Dacia Sandero 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.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The basic Access version of the Dacia Sandero doesn’t even come with a stereo; to help keep the price down, the company simply provides a pre-wiring set-up so you can install your own head unit.
Move up to Ambiance spec, and things start to get a bit more modern inside. The old-school stereo unit has been enhanced by the inclusion of DAB radio, plus USB and Bluetooth allow fairly seamless connection to your smartphone. However, only the flagship Lauréate model gets the brand’s seven-inch MediaNav touchscreen sat-nav. The seven-inch display features smartphone connectivity, too, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In this review
- 1Dacia Sandero reviewThe 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 CostsNo need to go for the diesel – the TCe turbo petrol is economical enough
- 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