Dacia Sandero review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
No need to go for the diesel – the TCe turbo petrol is economical enough
Not surprisingly, the diesel is the most efficient model in the Sandero range on paper, even under the latest WLTP fuel economy tests. As a relatively modern engine sourced from the Renault range, the 94bhp 1.5 Blue dCi was always going to be a superior performer over the two petrol options.
But before you take the plunge, think about how you’ll be using your Sandero. Official fuel economy of up to 62.7mpg for the diesel looks impressive, although unless you’re doing lots of motorway miles, the 89bhp 898cc TCe petrol turbo and 74bhp 1.0 SCe probably won’t be far behind, as both engines quote a best economy figure of 45.6mpg.
Around town, which is where most Sanderos will probably spend most of their lives, the gap between the two models’ fuel returns is likely to be far narrower. Given the hefty price difference between the diesel and petrol, it’s really a no-brainer to go for the downsized turbo. That £1,600 saving will buy you a lot of petrol.
You could of course save even more and go for the most basic 1.0-litre petrol Sandero – and when the whole point of buying this Dacia is to save money, you’d think the cheapest model in the range would make sense, although it doesn't feature stop-start or an Eco driving mode like the TCe engine does. Plus, after a few hundred miles behind the wheel, you may be wishing you’d spent a little bit more on the TCe as the SCe is slow and noisy. But for young drivers, the low insurance group will make all the difference.
The main attraction of a Sandero is that it’s cheap to buy and, if the worst happens, cheap to repair, so insurance groups are correspondingly low. The most basic 1.0 sits in group 3 in Access guise, but is in group 4 for Essential and Comfort trims. Specing the newer 900cc petrol bumps the two trims up to group 9. Finally, the diesel engine pushes insurance ratings all the way into group 13.
As you will have paid so little to buy a Sandero, it's hardly going to trouble you how much money you'll lose over three years of ownership. The standard Sandero falls by 42-51 per cent, but the Sandero Stepway is marginally better, with residuals in the region of 47-55 per cent.
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 Costs - currently readingNo need to go for the diesel – the TCe turbo petrol is economical enough
- 4Interior, design and technologyOld 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