Dacia Sandero Review
The no-thrills Dacia Sandero has been refreshed, and looks to build on its reputation of practicality and value for money — but doesn’t offer much in the way of equipment
- 1. Tell us what you want from a car
- 2. We’ll tell you if it matches
- 3. Only takes 1 minute
Dacia Sandero: what would you like to read next?
The Dacia Sandero is a budget small car alternative to the popular Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo. It doesn’t take the fight to other options in terms of tech, but rather looks to beat them on value for money.
Buying a Dacia Sandero has always been a bit like picking up last year’s must-have TV in a Black Friday sale. The tech has since been surpassed and it’s far from the flashiest thing you can buy, but you’ll get it for a great price and it’ll still do the job nicely.
You wouldn’t be able to tell this is a budget car at first glance, though. The latest Dacia Sandero looks pretty sharp, with its large grille flanked by impactful LED headlights with a chic vein-like daytime running light running through.
The crisp look is continued at the back of the car, with LED tailights closely mimicking the headlights. Overall it’s a smart-looking thing, albeit it’s not the boldest design you’ll find. If you want something a little chicer, take a look at the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio.
Inside the car is when the Dacia Sandero looks to begin its budget price, though. It’s fairly spartan — with little more in the way of tech than its infotainment system — and is lavished in bland grey plastics and fabrics. It does have a little party trick up its sleeve with its built-in phone holder, though. We’re yet to get up close and personal with the Dacia Sandero though, so we’ll see how the interior feels when we do.
You should expect the cabin to feel pretty spacious and robust though — which was one of the best bits about the old Dacia Sandero. Five could be seated in reasonable comfort, albeit space is going to be tight in the back for any car of this size for adults. There looks to be plenty of cubby holes and storage space throughout, too.
The Dacia Sandero offers bargain-basement value, though you'll have to step up to range-topping Comfort to make the most of it
The Dacia Sandero has a decent sized boot, with 328 litres — 8 more than the outgoing car. That is down on the Volkswagen Polo’s 351 litres, though higher than the Peugeot 208’s 311 litre capacity.
Standard equipment for the Dacia Sandero isn’t going to light up the eyes of any techeads, but the £7,995 retail starting price reflects that fairly. LED headlights and automatic emergency braking are included, but you will have to deal with wind-down windows (in 2021!) and steel wheels at that price.
For creature comforts like a proper infotainment display, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers, you’ll have to go for top-spec Comfort cars. This starts at a still-reasonable £11,595 — about £3,500 less than a Suzuki Swift and £5,000 cheaper than an entry-level Ford Fiesta.
You have a choice of three engines for thee Dacia Sandero — two petrol and one bi-fuel LPG model. The lowest output of the three is a 65hp option, with the next pure petrol model producing 90hp and the LPG car has 100hp. The latter most of those allow you to switch between petrol and LPG fuel too, which is cheaper to buy by the litre — albeit burns less efficiently.
65hp cars are paired up to a five-speed manual gearbox, with the other two available with a six-speed. The 90hp car can be had with an automatic on Comfort trim, too.
Much like your TV for those few chaotic weeks after Black Friday, we’re still waiting for the Dacia Sandero. We’ll have our full verdict once we’ve been behind the wheel, though.
The interior of the Dacia Sandero is practical, albeit dull to look at