Dacia Sandero - Interior, design and technology
Dacia has given the Sandero a smart new look, while interior quality is much improved
There’s no question that interior quality for the latest Sandero is an improvement over the previous models. It's probably no surprise that Dacia opted to axe the entry-level Access trim as it was a pretty austere model and accounted for less than one per cent of Sandero sales. Today the Sandero range consists of the much cheerier and easier to live with the Essential and Expression specifications.
At the top end of the range you’ll notice softer cabin materials in areas that are in regular use; padded sections across the dash and cushioned armrests all help to create a little more sophistication. Dacia includes a generous level of standard kit on the Expression versions, including front fog lights, electrically adjustable door mirrors, keyless entry, auto wipers, all-round electric windows and rear parking sensors with a rear view camera. It’s also the only specification to feature an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The Essential trim is more sparsely equipped, but standard kit does at least include air-conditioning, remote central locking, cruise control, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB socket and a smartphone cradle fixed to the dashboard. It rolls on 15-inch steel wheels with trims rather than alloy wheels.
Track down a used example of the Sandero Access and you’ll have to forego the niceties of air-conditioning, a radio or automatic central locking to get that low price tag, while the rear manual wind-up windows can best be described as nostalgic.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The Sandero’s analogue dials are clear and easy to read, with the central digital screen there for trip data and warnings. As we mentioned, the base Essential car doesn’t get a touchscreen – just a two-speaker stereo, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity. The Sandero uses steering column-mounted stereo controls – the same basic design that’s been used on Renaults since the nineties, which is still very intuitive to use.
Top-of-the-line Expression trim comes with an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen and four-speaker sound system. While there’s no built-in nav, there is compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can make the most of the processing power of your smartphone. You’ll need to connect your smartphone via the USB socket that’s mounted handily beside the display, but if you don’t use the smartphone cradle on the dash you’ll have a long cable running down towards whichever cubby you choose to store your phone in while driving.
The screen isn’t very sharp or high resolution, but it does the job, and the menus are simple and easy to navigate, because there aren’t the endless features you get on some modern cars. A tile arrangement makes it easy to figure out the few functions the Sandero has; there’s even a separate page that scores the driver on how efficiently they drive. It’s a shame that the screen is a little slow to respond to touch inputs, while the system itself isn't that quick, either.
In this review
- 1Dacia Sandero reviewSharper looking, more spacious and better to drive than ever, there’s a lot more to like about the Dacia Sandero than just the price
- 2Engines, performance and driveBuyers will appreciate the improved driving experience that the Sandero offers over the previous model
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsThe Sandero’s low list price is always the talking point, but fuel economy and insurance costs are decent, too
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingDacia has given the Sandero a smart new look, while interior quality is much improved
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Sandero is a practical family option, offering decent boot space and plenty of room for passengers
- 6Reliability and safetyDacia’s mixed performance in the most recent Driver Power survey and a two-star Euro NCAP rating for the Sandero can’t be overlooked