Our cars: Dacia Sandero - March
Week ending March 22
Miles this week 102
Plenty of cars have touch-screens, but these systems tend to be fiddly and distracting to use on the move.
Not the one in our Sandero. Dacia has kept the menus refreshingly simple, plus all of the icons are huge, so it’s easy to hit the correct area of the screen, even on bumpy roads.
The Sandero also displays the artwork that goes with your music, something many flashier cars don’t do.
The only disappointment is that the USB socket for connecting your iPod is positioned high-up on the centre console, so the cable hangs messily in front and can get in the way when you’re changing gear.
By Steve Huntingford
Week ending March 15
Driven this week 50 miles
I know that the Sandero is supposed to be a budget car, but this picture shows exactly what spending a little extra does for the Dacia’s looks.
On the right is the entry-level Sandero, the 1.2 Access. With its solid white paint and grey plastic bumpers, it looks like something that United Nations troops would roll around in. My top-spec Laureate car on the left, meanwhile, looks much slicker thanks to its colour-coded bumpers, door handles and mirror caps.
The thing is, you don’t need to go as high as Laureate trim to get a smart-looking Sandero. Mid-spec Ambiance trim gets the body-coloured bumpers, and although the door handles and mirrors are black, the car still looks sharp enough. It’s a lot cheaper than Laureate trim, too, and comes with most of the essential kit you need.
Week ending March 8
Driven this week 200 miles
I'm beginning to think our Sandero has been cursed. The car suffered its first battle scar a couple of weeks ago in the form of a scratch on the rear end and it now has a broken door mirror.
I came out of my front door on Monday morning to find the mirror casing bent backwards and the glass panel smashed on the floor beneath it. I can only assume that someone driving past didn't give my car a wide enough berth and clipped it with their mirror.
I don't know whether their car suffered similar damage, but in any case, it would have been nice if they'd have told me what had happened.
By Ivan Aistrop