The Dacia Sandero Stepway is crossover car based on the Dacia Sandero. After a launch in Brazil in 2008 with the European version arriving the following year and becoming available in most European markets.
The third current generation was launched alongside the third generation Dacia Sandero and Dacia Logan in September of 2020 and continues to be one of the cheapest cars available on the market brand new.
Our Dacia Sandero Stepway review will cover the current model to help you decide if this is the best option for you and your needs for your new car.
Like the Dacia Sandero, the Sandero Stepway is built on the Renault-Nissan CMF-B LS platform, the low specifications platform for budget supermini or subcompact cars. Currently the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance only uses this platform to build Dacia models.
There are several things that sets the Stepway apart from the regular Sandero supermini to create this more rugged looking crossover vehicle. The addition of modular roof rails allows you to easily convert to a roof rack, it has a raised ride height compared to the standard Sandero, and new signature Y-shaped LED headlights all make the current models more prestige versions of the Sandero Stepway.
The Sandero Stepway isn't designed to overwhelm you with lots of features you'll never use or an awkward to use system that controls every function. Instead, Dacia have kept things simple in its three trim levels, making it very user friendly.
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.
You'll have physical controls for your heating and air conditioning system, a preference for many, which again allows you to use the system as you drive without taking your attention away from the road in front of you.
Those in the front seats will have 898mm of headroom and the driver will benefit from an elevated driving position when compared to the original Sandero. The Sandero Stepway is 48mm higher from the ground that the Sandero, also making it slightly more accessible to passengers too.
With all five seats in use your Dacia Sandero Stepway will offer 328 litres of boot space which is 42 litres more than the similarly sized Toyota Yaris and exactly the same as the standard Sandero, meaning that you don't lose anything by opting for the crossover.
Folding the rear seats down opens that space up to 1108 litres, still more than the Yaris at 947 litres and only a shortfall of 167 litres compared to the Renault Captur at 1275 litres. Thanks to its 60:40 seat split you can also set up the boot space how you and your passengers need it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dacia Sandero Stepway offers the same engines as the standard Sandero: TCe 90 and TCe 100 Bi-Fuel. Dacia are well known for a commitment to making economical vehicles and the below engines highlight this for you.
The TCe is a 1.0 litre three cylinder petrol engine capable of 90HP, as its name suggests. This is available as either a five speed manual or an automatic gearbox but the manual will give you the best fuel economy. It has a combined mpg of 53.3 compared to 49.6 for the automatic transmission with lower CO2 emissions too at 119 g/km against 129 g/km.
The TCe 100 Bi-Fuel 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. It also gives you a 60% increase on your driving range thanks to the larger fuel capacity.
When running on the LPG you'll have reduced CO2 emissions of 109 g/km, which is the best across the model, compared to 123 g/km when you run on the petrol engine. However you do lose some fuel economy on the LPG as the combined mpg drops to 42.2 from 52.3 on the petrol engine.
There are three trim levels available on the Dacia Sandero Stepway: Essential, Expression, and Journey. This gives you an additional option over the normal Sandero model.
The entry level Essential model has 16 inch Flex wheels with full wheel caps, the new Dacia brand identity throughout, black door handles and mirrors, body coloured front and rear bumpers, white grille with Stepway inscription, Y-shaped LED daytime running lights, black roof bars with Stepway inscription, Essential upholstery, and Copper Orange air vent surrounds.
Looking at the equipment you can expect an auto lighting system, a heated rear window, electric power assisted steering, stop and start, remote central locking system, height and depth adjustment for the steering wheel, height adjustable driver's seat with armrest, front ceiling light, a 12V front socket, electric front windows, front USB socket, and Dacia Media Control.
Stepping up to the Expression trim adds driver and front passenger vanity mirrors, rear view camera, rear parking sensors, front fog lights, automatic front wipers, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, keyless entry, a rear 12V plug, and an eight inch touchscreen media display in the centre console which has Apple Carplay and Android Auto as part of the infotainment system.
It also includes body coloured door handles and mirrors, changes the roof bars to Megalith Grey Satin, Satin Chrome interior door handles, Fog Grey and Copper Orange air vent surrounds with white sliders, and fabric trim on the dashboard and front door armrests.
The top trim, the Journey, gives you everything that the Expression offers plus 17 inch diamond effect alloy wheels, front parking sensors, an electronic parking brake, blind spot warning, automatic air conditioning and heating, a high central armrest with storage, and a soft-feel steering wheel.
The options for all trim levels are metallic paint and an emergency spare wheel. Dacia has simplified their ordering process by including equipment directly in their trim levels instead of adding in additional packs as many other manufacturers do.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway was given a disappointing two star safety rating from Euro NCAP at its last testing. This rating mainly comes from the Sandero Stepway's small offering of equipment compared to other models.
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 as it has less additional driver assistance and convenience equipment than others in the market.
As standard, the Dacia Sandero Stepway has the following active and passive safety equipment: anti-lock braking, emergency brake assist, intercity automatic emergency braking, hill start assist, emergency call, 6 airbags, pretensioner and force limiter for all seta belts, and isofix points for child seats.
Dacia has a commitment to being an affordable and budget friendly brand and the price of the Sandero Stepway continues to reflect this.
The entry level Essential Sandero Stepway with the TCe 90 engine has an on the road retail price of £14,395 and increases by £500 to £14,895 if you opt for the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel engine. The Expression starts at £15,395, again has a £500 increase to the Bi-Fuel engine, and increases to £16,895 if you opt for the automatic transmission. The top level Journey starts at £16,395 for the TCe 90 in manual, increases to £17,895 for the automatic, and costs £16,895 for the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel.
For comparison, an entry level Suzuki Ignis starts at £16,249 and the Renault Captur starts at £22,295. The Dacia Sandero Stepway offers much of the same equipment as both of these at a lower cost to you, making it an incredibly popular choice in the crossover market.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway is a great option for your next car if you want to combine the height of a larger car with the size and benefits that come with a supermini. It's had improvements made on the previous model which have made it a more desirable model that's more in line with its competitors.
The Bi-Fuel engine also makes it stand out in the market as a more sustainable and economical option when compared to petrol on its own, or the soon to be outdated diesel. IT's a great option for those unable to facilitate home charging for a plug in hybrid but still increases fuel economy and lowers CO2 emissions.
For more information about the Dacia Sandero Stepway, or to book your test drive, please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and friendly team at John Clark Dacia in Aberdeen.