Dacia Sandero review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Sandero provides a decent amount of room, but the rear is a bit cramped compared to more modern rivals.
While the Sandero isn’t the biggest car in the world, Dacia’s designers have come up with a good packaging compromise that sees it deliver a reasonable amount of interior space.
The car is four metres long exactly, which is only very slightly longer than the late nineties Clio on which it’s based mechanically. But the Sandero is quite broad, measuring 1.7 metres wide (not including the wing mirrors). This obviously helps cabin space, although it’s still a relatively compact car, and few drivers will have any trouble squeezing it into a tight car park space.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
One of the major drawbacks of the Dacia Sandero will become apparent to tall drivers and front seat passengers about an hour into any long journey. The front seats – again taken from a Renault Clio from the turn of the century – are quite narrow across the base and force you to adopt a slightly perched up position. This means it doesn’t take long for backsides to become numb.
Shorter, slimmer occupants won’t notice it quite so quickly, but it’s one of the areas where we wish Dacia had invested a bit more; most customers would surely be prepared to pay a little extra for more comfort. If you want a height-adjustable driver's seat, then you need to look at either Essential or Comfort spec, as the seat can't be raised in Access models.
Space in the back isn’t all that great – you can tell that the Sandero is based on an older platform, as modern rivals leave it trailing by some distance in this respect. Taller children will soon complain about the limited space, while it can be a struggle to squeeze in bulky child seats. It's also worth noting that Access cars do without rear headrests, which further compromises rear seat comfort.
The 320-litre boot capacity is very generous considering the relatively small exterior dimensions of the Dacia Sandero. All models get a 60:40 split rear seat, but only the seatbacks split and fold; the base is fixed. Even so, when you drop the backs, you free up an impressive maximum load space of 1,200 litres, which is almost as much as you’d expect to find in a compact van.
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 CostsWith the modern TCe turbo petrol and Bi-Fuel engine options, the Sandero makes a truly economical choice.
- 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 space - currently readingThe 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.