Our cars: Dacia Sandero - June

Article 10 of 14 See all
  • Cheapest car in Britain joins the What Car? fleet
  • Run by consumer reporter Matthew Burrow
  • Our 0.9 TCe Laureate trim is less than £10,000
Dacia Sandero 0.9 TCe Laureate

Week ending June 28
Mileage 3280
Driven this week 59 miles

Read the full Dacia Sandero review

The Sandero has been on sale in the UK since January, but up until a few weeks ago, the only other one that I've seen has been the long-termer belonging to our sister title Autocar – and that's only because we share a car park.

However, in the past few weeks I have seen two out on the road – a silver Laureate model in Surrey and a black Ambiance parked in Chelsea of all places.

Perhaps we'll start seeing more as the Dacia brand becomes more well-known.

By Matthew Burrow

Week ending June 21
Mileage 3221
Driven this week 264 miles

Being the cheapest new car on sale in the UK, my expectations for the Dacia Sandero weren’t high. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got a chance to drive it for the first time this week.

A settled ride and well-insulated cabin meant my longer trips left me unfazed, while the extra space and raised driving position set it apart from the rest of the small car crowd.

The 0.9-litre petrol engine may be small but is powerful enough to keep up with traffic

The touch screen system really adds value to the car. It provides good quality sound and reliable navigation and it's very easy to connect your phone via Bluetooth. I also found it really easy to use.

Less impressive are the ergonomics. Having nowhere to rest your left foot when not changing gear lessens the Sandero's appeal in town, while the position of the cruise control switch by the gearstick meant I had to take my eyes off the road to turn it on.

At less than £10,000 I’m impressed by Dacia’s supermini. It could do with a little polishing but it's a desirable package.

By James Lewis-Barned

Week ending June 14
Mileage 2957
Driven this week 77 miles

We specified the £250 Media Nav system to our Dacia Sandero, which means that the Bluetooth – gained by choosing Laureate trim – is operated by a great touch-screen system. It works brilliantly: it's easy to pair your phone, the touch-screen responds quickly to inputs and you can use the voice control system on your phone.

There are two issues, though. When you make or receive a call, the screen is fixed to the phone menu, which means that you can't see the sat-nav. The second thing is that the phone audio plays through the passenger door – in other words, it hasn't been swapped to the driver's side for right-hand drive vehicles. I need to have the volume turned up much higher than normal otherwise I can't hear what people are saying.

By Matthew Burrow

Week ending June 7
Mileage 2880
Driven this week 20 miles

When parking the Sandero, I've noticed that it is hard to judge how far back to go. I have parked a number of times only to notice that I am about a metre away from the obstacle behind me when it looks like I'm on top of it.

I thought that this was just me and that without parking sensors I was being overly cautious. However, I have returned to the car on a few occasions after colleagues have driven it to discover that they are having a similar problem. It's no bad thing that we are all being careful, but it's annoying to get out of the car and then have to get back in when you realise that you are taking up more room than needed.

By Matthew Burrow

Our cars: Dacia Sandero - May


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