatch covers all the bases
Used Citroen C4 - front static
Used car tests
2 May 2024

Used Citroen C4 (Mk3, 2020-date) review: comfortable hatch covers all the bases

Vauxhall Astra GSe PHEV long-term test: family hatch has quite a few flaws
Auto Express products editor Kim Adams washing the Vauxhall Astra GSe
Long-term tests
1 May 2024

Vauxhall Astra GSe PHEV long-term test: family hatch has quite a few flaws

Skoda Fabia review
Skoda Fabia - front tracking
In-depth reviews
29 Apr 2024

Skoda Fabia review

Most Popular

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range

Kia expands its electric line up with the EV3 – taking plenty of inspiration from the flagship EV9
23 May 2024
Citroen C3 review
Citroen e-C3 - front
In-depth reviews

Citroen C3 review

A clever rethink of the small, affordable car theme, the C3 and its all-electric e-C3 twin have the potential to really shake up the market
22 May 2024
New 2024 Nissan Qashqai prices and specs announced as family SUV war heats up
Nissan Qashqai reveal - full front
News

New 2024 Nissan Qashqai prices and specs announced as family SUV war heats up

The start price for the Nissan Qashqai has increased by £3,000 due to the loss of the old entry-level Visia trim
24 May 2024