Dacia Sandero review - Reliability and safety
Improved customer feedback in our Driver Power survey is encouraging, although you’ll have to weigh up the impact of a two-star Euro NCAP rating
Customer feedback from our Driver Power survey has often resulted in Dacia being at the bottom of the manufacturer rankings. However, the 2021 poll saw the Romanian brand climb above Citroen and MG and close the gap on the likes of Ford, Fiat and Vauxhall. With all-new Sandero and Stepway models, along with its facelifted Duster SUV, Dacia could be well set to achieve an even better position next time around.
The Sandero sits on a version of Renault’s latest CMF platform which underpins the impressive fifth-generation Clio, while using engines from its French parent company should also bode well for reliability.
With a stronger chassis and improved safety kit, it might be a surprise that the Sandero only scored two stars (out of five) when tested by industry experts Euro NCAP. The crash test body awarded decent marks for both adult and child occupant safety, with 70 per cent and 72 per cent respectively, which would have led to a four-star overall rating. However, it criticised the Sandero’s auto emergency braking system which isn’t able to detect cyclists and pedestrians to help avoid a potential collision, while a lack of a Lane Assist function and Active Bonnet technology also counted against it.
All Sandero versions come with six airbags, an autonomous emergency braking system, Hill Start Assist, ABS and ESP stability control and a tyre pressure monitor. Moving up to Comfort spec adds parking sensors and a reversing camera.
Dacia offers a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, with roadside assistance also included through this period. There is the option to extend cover for up to seven years at extra cost.
The manufacturer recommends annual service intervals or every 18,000 miles - whichever comes first. You can purchase a three-year/30,000-mile service plan for a fixed price of £399 or via monthly payments.
In this review
- 1Dacia Sandero reviewWith a sharp new look, improved driving dynamics and extra standard kit, there is a lot more to like about the Dacia Sandero than just the price
- 2Engines, performance and driveDacia has improved the Sandero driving experience, but the base model feels underpowered
- 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 technologyDacia has given the Sandero a smart new look, but it’s probably best to avoid the basic Access trim level
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceDecent boot space and plenty of room for passengers means the Sandero is a practical option
- 6Reliability and safety - currently readingImproved customer feedback in our Driver Power survey is encouraging, although you’ll have to weigh up the impact of a two-star Euro NCAP rating