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.
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. 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 comparison of the Dacia Sandero VS Stepway will take you through the current models in Renault's budget brand to highlight their similarities and where they differ.
Both the Sandero and Sandero Stepway are 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.
The two changes that are made to the Dacia Sandero Stepway model that set it apart from the standard Sandero are the addition of modular roof bars which allows you to easily convert to a roof rack and it has a raised ride height compared to the standard Sandero.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway has a higher ground clearance than the normal Sandero, meaning that the driver will have a slightly higher driving position and it may be slightly more accessible for entering and exiting the vehicle.
Both models were given a slight restyle in June 2022 to accommodate Dacia's new branding. As a result the grilles and the steering wheel on each model were altered to work with the new imagery.
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 trim levels, making it very user friendly.
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. Both have good visibility from the front of the car thanks to narrow B-pillars and a high reaching windscreen.
With all five seats in use you'll have 328 litres of boot space in both the Sandero and Sandero Stepway, which is around 63 litres less than the Renault Clio but 36 litres more than the notoriously small Ford Fiesta. As smaller car's 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 and the Sandero Stepway are both great options.
On Essential models, both the Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Sandero are a little lacklustre. There's no integrated infotainment system as you'd expect. Instead, 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 will need to upgrade your trim level if you're looking for a built in infotainment system and other things such as electric rear windows, automatic front wipers, automatic air conditioning, and rear parking sensors.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway has the clear advantage of being able to offer more equipment, such as roof rails, and has a third trim level, the Journey. This includes alloy wheels, keyless entry, and front parking sensors.
Both the Dacia Sandero and the Sandero Stepway range have the same engine options. This includes two petrol and one bi-fuel; the TCe 90, the TCe 90 with automatic gearbox, and the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel.
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. The Sandero gets the best fuel economy results from the manual at 53.3 mpg combined compared to 50.4 on the Sandero Stepway. Interestingly, if you opt for the automatic transmission you're estimated to get the same result from the Sandero and the Sandero Stepway; 45.6 mpg combined.
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.
The Bi-Fuel engine performs well for both models with CO2 emissions dropping to as low as 109 g/km in the Sandero and 115 g/km in the Dacia Sandero Stepway and increases the power output from 90HP to 100HP to give you a great boost when using the LPG.
Both of these models are mostly city cars but if will cope if you have to head onto the motorway or a longer journey. However if you're looking for something more rugged you'll need to consider their older sibling, the Dacia Duster.
Perhaps the downfall of both models is its low safety rating from Euro NCAP. They both received the same two star rating thanks to a lack of additional driver assistance and convenience equipment. 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, which is where many of these features would come into play.
Both the Dacia Sandero and Dacia Sandero Stepway are great choices for your new car thanks to being good value for money and budget friendly at even the highest trims. This will get you some great equipment levels although the Dacia Sandero Stepway has an extra trim level that gives you that little bit more and a raised driving position.
For more information, or to book your test drive of either model, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable and friendly team at John Clark Dacia in Aberdeen.