The Dacia Sandero is a car in the supermini segment that has been produced by Dacia since 2007 and is currently in its third generation. The current model was launched alongside the Sandero Stepway and the newest Logan model in September of 2020.
Most recently the new Dacia Sandero has been awarded What Car? Best Small Car For Value 2022 after previously continuously winning similar awards from 2015 onwards, a testament to Dacia's commitment to providing excellent cars at a low cost to consumers.
Our Dacia Sandero review will guide you through the current model to highlights its strengths to help you decide which model version is the best option for your new car.
The new Dacia Sandero is built on the CMF-B LS platform from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and is shared with the current Dacia Logan and the Dacia Jogger.
The current model incorporates new details into the Dacia Sandero that people love. This includes front and rear Y shaped lights, a style that is unique to Dacia, which has much better visibility than previous models. Dacia say that these LED dipped headlights will light up the road like never before.
They've also added "even greater style in the details" with door mirror shells that are now the same colour as the body and have a redesigned shape for optimum aerodynamics and also helps to reduce the noise for those onboard.
In June 2022 it was given a slight restyle, alongside other models in the line, which was largely to accommodate the new Dacia logo. This gave the Sandero a newly redesigned front grille and the steering wheel was modified too.
The interior of the Dacia Sandero is best described as simple. It's this no fuss approach to their interior design that keeps their customers returning to the brand as it makes them incredibly easy to use.
Essential models come without an infotainment screen in the centre console but do have Dacia's Media Control system. This is an alternative to a traditional media system in that it relies on the use of your smartphone and Dacia's Media Control App.
Your phone slots into the purpose built slot on the dashboard and is held in place as you drive. Through Bluetooth your phone becomes the infotainment screen and allows you to use its features, such as media and navigation, safely as you drive.
It's an interesting take on the infotainment system that allows the brand to keep costs lower but still allow you to utilise the apps and practicalities of current technology.
The Sandero also keeps its physical buttons for climate controls and dials on the instrument cluster which makes it incredibly user friendly and easy to use and read as you drive. Many people prefer to still have physical controls for some equipment as many manufacturers have moved to include it as part of the touchscreen system.
Both trim levels of the Dacia Sandero are comfortable options with good amounts of passenger space. Front seat passengers have 898mm of headroom, 93mm less than the Renault Clio, whilst those is the back seats will have a little less at 878mm.
Whilst it isn't the largest car on the market, or even in the supermini category, it offers enough space for most passengers to sit comfortably on journeys whilst still leaving room for some luggage.
With all five seats in use you'll have 328 litres of boot space, which is around 63 litres less than the Renault Clio but 36 litres more than the notoriously small Ford Fiesta. As a small car it's a fairly good offering, still enough space for the weekly shop or a couple of bags for a weekend away.
Folding the rear seat backs flat will open the space up to 1108 litres, actually providing more space than the Clio at 1069 litres or the Fiesta at 1093 litres. If you occasionally need that extra space then the Sandero is the best option of the bunch.
There are two engine options available for the Dacia Sandero: TCe 90 and TCe 100 Bi-Fuel. These are the same options that were previously offered on the Sandero so if you're upgrading from a previous car you'll recognise the choices in front of you.
The TCe 90 is a 1.0 litre petrol engine with an output of 90HP which is available with either a five speed manual or an automatic gearbox. As a manual you can expect excellent fuel economy with a combined mpg of 53.3 but this drops to 45.6 if you opt for the auto transmission.
Just like the fuel consumption, the emissions vary depending on your gearbox choice too. As a manual you'll have CO2 emissions of 119 g/km whereas the automatic ups this to 129 g/km. Both engines will, however, all ow you to take on motorway speeds easily.
Dacia's other option is the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel engine. This runs on both a petrol engine and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) which is delivered via an integrated injection. You can either manually make the switch between them or the car will do this automatically when the LPG tank is empty.
As it runs on two different fuel types it has two different outputs; 90HP when running on the petrol engine and 100HP when running on the LPG with combined mpgs of 42.2 and 52.3 respectively, making the Bi-Fuel much more efficient. It's other advantage is that it provides low running costs with Dacia estimating a 40% fuel cost savings when using the LPG.
These will all make city driving a breeze whilst having enough torque to keep you going when you switch to motorway driving or travel longer distances.
As they've kept it simple with engine options, Dacia have also kept their trim level options simple too with only two options: Essential and Expression.
The Essential model comes with 15 inch steel wheels, the new brand identity throughout, black door handles and mirrors, body coloured front and rear bumpers, new grille with white trim, signature Y-shaped LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, electrical power-assisted steering, stop and start, and a remote central locking system.
Inside you'll find the Essential model upholstery, Fog Grey air vents, black interior door handles, door mirrors with interior manual adjustment, an auto lighting system, cruise control, a speed limiter, electric front windows, height and depth adjustment for the steering wheel, a front USB socket, manual heating and air conditioning system, and Dacia's Media Control.
Stepping up to the Expression trim level upgrades the equipment to include 15 inch Flex wheels, body coloured door mirrors, Steel Grey interior door handles, fabric upholstery on the dashboard and front door armrests, rear parking sensors, a rear view camera, front fog lights, electrically operated door mirrors, automatic windscreen wipers, keyless entry, and an 8 inch media display.
The media display includes smartphone replication which uses Apple Carplay or Android Auto to allow you to utilise the apps on your phone on a larger screen, ideal for road trips or for playing your favourite music.
The Dacia Sandero is let down a little by its safety rating. Euro NCAP have awarded the car only two stars out of a possible five. At first look this is incredibly disappointing, especially when looking at rival cars in the category with much higher scores, however looking at the full report it mainly comes down to a lack of additional equipment that others have.
For example, for adult and child occupants it scores fairly highly at 70% and 72% respectively. It's score for vulnerable road users (41%) and safety assist (42%) is where the overall rating is brought down.
These lower scores come from there not being additional equipment such as lane departure assistance and or where some included features didn't respond in a way to score the highest results.
As standard the Dacia Sandero will have the following safety equipment: anti lock braking system, autonomous emergency braking, intercity automatic emergency braking, electronic stability program with hill start assist, six airbags, front and rear seat belts with pretensioner and force limiter, and isofix points for child seats.
The new Sandero is celebrated as being one of, if not the, cheapest car that you can buy as brand new. It's one of Dacia's key brand statements that they're proud to offer their customers.
The Sandero begins at £12,995 for the Essential with the TCe 90 engine. Upgrading to the Expression with the same engine is £13,995 whilst there's an increase of £1500 to £15,495 to switch to the automatic transmission. Finally, the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel engine is a little cheaper than the automatic transmission petrol alternative at £14,495.
The Dacia Sandero is one of the best cars to consider if you're looking for a brand new car that doesn't brake the bank. With great economical engine options and easy to decipher trim levels it's a constantly popular choice with drivers.
For more information or to book your test drive please don't hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and helpful team at John Clark Dacia in Aberdeen.