Dacia Sandero - best first cars for new drivers
The Dacia Sandero is a budget supermini that gets the basics right with no frills attached
The Dacia Sandero has shaken up the UK new car market with its headline-grabbing price tag: it’s the cheapest new car on sale in the UK today. And while the interior is cheap and dated compared to the class leaders, under the skin this supermini uses proven mechanicals from Dacia owner Renault, so owners shouldn’t encounter any problems.
Low insurance group ratings add to the financial appeal, as do the 12,000-mile service intervals. However, the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol model has heavy fuel consumption. If you can stretch to the diesel, you get 62.7mpg economy. All models get ESP, but Euro NCAP awarded the Sandero only four stars in crash tests. The 0.9-litre TCe 90 petrol engine is the pick of the range, offering a decent mix of performance and fuel efficiency.
For the price, you get quite a lot of interior space, and boot size impresses at 320 litres. But the entry-level Access doesn’t even have a stereo as standard, and you need to go for a Laureate model if you want air-conditioning and electric rear windows. The Sandero trails the likes of the Ford Fiesta on driving fun, but many buyers will be able to put up with that to get a roomy new car at such a low price.
For the off-road look, there’s also a Sandero Stepway with chunky dimensions, but it doesn’t offer much rugged ability or any greater towing capacity.
Top 10 best first cars for new drivers 2021
- 1IntroductionA new car for first time drivers should be cheap, easy to drive and safe. Here are the 10 best first cars
- 21. VW up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT MiiThe VW Group trio are cheap to run, spacious, have plenty of tech and are fun to drive
- 32. Kia PicantoThe Kia Picanto is grown up thanks to a focus on refinement, but should still appeal to young drivers with sporty looks and great handling
- 43. Ford FiestaThe Ford Fiesta is Britain's best-selling car, and makes the perfect first set of wheels
- 54. SEAT IbizaThe SEAT Ibiza offers the practicality of Volkswagen Polo, but in a more youthful guise
- 65. Hyundai i10The Hyundai i10 has become a solid performer in the supermini segment safe handling, plenty of kit and reliability
- 76. Volkswagen PoloThe Polo is bigger than its predecessor and offers more tech, comfort and refinement
- 87. Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1The Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 trio offer funky looks and plenty of tech for a low cost
- 98. Skoda FabiaThe Skoda Fabia offers VW Group refinement and technology in a practical and cheaper package
- 109. Dacia Sandero - currently readingThe Dacia Sandero is a budget supermini that gets the basics right with no frills attached
- 1110. Vauxhall CorsaThe Vauxhall Corsa is an attractive car for young drivers - blending practicality with inexpensive running costs at a cheap price-tag