Dacia Sandero Stepway Review
Dacia Sandero Stepway offers bargain-priced SUV motoring that doesn’t feel cheap as long as you skip the entry model.
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The all-new Dacia Sandero Stepway is a huge step forward from the old car, and is a great-value rival for cars such as the Ford Fiesta Active.
It looks a lot neater, too. Okay, perhaps not quite in the realms of moving from tedious to twinkletoes, but it isn’t far off.
Where the old Dacia Sandero Stepway looked almost wilfully dated, the new car looks modern, with a sloping windscreen, a lower roofline and remodelled front and rear bumpers.
The front of the car is much more streamlined than its predecessor and features a Y-shaped light signature that featured LED technology and extends to the front wings. The new car is slightly wider than before too, and this helps it look lower and more purposeful – especially from the front.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway also gets a more sculpted bonnet than its hatchback Sandero sister car, as well as roof rails, chunky black exterior trim and a chrome Stepway logo under the grille.
There are two engines available in the Dacia Sandero Stepway. The petrol-powered three-cylinder 1.0 generates 90hp and 160Nm of torque. It gets the car rom 0-62mph in 12.0 seconds and does an average of 50.4mpg while emitting 127g/km of CO2.
The other engine is an identically sized unit that generates 100hp and 170Nm of torque, but instead of running on pure petrol this one can also run on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). This Sandero Stepway covers the 0-62mph dash in 11.9 seconds and does an average of 38.2mpg. Yes, this is less than the 90hp car, but LPG is much cheaper than petrol, so you’ll soon be quids in.
The Stepway is no off-roader, but provides a loftier view of the world than the Sandero and a more mature driving experience than its predecessor.
Despite the lower rooflines, Dacia has not compromised on the car’s traditional strength of space, so it feels roomy inside. Even quality is a step up from that of the previous-generation car.
Still, the amount of kit is fair, as long as you avoid the entry-level Essential model, which doesn’t even have paint on the door handles and mirrors. Still, it does have automatic lights, cruise control and front electric windows.
Move up to the mid-range Comfort model and things are much better, because it includes rear parking sensors and a rearview camera, automatic wipers, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Oh, and paint on the door handles and mirrors.
Top-end Prestige trim adds alloy wheels, front parking sensors, climate control, an electric parking brake and a blindspot warning system.
Prices for the Dacia Sandero Stepway are still pretty cheap, kicking off from £10,995 for a 90hp Essential model, rising to £14,595 for a 90hp model in Prestige trim and with an automatic gearbox. The sweet spot in the range likely lies with the 90hp petrol model in Comfort trim with a manual gearbox, which will set you back £12,595.